Do you know that God is closer now than ever before? I just finished reading the book of Exodus! It starts out pretty exciting with the story of Moses delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Once they get to Mount Sinai and the 10 Commandments are given the action slows down and it gets into various laws and the plans for the tabernacle. Most of the last 15 chapters in Exodus describe this tabernacle. I admit I was kinda skimming through this part but when I got to the last chapter there were a few things that struck me.
- The Building Itself
What an amazing accomplishment! The detailed plans that God gave Moses included the exact materials needed for every part along with precise dimensions. These materials included the finest linen and animal skins, the brightest yarns and an incredible amount of gold, silver and bronze. Even though it was a tent, it was made using the best materials. It was colorful and extravagant!
- God’s Love for His People
I wondered why God would have them go to all this intricate work for a portable “church”? Why not wait till they were in Canaan and build a permanent structure? God cares so much about His people and the tabernacle was His presence among them. Everywhere they went He was in their midst. They were never alone. It was His presence with them that set them apart from every other nation on earth.
- The Glory of God
At the end of Exodus 40, when Moses has finished setting up the tabernacle, precisely according to God’s instructions, a remarkable thing happened. The cloud that led them through the wilderness by day, covered the tabernacle and the glory of the Lord filled the place! What a powerful visual declaration of God’s presence and glory among His people.
Sometimes I think that it would have been awesome to be in that place and time to see God’s glory fill the tabernacle. Yet what we have today is even better. In the Old Testament, God was in the physical tabernacle, today as Christ followers, we are the tabernacle of God (2 Cor 6:16). God lives in us when we choose to believe and follow Him. What incredible love He has towards us. Because He is in us, naturally, His glory is seen on us (Isa 60:1). And I think He was just as detailed and extravagant in creating us. (Ps 139:14) He knit us together in our mother’s womb; no two people exactly alike. How amazing is that? He really is closer now than He’s ever been! We are a blessed people indeed!
To find out more about the glory of God check out the “SOMETHING MORE” sermon series on our website www.vcrd.ca.