Exodus 27:1,7-9,19-21 “Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide... The poles are to be inserted into the rings so they will be on two sides of the altar when it is carried. Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain. “Make a courtyard for the tabernacle... All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze. “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that is in front of the Testimony, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the LORD from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.
As we continue to read the details of what God wanted His dwelling place to look like, one thought that keeps coming back to me is why would God entrust the work of His own dwelling place into the hands of sinful men?
For a God who is so Holy that His mere presence would destroy anyone who sees Him, this request seems very out of place or at least it seems like the Israelites would never get it right and therefore anger God. What then is the purpose to all this and how does it relate to us today?
From the start we have seen that the one big request God had of us was to trust and obey Him. Adam and Eve disobeyed God's instruction about the fruit of good and evil and therefore suffered the consequences and we still do! Disobedience has been a problem with God's children from the very start.
With Moses and the Israelites, God had a captive audience who had no choice but to trust Him implicitly. Their directions in the desert was led by God through the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, their morality was directed by God's laws, their food and water was by God's provision, their protection from their enemies was by God's hand and therefore their God blessed them with His presence among them to show them that He wanted a full relationship with them.
For a God who could speak all creation into existence, getting this complex dwelling place in order was no 'biggie' but instead He allowed the Israelites the opportunity to worship and obey Him through this act of service and provided them the required material for this tabernacle when they were leaving Egypt and when they won the battle against the Amalekites.
Even today, God desires our submission, trust and obedience to Him. Nothing has changed in thousands of years but instead of being in fear and dread of God and instead of worshipping God through man made temples and blood sacrifices, God has provided for us something much better.
God provided His son Jesus Christ to us who came and lived among us, lived a life of example for us, sacrifice His life that we might have the perfect and final blood sacrifice for our sinfulness, raised Him up to be with God to give us the assurance of being taken up by Him when the time is right and then God provided His Holy Spirit to us who comes and resides in us when we submit to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We now, by faith, have access to God through the blood sacrificed by Jesus Christ who dwells in us through the Holy Spirit and therefore we now have become the temple of God and in us we carry God's personal presence.
Seems a bit too amazing a truth but this is the reality of our faith in Jesus Christ. God does not simply want us to fear as slaves to a wicked master but wants to relate to us and have a relationship with us.
If you have not been saved by the blood of Jesus, I invite you to call on Him now and ask Him to reveal Himself to you that you might see how beautiful He is and how much He truly loves you.
If you have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, I pray that you and I will examine our lives and see if we treat our bodies as temples of God? Whether it be in obedience, worship, food, clothing, use, misuse, etc.
In His Loving Service,
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
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