Building the Tabernacle

The Erection of the Tabernacle and the Sacred ...

The Erection of the Tabernacle and the Sacred Vessels (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exodus 25:8

It is said that the story of the Tabernacle reaches deeper than the earth, higher than the sky, and farther than the universe (Ervin N. Hershberger).

The creation of the heavens and the earth are accounted for in merely two chapters of the Bible… but the Tabernacle? Some fifty chapters of Scripture are dedicated to describing the architecture and elements of this building where we read God dwelled among His people.

At Mount Sinai, God spent forty days giving His Law and the dimensions and details of the Tabernacle to Moses. Every measurement was to be precisely as God directed. Its features, furniture, and services were to be just as instructed.

What is it about this place that made it so special? Why was God so concerned with every minute detail of its construction? Would it be a fair assumption to say that the place where God would meet with men must be perfect?

The Tabernacle remained as such a place for Israel until one day Solomon, by the instructions of his father David, would build the Temple. The Temple would be modeled after the Tabernacle… but would be stationary.

What was on God’s mind when He gave all of those specific details of the Tabernacle? Was He simply looking for a place where He could hang out on occasion, or was He establishing a picture, a shadow if you will, of something or someone much greater to come? The Temple: or even greater than that?

I believe so! Hear John’s words as he describes the coming of our Lord and Savior. Look how he intentionally (moved by the Spirit) uses the term, ‘to tabernacle’ (dwelt).

And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (dwelt) among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Did the tabernacle represent a picture of Christ in the midst of the Israelites until that better should come? If so, what can we learn by looking closer at the structure and all of its furnishings? Could we walk away from a study like this with a greater understanding of Jesus and His work on our behalf?

The author of the letter to the Hebrews seemed to imply this possibility.

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11

This new Tabernacle is, of course, eternally superior to the one commissioned at Sinai.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to Building the Tabernacle

  1. Pingback: Where the Presence of God Dwells « Learning to Be

  2. Many years ago I completed a VERY detailed study of the Tabernacle. I lent all my study notes to a friend – who moved out of town and presumably took my notes with her, to I don’t know where. I’d really like them back, but pray that someone, or several people, are getting the benefit.

    As you say, one very important aspect of the Tabernacle is the importance the omnipotent God places on tabernacling with His people. We should treasure His presence.

    We serve an amazing God!

  3. ptl2010 says:

    The creation of the heavens and the earth are accounted for in merely two chapters of the Bible… but the Tabernacle? Some fifty chapters of Scripture are dedicated to describing the architecture and elements of this building where we read God dwelled among His people.

    This reflects how much and precious our God treasures our fellowship with Him. We must know we cannot take Him for granted. We must honor Him because He is not just anybody, He is our God. We must not just enter into His Presence without due reverence. O how it must grieve His heart to see how we go to church on Sundays to meet with Him. He tells us to come just as we are. However, we do not come with the best love in our hearts. We come with distracted hearts, sinful hearts, idolatrous hearts and disrespectful hearts. So we leave without His blessings just thankful that He did not strike us dead.

    • mtsweat says:

      You are so right dear friend! The Scriptures are filled with the message that our God wants us to know Him intimately and always. Jesus came to provide the perfect Tabernacle where we could fellowship with God! Yet, as you say, we come distracted with idolatrous hearts of disrespect. The fearful possibility you mention (strike us dead) is only held back by His grace and mercy (but not guaranteed)! Lord, let us have eyes that see Your loving provision and hearts to return the love You deserve! Thank you for the moving words, good friend!

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