“The Lord now said to Moses. ‘Set up the tabernacle on the first day of the new year. ‘Moses proceeded to do everything that the Lord had commanded him. Then the cloud covered the tabernacle, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. Moses was no longer able to enter the tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the tabernacle was filled with the awesome glory of the Lord.” Exodus 40:1,16, 33-35
Why is it that so many toys come with the instructions “some assembly required”? These three words usually mean you have a good hour or two of frustration ahead of you if you decide to bring this toy home! When our children were small, I was typically the one who got the joy of accomplishing the “required assembly”. Confusing written instructions were typically included in a variety of languages for me to work through. Step-by-step instructions were helpful, however, the most helpful piece in putting the gift together was the picture of the finished project. Looking ahead at what the finished project would look like, helped in the process.
We sit today with the incredible gift of living this side of the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
We have such rich insight in seeing how God orchestrated His design through the Old Testament because we see it through the lens of the New Testament. And seeing this, we know all scripture points to Jesus! We know what the final picture looks like in many ways…. but the final pieces (Christ’s return) are yet to be put into place.
Throughout scripture, we see that God has always wanted to be with His people. In this passage, we see that constructing a “meeting place” for God to meet His people was His idea. The tabernacle was the means and the place for the Lord’s presence with His people. In the book of Revelation John describes the incarnation of Jesus as “God dwelling-he uses the Greek word that’s also used of the tabernacle-Jesus is God “tabernacling” in our midst…… Yes, Jesus is God “tabernacling” among us! And after Pentecost we see the presence of the Lord making US His tabernacle as He dwells within us, and as He fills us with His Spirit. The miracle here is not about a fiery bush, flies, frogs, or locusts. It’s a miracle of a Holy, Holy, Holy God filling His tabernacle. And we have been given the picture of the completed project… His filling US! Lord may we not take for granted your Glory!
May we not live lightly with the knowledge that the glory that caused Moses to hide his face, and that lived in a pillar of fire and a roaming cloud; lives and leads through His presence in us!