Tabernacles: Old and New

God is not far from us and desires to be close always – hence he makes us his dwelling places.  How are we caring for the space God occupies? As I reflect on my own life and vessel, I desire for my tabernacle to be welcoming of my Lord and my God…

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
Exodus 25:1-9

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
1Corinthians 6:19

After providing Israel with very detailed law, including the ten commandments on stone tablets, God then required that Moses lead the people to create the tabernacle.  The tabernacle was to be the temporary shelter which the nomadic Israelites would take down, carry, and then set up in their camps.  God would make the tabernacle his dwelling place among them.

Fast forward to the time of Jesus’ promise to send a comforter and counselor.  The Holy Spirit is now the indwelling God on earth.  Not among us, but rather in us.  God indwells his people and we are his temples now. 

What I think is amazing, however, is that God gives instruction to his people and doesn’t leave them alone or abandon them.  God comes closer when he has something for us to do.  He gave Israel the law and then he created a way to dwell right with them to give them focus and motivation and presence in order for them to keep his law.

Jesus gave us substantial instruction within the structure of his new covenant with us, and he also did not abandon us. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to guide our lives.  Our fulfillment of the law of grace and of the great commission is fueled and supported by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

God is not far from us and desires to be close always.  And so I am dwelling on the dwelling of God.  I am pondering, ‘how am I caring for the space God occupies?’ The detail of how Israel fashioned the tabernacle shows a level of care and excellence fitting for God.  And so I reflect on my own life and vessel, and desire for my tabernacle to be welcoming of my Lord and my God…


Marc Kinna


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