The Tabernacle, Godís Dwelling Place, Part 2 - Lesson 2
We continue our study of the unique place that God choose to have constructed and itís uniqueness was that He choose to dwell there with His people.
Godís desire for a dwelling place is described in Exodus 25:8,9, And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
God describes this dwelling place as a sanctuary which means a consecrated place, a place set apart for a special purpose, a holy place, for wherever God is it is a holy place.
God also calls this place a tabernacle which simply means "tent" or "dwelling place."
Another name for this place is "The Tent of Testimony"
We find this in Numbers 9:15, And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.
The Tabernacle received this title because it contained the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Tables of the Law.
The Tables of the Law were called the "testimony of a holy God"
For they were His moral standard for redeemed Israel.
It was also called "The House of God" and "The Tent of the Congregation" for this was the place where the congregation gathered together at the door for festival days and worship.
This is another connection to the words of Christ in which he declared that he was the DOOR to whom we are to gather.
Now the construction of this tabernacle was the center piece in
God bringing about that which he promised Abraham concerning the creation of a great nation made up of Abrahamís descendents.
For these descendents had been chosen to be God's witnesses to the other nations of the earth.
They had been chosen to testify to the fact that there is only ONE TRUE and LIVING God which was a bold declaration opposing the ideas of all the religions of that day.
And as part of this witness Moses had been given a body of civil and religious law, much of which is used throughout the world as the basis of modern law.
At this point in their journey the children of Israel are now ready to build a dwelling place to show Godís presence as He leads them on their final march to the Promised Land.
We ended our last lesson learning that the tabernacle symbolizes the ministry of JESUS CHRIST for as God chose to dwell among his people in the tabernacle so we also know from John 1:14 that the word was made flesh and he chose to dwell among us.
So the long term purpose of the tabernacle was for Godís people to see that God would dwell with men in the person of the Messiah, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of men.
The Tabernacle then, is a shadow of our Redeemer and a picture of the type of dwelling place God wants us to be for Him.
The tabernacle was a shadow of Godís plan to tabernacle in the hearts of believers.
We are the New Testament Tabernacle of the Lord.
Godís plan has forever been to dwell among His people.
There is a progressive revelation of the dwelling places of God in Scripture.
God dwelt with man before the entrance of sin in Eden's dwelling or tabernacle.
God walked and talked with Adam in the Garden in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3:8, 24)
God walked and talked with Noah and the patriarchs in their times. (Genesis 6:9).
God appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Gen. 17:1; 26:24 and 35:1)
And in our study we find that God dwelt with man in the TABERNACLE OF MOSES (Exodus 25:8, 22).
God gave further revelation in the TEMPLE OF SOLOMON and His glory filled the temple as he dwelled with His people.
But God's fullest and most perfect revelation is in the person of JESUS CHRIST.
For He is the FULLNESS of the Godhead Bodily.
He was the WORD made flesh who tabernacles, among us, as we behold His glory.
God now dwells individually in each believerís heart and corporately in the Church as a body.
Now the ultimate revelation of the dwelling place of God is seen in the revelation of the CITY of GOD, which is the New Jerusalem.
Revelatiion 21:1-3, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
So God has dwelt WITH MEN, AMONGST MEN, and today, IN MEN and in eternity in men and with men.
Fellowship with God and man is necessary to fulfill God's purpose and plan of redemption.
As recorded in Genesis in the beginning we see God coming down to earth to dwell and fellowship with Man eternally.
God desires fellowship with man, but God will only dwell with man on His own terms.
To dwell with men requires God dealing with manís sinfulness.
Only after dealing with manís sinfulness will divine holiness result in a holy being for Godís word will bring this about as it is recorded in:
1 Peter 1:16, Be ye holy, as I am holy.
It is Godís will to dwell only with those who are holy and Godís will, will be performed for He wills to dwell with men.
Godís exacting requirements that he brings about for dwelling in the hearts of men are also shown in the building of the tabernacle for we can find six exacting requirements necessary for the building of the Sanctuary of the Lord.
First it was to be done by free will offerings.
How God loves a cheerful giver!
God is looking for volunteers from whom will come all that is needed to build what he desires to build.
He told Moses in Exodus 25:2, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that gives it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
The Spirit of Giving came upon the Israelites in thankfulness to the Lord who had delivered them out of the House of Bondage in Egypt through the blood of the Passover Lamb.
This is the kind of offering in which God is interested - FREE WILL.
As Abram was told in Genesis 15 his children would come out of bondage with great substance.
And it was from this Egyptian substance they gave to build the sanctuary.
These blessings that the people received from the hands of the Egyptians were not received to make the people rich, but they were given to them to be given back to the Lord.
There came a time to give and the people responded.
God has established a principle here that those to whom he gives substance are to use that substance for the building of Godís house.
The second exacting requirement was to be a people who were stirred up.
We read of this in Exodus 35:21,26, And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
Verse 26, And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats'
The people were stirred up about the building of the Lord's Sanctuary.
Werenít you stirred up about the building of the Lordís house in Haiti?
Didnít our Pastorís trip report move you to want to participate even more in that great work.
His words stirred me to think I was being called to Haiti as a missionary.
Perhaps that was my emotions working but I was indeed stirred.
Thereís a call comes ringing or the restless wave, send the light, send the light!
That is stirring isnít it?
But we ought to be stirred today as we conduct ourselves as believers when it pertains to the building of Godís house.
We should ask the Lord to stir our spirits up to be as close to Him and as like Him as we possibly can be and that is how the Lordís house is built.
The third exacting requirement was to be a people made willing.
Moses repeated the words of the Lord to the people in:
Exodus 35:5, Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord:
whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord;
gold, and silver, and brass,
The Lord is looking for someone who has a willing heart to do His will.
It is from a willing heart that God accepts the offering and pledge, or tithe.
The Lord wanted His house built up by a people who were WILLING to bring their offerings to Him.
Offerings with no strings attached, offerings with no "this for that" understandings.
Offerings given out of love for God and His work from a willingness of heart.
Moses did not push or cajole or threaten or intimidate or menace for God desired that His house be built from offerings that came from a willing heart.
The fourth exacting requirement necessary for the building of the Sanctuary of the Lord is that it be built by the wisdom of God.
Exodus 36:1,2,4,8, Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise
hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to
work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that
the Lord had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every
wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one
whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: ÖÖÖÖÖÖ And all the
wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from
his work which they made;ÖÖÖÖÖÖ..And every wise hearted man among them
that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen,
and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.
It is important to understand that even though Moses was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, he depended on the wisdom of God alone for the building of God's Sanctuary for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
The Temple was later built by the wisdom of God through Solomon (1 Kings 3:12-13).
And likewise the Church will only be built by the wisdom of God:
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, For we are laborers
together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder,
I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take
heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than
that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
God put in Bezaleel and Aholiab wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary.
This wisdom and understanding was of the Spirit of God for they did all the work according to all that the Lord had commanded.
The equipping and enabling of the Holy Spirit upon men built the Tabernacle.
The body of Christ, the Church must also be built accordingly.
We are now living the Dispensation of the Grace of God where His Spirit indwells the believer.
More than ever before it is necessary for God's people to yield to and be dependent upon the help of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:1-13 and Galatians 5:16-26).
This is the way in which God accomplishes His work among men.
And the sixth exacting requirement necessary for the building of the Sanctuary of the Lord is that it be built by the divine pattern.
Hebrews 8:5, Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.
A study of Exodus 39 and 40 reveals that 17 times we are told that Moses built the Tabernacle "as the Lord commanded Moses."
In addition, at least seven times in other places he is told to make all things according to God's pattern.
Nothing was left to the mind or imagination of man.
Everything was to be made according to God's pattern.
God will only bless and seal that which is done according to the standard of His Word.
What is the lesson here for us?
It is that the church must be built according to the pattern of God that is revealed in his word.
We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
As children of God we are to be careful in following Godís pattern as we build His house.
The church is not to be what man decides it to be but what God has decided it to be.
We are to be a people who freely give, a people stirred up about the building of Godís house, a people made willing, a people who build in the wisdom of God, and in the Spirit of God, building the house of God by the divine pattern of Godís word.