DAY 163 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAW
AND SO MOSES FINISHED THE WORK. THEN THE CLOUD COVERED THE TENT OF MEETING, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE.
Exodus 40: 33-34
Yesterday we explored how it was that Moses ended up with a new set of stone tablets from God. He also received instructions on how to build the tabernacle and prepare and consecrate the priests.
Now we pick up the story as Moses starts to construct the tabernacle, which is the picture of God’s presence amongst His people. Exodus ends with an explanation of how the Israelites camped around the tabernacle. The tabernacle was covered with the cloud of God’s glory, and when that cloud lifted, Israel would follow until it settled back down on the tabernacle. Then they would set up camp again. From this time on, God’s presence was at the centre of their existence - they followed Him step by step.
The Lord wanted to send them to their inheritance without His presence going with them. Moses appealed to God to go with His people and the people themselves mourned deeply. They had finally realised that without the presence of God, they would be no different from the nations around them. They had finally come to a place where they wanted to be a people whose God dwells amongst them. The tabernacle, and later the Temple, that stood at the centre of Jewish culture and religion, was a symbol of that.
When the Temple was destroyed the first time by the Babylonians, and then again, for the last time, by the Romans in 70AD, the people were struck to their very hearts.
But ultimately, God cannot be contained in a building. The Lord is interested in every detail of your life. Embrace His presence with you, every moment of every day.
Thank you, Lord, that you are Immanuel, God with us. You dwell amongst us. You don’t need a building; you have made my body the temple of your Holy Spirit.
For the family
While you are building the Tabernacle (see link below) with your children, explain that although God cannot be contained in a building, the Tabernacle was the place where the people corporately came to meet with God. The priests were responsible for taking care of all the things that made up the Tabernacle, and for offering the sacrifices brought by the people, and for teaching the people the Word of God.