We’re reading in Exodus this week at our church and coming to this section I was reminded of something President Reagan said about the space shuttle Challenger that blew up in the 1980’s. He included this line in his speech about the deceased astronauts that they’d “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.” This phrase expresses one of our deepest yearnings as people, namely, to have fellowship with the Lord Himself. To truly know Him and have security, peace, purpose.
In the twentieth six chapter of Exodus Moses details the pattern and purpose of the Tabernacle, that ancient structure for worship for the Jews. When you read the chapter it might seem like an unlikely place to have a close encounter with Christ because you find detailed info on setting up the large tent structure but it reveals more importantly the character of God and what’s needed for sinners (us) to actually meet with Him !
The Tabernacle was a “piece of heaven” on earth. God’s very presence was there and so too were the figures of the cherubims (God’s special angels guarding His throne). When the high priest entered and was around these he got a visual reminder of heaven. The Tabernacle reminds us God rules over all, it being a microcosm of the universe with heaven inside and not accessible to men as Israel encamped outside of it and most were never even allowed to enter within. Those cherubim also pictured this limited access, as we recall they kept men from re-entering Eden after man’s fall, so that in short the pattern of the Tabernacle teaches us God’s holiness ! Although, thankfully, there was still access, still a door in but only one by which a certain representative of the people could go in by carrying atoning blood as a sacrifice appeasing a holy God Who hates sin !
This brings us to the purpose. The same God Who designed the Tabernacle still rules and speaks to us today. And like Israel then, we too are separated by Him due to our sin (whether unsaved or backslidden the fellowship, power & peace we could enjoy is hampered). Sometimes God does seem distant to us, normally this is due to our own sin. So the Tabernacle’s purpose was to point us to Christ, the Sin-Bearer. John wrote this in Jn.1:14, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. . . ” That word dwelt means to tabernacle. God so desires to fellowship with you, strange as that may seem to us. When someone hurts us the last thing we want is to be buddy buddy with them ! Yet God is love and He longs to love you and receive it back. Is there something between you and Him today that is preventing sweet fellowship with Him? Why not confess it right now and enjoy His peace, His presence, His power !!