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Month: August 2016

Seeing God’s Dwelling Place

Seeing God’s Dwelling Place

When I worked in manufacturing engineering, if I didn’t see the object in the blueprint the first time I looked at it, nine times out of ten, I had to see the finished product before I could finally see it on the blueprint. That’s just the way it was.  Well, it’s been that way for me with the Boards and Poles of the Tabernacle!  I just could not visualize it by reading the instructions God gave Moses.  I looked at various pictures and read it in every book and passage I could find that described it; but I have found it difficult to see how it all went together!

In my searching, though, I did find other interesting scriptures that makes it even more exciting to me! Noah and his family built an alter to God after they were saved from the flood.  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma..” Gensis 8:20 NIV

Do you remember the story of the twins, Esau and Jacob? You will find it in Genesis.  When Jacob had tricked Esau into giving away his birthright; Jacob fled the camp.  In Gensis 28:16-17: “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”  He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”  Then again: “Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.”  Gensis 35:6-7 NIV

Now Jacob had gone down to Egypt to be where Joseph had enough food for them.  A few hundred years passed and finally the people had to “Exodus” Egypt. It seems that God has always wanted to “dwell” with people and found the smell of oil and an offering pleasing! Here, finally, with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness is an actual place for Him to come and dwell with His people as they worship and adore Him! (Exodus 25:8-9)

It would be the first Tabernacle, but it wouldn’t be the last. King David wanted to build a Tabernacle, but instead God told him He would build a “house” for him. “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish His kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7: 11b-14 NIV  Of course, He was talking about Jesus; but David made a lot of preparation for a Temple to be built.  His son, King Samuel, would be the one to finish the first Tabernacle Temple in Jerusalem.

God then dwelt in the Temple on Mount  Zion in Jerusalem: “For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His dwelling, saying, “This is My resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.” Psalm 132:13-14  NIV However, due to the repeated sinfulness of Israel and her kings, God’s glory departed from the Temple and it was no longer His dwelling place.

But, God does not desert His people. He leaves this for them in Malachi 3: 17-18 On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be My treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

I hope to explain to you, Pilgrims, how that promise also includes you and me!  I hope you are interested enough to search the scriptures about the Temple!  It actually can be found in many places including Revelation!!

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The Top Coverings for the Tabernacle

The Top Coverings for the Tabernacle

The detailed instructions of the Tabernacle produced a place of strength and beauty. Each material, color and shape had significance and meaning.  When the Hebrew people came to worship the LORD, they were surrounded by symbols of His holiness and grace!  I believe it should be that way today when we gather in His House to worship, praise and adore Him!   Everything around us: the building, the rooms, the halls, the alter, the attitude of people, the music and words spoken….should still be “symbols of His holiness and grace”!!  I realize that each Christian is a tabernacle where the Holy Spirit dwells as we are told in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own.”  But, when we gather in His House (“and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6b) the strength and magnitude of the Holy Spirit that is there in His people should point to Christ’s Holiness even more!

The last two coverings of the Tabernacle of the Wilderness were significant, too. God just never does anything half way!  I love discovering just how important every little thing He does or speaks has meaning for us!  Over the Cherubim curtains and the Goats Hair covering was the Ram’s skin dyed red.Covering%20red

Ram’s skin is not red naturally, so it had to be dyed red. Red is representative of the blood shed by the sacrificial offering and by Christ for us and is shown throughout the fabrics. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter” Isaiah 53:7 HCSB

Even though it doesn’t give the exact measurements of the covering; it was big enough to “cover” the complete tabernacle, which is an indication how precious is the sacrifice of Jesus: This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28 NIV   Peter wrote specifically for the Jewish believers when he wrote:  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV

Very significantly, it was a ram that was caught in the bush that God provided to be sacrificed in place of Isaac (Genesis 22:8,13). We will see in Exodus 29, that God had rams sacrificed when Aaron and his sons were consecrated as priests to serve in the Tabernacle! The ram is the example of Jesus who was obedient to God, And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11

Tabernacle-model-and-courtyard-tb030807082-1The Outer Covering of badger or dolphin skin forms a thick, protective, weather-proof layer over the Tabernacle. This provides a barrier against the heat from the sun or wind-driven-sand-storms or rains, and protecting the treasures inside the Tabernacle! This outside covering made the Tabernacle look ordinary and unattractive. Because it was a dull outer covering, it would not cause any external viewer to pay any attention to it. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by mankind,” Isaiah 53:2b-3

Today there is a lot of emphasis on being fashionable and conscious of our image! It is not that way with Jesus. What He possesses is real and eternal.  The rough fishermen of Galilee who became His close disciples saw this and declared: “we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” 2 Peter 1:16; and The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

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Goats’ Hair Covering

Goats’ Hair Covering

goatThe Cherubim embroidered curtains covered the Holy Place and Most Holy Place forming the ceiling and sides.  But, very little of this magnificent tapestry was actually seen, as the Wooden Boards covered much of it from inside the Sanctuary.  The next Tabernacle covering was made out of goat hair and hid from view the brilliant colors of the  Cherubim curtains from the outside.  This weather-resistant material is still used today by many tent makers.

God’s pattern for the Goat Hair covering was very precise, too. Eleven curtains of woven Goat Hair were to be made 45’ long  x 6’ wide each.   Similar to the Cherubim curtains, 2 sets of curtains were joined together; however, one set was made with 5 curtains and the other set was made with 6 curtains.  Fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain of the first set and on the edge of the corresponding curtain of the second set were joined together with 50 bronze clasps.  This made it a complete single tent.  It covered the length of the Tabernacle and the extra curtain on the second set overlapped and folded as an entrance to the front facing the Open Court. (Exodus 26:7-13; 35:23; 36:14,15)

Goats were used by the Israelites in Leviticus 16 for their Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This was an important festival as they came together to be reconciled to God.  Two goats were selected by lottery, one was used for sacrifice and the other was sent out into the wilderness.  The blood of the sacrificed goat would be taken into the Most Holy Place by the High Priest as required by God to forgive the sin of the Israelite children.   The Law says that almost everything is made clean by blood. Sins are not forgiven unless blood is given.”  (Hebrew 9:22 NIV)   The High Priest would lay his hands on the head of the second goat and would confess all the sins of the Israelites.  Then it would be sent out into the wilderness, signifying that God would forget all their sins.  This is where you get the term “scapegoat”.

There is a wonderful truth that comes from the “scapegoat”. God wants to forgive us of our sins, but He also wants us to know that He does not remember those forgiven sins.  We are reconciled to God!.

But one goat without blemish must die and be sacrificed. This reminds us of the crucifixion of Jesus. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV )   So, just like it says in the New Covenant: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrew 8:12 NIV)  God can forgive us and no longer remember our sins since Jesus was the sacrifice for us!

The covering of Goats’ Hair signifies that, if we have entered into the Tabernacle, we are clothed with His righteousness!!

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