It was impossible not to notice the repeated refrain: He made the ...... as the Lord had commanded Moses. And then, when the work was complete exactly as the Lord had commanded, Moses set everything up, again ..... as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses was faithful to make sure that everything was done precisely as God had commanded.
The tabernacle shows us the holiness of God. Yes, God's presence dwelt in the temple, but the people could not approach the sanctuary, the priests could not enter the Most Holy Place, and only the High Priest could do so only once a year. As Rayburn said... Yahweh was near, to be sure, but there was no familiarity with him on Israel’s part. He was still, to some very significant degree, the Deus Absconditus, the hidden God...In fact, when all was done as it should have been done and the Tabernacle was assembled, the glory of the Lord descended upon it and filled it and even Moses the Lord’s faithful servant could not enter the sanctuary because of the glory of the Lord. But, though they could not enter physically, they could in their imagination, because they knew exactly how the tabernacle was constructed and what was in it.
It is also clear that God can only be approached through sacrifice. Our sins need to be covered by the shedding of substitute blood. Jesus, of course, is the ultimate fulfillment of the sacrifice to which all the animals sacrifices pointed. He alone, can redeem us from sin and death. The barbarism of the slaughter of these animals helps us realize that we cannot belittle our sin or make light of the sacrifice it took to provide us with forgiveness.
The message of God’s glory, of the tabernacle full of God’s glory, of the altar and the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place, is that God’s presence may be known in one way and one way only. The message here, in all the symbolism of this house of worship and of the worship that was offered to God in it, is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through him. There is no presence of God without redemption, there is no fellowship with a present God without a life of obedience to him. And there can be no obedience to him except the obedience of his covenant. Men cannot invent their own laws, obey them, and expect Yahweh to be pleased.....God’s presence is found in one redemption and one redeemer, and in one covenant and one way of life.
How incredible it would have been to see God's glory fill the tabernacle!
What struck me in our James passage was how powerful prayer is, and that I need to be more purposeful about praying for those around me. Also, the very ending of the book, and the reminder that we need to help hold our fellow believers accountable, helping to restore those who have fallen. Yes, our relationship with Jesus is a personal one, but we need to be mindful of our corporate relationship with Him as well, and to consider the needs of others, not just ourselves.
Tomorrow we move on to Job and 1 Corinthians!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 1-2; 1 Corinthians 1