Exodus – God’s Way Out
Do we even remember what our church building looks like?
Have we been held hostage in our own homes so long that we’re not sure the color of the walls at our church building?Where is the worship center where we meet God together in praise? Is a special room, close to the entrance? What does that part of the church look like?
We get glimpses of the building on Facebook and other social media platforms when we watch the praise team and our pastor teach us each Sunday. But our memories are fading of the details of meeting God together in a particular building.
I wonder what is God teaching us in this present circumstance? When I hear people say, “I miss church”, what are we really missing?
As we read, try to imagine what God’s first dwelling place is going to look like in the middle of the wilderness. God’s people will follow His directions for building His place of meeting. No complaining by God’s people is mentioned here because they are too busy!
Exodus 26, The Message
26 1-6 “Make The Dwelling itself from ten panels of tapestry woven from fine twisted linen, blue and purple and scarlet material, with an angel-cherubim design. A skilled craftsman should do it. The panels of tapestry are each to be forty-six feet long and six feet wide. Join five of the panels together, and then the other five together. Make loops of blue along the edge of the outside panel of the first set and the same on the outside panel of the second set. Make fifty loops on each panel. Then make fifty gold clasps and join the tapestries together so that The Dwelling is one whole.
7-11 “Next make tapestries of goat hair for a tent that will cover The Dwelling. Make eleven panels of these tapestries. The length of each panel will be forty-five feet long and six feet wide. Join five of the panels together, and then the other six. Fold the sixth panel double at the front of the tent. Now make fifty loops along the edge of the end panel and fifty loops along the edge of the joining panel. Make fifty clasps of bronze and connect the clasps with the loops, bringing the tent together.
12-14 “Hang half of the overlap of the tapestry panels over the rear of The Dwelling. The eighteen inches of overlap on either side will cover the sides of the tent. Finally, make a covering for the tapestries of tanned rams’ skins dyed red and over that a covering of dolphin skins.
15-25 “Frame The Dwelling with planks of acacia wood, each section of frame fifteen feet long and two and one-quarter feet wide, with two pegs for securing them. Make all the frames identical: twenty frames for the south side with forty silver sockets to receive the two pegs from each of the twenty frames; the same construction on the north side of The Dwelling; for the rear of The Dwelling, which faces west, make six frames with two additional frames for the rear corners. Both of the two corner frames need to be double in thickness from top to bottom and fit into a single ring—eight frames altogether with sixteen sockets of silver, two under each frame.
26-30 “Now make crossbars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of The Dwelling, five for the other side, and five for the back side facing west. The center crossbar runs from end to end halfway up the frames. Cover the frames with a veneer of gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. And cover the crossbars with a veneer of gold. Then put The Dwelling together, following the design you were shown on the mountain.
31-35 “Make a curtain of blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. Have a design of angel-cherubim woven into it by a skilled craftsman. Fasten it with gold hooks to four posts of acacia wood covered with a veneer of gold, set on four silver bases. After hanging the curtain from the clasps, bring the Chest of The Testimony in behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Holy-of-Holies. Now place the Atonement-Cover lid on the Chest of The Testimony in the Holy-of-Holies. Place the Table and the Lampstand outside the curtain, the Lampstand on the south side of The Dwelling and the Table opposite it on the north side.
36-37 “Make a screen for the door of the tent. Weave it from blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. Frame the weaving with five poles of acacia wood covered with a veneer of gold and make gold hooks to hang the weaving. Cast five bronze bases for the poles.”
How good was your imagination? Did you picture the beauty of this movable tent Dwelling?
Why do you suppose God is so detailed in His design and pattern for His Dwelling place among His people?
This will take a lot of work by skilled craftsman to complete the Dwelling according to God’s design.
God’s plans for his residence among his people take into account a number of factors relating to our human condition. We need some tangible means of recognizing and celebrating God’s presence; we seem to need beauty and majesty; we need a sense of dignity and worth that genuine involvement in a great undertaking can bring; we need to feel that each one’s gifts and abilities have significance. God’s place needs to be set apart from everything else.
In wonderful ways the tabernacle and its equipment served these purposes while also providing a valuable teaching aid for the whole theology of salvation and in whom God now dwells.
Paul expresses that concept well to gathered believers in Ephesus, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13
God’s new plan is for us to be His Dwelling Place. We are to work together, each one doing their part, to build the Body, hands, feet, heart, breath, all living believers in Christ, with Christ DWELLING in us! We are the church in unity with Christ as the Head. We are not a building, we are His people. Our bodies, a living sacrifice, belong to Him. Our bodies are now where God, our Father, Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit come to dwell.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.” –Jesus (John 15:4)
God’s purpose in the Exodus deliverance is made explicit in 29:42-46: He brought them out so that he might dwell among them and be God among them. “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This is his same purpose in salvation from sin: the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
THE CURTAIN TO THE HOLY OF HOLIES
– Where God meets man on God’s terms
We will learn that this uniquely designed curtain divided God from man until the appointed and anointed priest offered a sacrifice for the sins of the people. NO ONE could enter the Holy of Holies but the priest. The priest would make requests to God for the people, ask for sins to be atoned and then get directions from God to be delivered back to God’s people. This was the system in a nutshell.
Jesus, our High Priest forever, our mediator and advocate for us, is God’s new plan. With Jesus Christ’s final breath on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin, the Curtain between God and His people in the Dwelling was ripped down the middle, torn in two pieces, making the entrance to God now possible and welcomed.
God is holy. God cannot be where sin dwells. When we repent our sin, believe that Jesus paid for our sin in full, we can now come right up to the throne of God, no curtain between us and God, and talk to Him. Wow!
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. Hebrews 4:14-16
God’s Holy spirit now DWELLS in us! We don’t have to wait for a special time and place to commune with God and BE with God! We are His Sanctuary. We are the body of Christ who can come boldly to God and talk to Him with whatever is on our minds. He already knows, so why not talk it out with Him?
God has a very specific design for us as his new dwelling for His Holy Spirit. Listen to Him for we are a work in progress.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Be still and know that I am God (says God)
Be still and know (listen to God)
Be still (let go)
Be (let God)
Dear Heavenly Father, Savior and Lord,
You are God and we are not. You provided a way for us to talk with you and for that we are eternally grateful! Your way has been made easy by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank you dear Jesus. You never leave those who love you heart, mind and soul. Your love never changes. You loved your people then and you love us now. Your methods to get our attention may change but your love and care for us never has and never will. Thank you. Continue to teach us.
In Jesus Name, Amen