Exodus 35-40, Psalm 29
As we go through the last 6 chapters of Exodus it's easy to skim and just gloss it over. We must remember that the tabernacle was where the people met with God in the wilderness. Because of this, the wilderness is a picture of our own journey in life, so we should ask ourselves how we choose to meet with God. Most people give God very little consideration. Many that do feel they are in themselves pretty good and therefore never embark on that personal relationship that is necessary. They would be likened to those people who chose to not even enter the courtyard of the tabernacle. They prefer to stay outside in the world.
If we choose to embark on a relationship with God, we must enter the courtyard of the tabernacle. The first item that you would see would be the bronze altar of burnt offering. It was large at 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 cubits (a cubit being around 18 inches). Bronze is the metal which signifies judgment. If we want a relationship we must come in a spirit of repentance and have a sacrifice offered for our sins. This was the place in the tabernacle where blood would be shed on behalf of the sinner. For us, this is the cross where Jesus paid the ultimate price. So, as we embark on our journey, the first thing necessary is salvation where Jesus paid the price. When we approach the bronze altar in the spirit of repentance we are justified.
The next item we encounter is the bronze laver, where the priests would wash themselves. In our Christian walk, have we been dirtied by our flesh, the world, by the sins that plague us daily? If we want to enjoy our relationship with God, we must be sanctified. This is a continuous, never-ending process where we confess our sins and experience God's forgiveness, renewal, revival, and refreshment. We get a beautiful picture of this in John 13:1-11, when Jesus washed the disciple's feet at the Last Supper. When Peter at first refused, Jesus told him in John 13:8, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." We read later in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Once justified and being sanctified, we can now enter the Holy Place and worship Him. There are three items in this room. The Golden Lampstand represents Christ as the Light of the World. If we are walking in that valley of darkness, then we should turn to this light. Jesus said in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." On the other side of the room we encounter the Table of Showbread. This represents Christ as the Bread of life. If our spiritual walk is a little anemic, we need to approach the Bread of Life to gain nourishment. Our daily bread is the Word of God. Jesus tells us in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The last item before entering the Most Holy Place is the Altar of Incense. Here we see Jesus as our Intercessor. We read of this in Romans 8:34, "It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Is our prayer life a little routine and forced, let us approach this altar of incense and pour our hearts out to the One who will always listen and truly enjoy the relationship available to us.
Having gone through our worship we approach the Most Holy Place. In the tabernacle this is separated from the Holy Place by a thick veil. When Jesus died on the cross, that veil tore from top to bottom, allowing us direct entry to the Mercy Seat. We can go directly to the Mercy Seat and receive the mercy and grace only He can offer us. Though the Holy of Holies is now in heaven today, and we can not enter horizontally, we have direct access vertically to Him through Jesus 24/7.
Perhaps,with this map in mind, our own lives can be just like Exodus 40:38, "For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." God in the cloud and the fire was at the center of their lives. May we all have that consciousness of God dwelling in us individually and corporately, so that He can be at the center of our lives.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: