• Great sermon on the tabernacle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHP9dwOZK9c
• Good article on the tabernacle: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/what-does-the-tabernacle-symbolize/
This is a helpful video series from RightNow media on the tabernacle: God in Wild Places. https://app.rightnowmedia.org/content/details/347932
We get to a point in the book of Exodus where it is not just instruction on how to live together but now we see a visualization of how God dwells with His people.
Everything we build is intended to communicate how we are to live. How we are to engage. How something is designed, how a room is set up will communicate how it is you are supposed to interact.
• Paying attention here shows us what God finds to be important. What He wants us to know.
• And here ultimately is what He wants us to know about the Tabernacle:
Exodus 25:8 ESV
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
• We are going to take two weeks to look at the tabernacle. There is so much going on that I wanted to walk through the different pieces and instructions. Because it all comes down to God dwelling with HIs people.
God Designs Everything to Dwell With His People.
God’s Holiness is shown in the Design.
• Holiness is assumed.
• What the tabernacle is doing is showing us that God is holy. It shows us the character of God. It shows us how we are supposed to act before a Holy God.
• This is a good reminder. Because God as we will see will choose to dwell with us. He will choose to come close to us.
• The tabernacle reminds us what kind of God we are dealing with. That God is kind and good but Holy. That His character is larger and greater than we can comprehend. That to look at Him is too much.
Exodus 25:10–16 ESV
“They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give you.
• The Ark of the Covenant is a representation of God’s holiness. It is the place where God meets with the priests. But it is behind the holy of holies and is not something you can just enter into. We will see that while we always need to understand God’s holiness, it creates a kind of separation. By knowing that God is holy we see that we are not.
• The Design of the tabernacle reminds us that God is what we are not. That He is more powerful and more merciful and greater than we could know.
God’s Creation is Shown in the Design
• goes back to the garden to show us where relationship was central
Exodus 25:31–33 ESV
“You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand.
• This lampstand, which represents the light of God over the days of creation, reminds us of the garden.
Genesis 1:3–5 ESV
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
• All throughout this description we see items that remind us of the garden.
• We are reminded that God brings for life even when it feels like there is still winter.
• “The Lord spoke/said” to Moses.
• Over the course of this description, we hear the phrase the Lord spoke or said to Moses 7 times. This is an echo to the creation narrative. We are, as we read this, as good design will do, remind us of God’s life where we cannot yet see it.
• We see in this design that there is no place that God does not reach. HE is creator, and He is glory Himself. The tabernacle is a picture of a life that is filled with the goodness of God.
• God wants us to know that He is the creator of a very good world. He wants us to know His connection with creation. That creation itself bears the imprint of the creator. And that we, as His creation, bear His image.
• How is God reminding you of His good Creation? How is He pouring out His goodness and His glory in our lives?
There are complications in the design
• separation is assumed in the tabernacle.
• Good design is always pointing something out
• The design of the tabernacle points to a problem. One that leaves us desiring a solution. We see it in the veil
Exodus 26:31–34 ESV
“And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim skillfully worked into it. And you shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on four bases of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place.
• The veil separates the very center of the camp, the holy of holies, from everything else. It is not very accessible. But on purpose.
• It is an inconvenient veil.
• The tabernacle is perfect design. We see God’s creation. We see His holiness. Next week we will see how He connects with us. But we are pointed to a problem that needs solving.
• Christ solves it once and for all in His death and resurrection
Matthew 27:50–51 ESV
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
• That curtain is the same veil that the tabernacle talks about.
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Whatever design we are living that points to a problem also points to a solution. If you can see past the problem you can’t see past, Christ is the solution. He offers a way through. He offers peace. He offers strength.