I did let you know that my precious mother-in-law spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia and then passed away. (She was a true saint and really ready to be with Jesus at 94). The day after the funeral, I came down with what the doctors called “the crud.” (Not the flu, just the crud). Please forgive the delay.
But I’m back and I’ll try to make a hurried catch up on comments.
Exodus 25-31 and 36-40
Sometimes when reading the Old Testament, the details seem laborious. We may think that all the intricate design and specificity is unnecessary.
Well, when we begin to dig beneath the surface, we realize that the detail only makes it more powerful. God was the author of the Bible, as He breathed His words through men. And only God could have orchestrated such poignant symbolism to give us the pictures of the truths He wanted to show us.
When reading about the details of the temple and all of its implements, we could spend days discovering the truths He was showing us. I want to show one big one.
If we look at the tabernacle, we can see ourselves.
What a strange thing, but it is true. Now as new believers, we are the temples of God. He has come to reside in us, just as He did His tabernacle of old.
So how can we see ourselves?
There are three parts to the tabernacle: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. We have three parts: body, soul, and spirit.
Just as the outer court is the fenced in area outside of the tent – the part which touches the world, so is our body the part of us that touches the world around us.
The Holy Place represents the soul of man. The Holy Place is where there is much spiritual activity with many priests performing rites. In our lives, the Holy Place is where we read the Word to learn and grow. We interact with other believers, we attend church, and we listen to teaching.
But the best part of all is the Holy of Holies. This is the place where only the high priest could go once a year – until Jesus paid the price and the curtain was ripped from top to bottom. That moment signified that the time for the new birth had come. Peoples’ spirits could come alive to God again.
So the Holy of Holies is your spirit. The Bible also refers to this as the “hidden man of the heart.” Or the “secret place.” It’s the place in you where you truly commune with God. As busy and as raucous as our lives get sometimes, it’s hard to hear God’s voice. But it’s there. God’s voice is in our inner man, speaking to our born again spirits.
The implements in the three parts of the tabernacle give us some clues also. The Outer Court has the Bronze Laver and the Brazen Altar. These are where the priests wash their hands and then make sacrifices – representing accepting Jesus and being baptized.
It’s interesting that this occurs outside the main tent. If you look around, you will find many people who call themselves Christians, but show little fruit. If they didn’t tell you they were, you wouldn’t know for sure. They may be considered carnal Christians.
The Holy Place represents a deeper experience. There is the Table of Showbread, signifying taking of communion and commitment. Then there is the Lampstand, which burns continually, demonstrating the presence of the Holy Spirit. This more committed experience shows those who truly want God’s best. They are walking at a level beyond the casual Christian.
Yet there is an experience even beyond this, represented by the Holy of Holies. That is a life truly given to God. It’s the Galatians 2:20 Christian. (It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me).
Before entering, there is the Altar of Incense, which represents prayers of the saints – of total commitment. Then as they enter, there is the Mercy Seat (God’s total mercy towards us) and His presence in the Ark of the Covenant. We truly hear Him speak to us – and us to Him. He corrects us and loves on us. He gives us a security the world can never know.
One more thing. The light (signifying what we see,) is different in each place. In the outer court the light is the natural light of the sun. If we live from there, we will see the same way all people do. If the culture is moving in a certain direction, we think that must be right – even if it isn’t.
In the Holy Place, the light is from the candlestick. In that arena, we get glimmers of God’s plan and purpose. We begin to see more from Him and less from the world.
In the Holy of Holies, there is no light from the sun or from burning oil, the light is from the Glory of God. Wow! In that place, we see as He sees. He shows us secrets that he doesn’t just tell everybody. We are “one with Him,” just as Jesus promises.
God is calling those who are willing truly to be His. He has great things for us, but we have to be the ones to reach for them.
I’ll try to catch up a little more tomorrow . We should be back on track soon.