A Sanctuary

Today’s Reading: Exodus 25-28

The reading for today shows the very detailed instructions that God gave Moses for building a meeting place for God and Israel, and the tools to be used in approaching God. There is significance in all the details but, at the most basic level, the precision and value that went into the tabernacle made a clear statement about who God is – holy, set apart, unique, “royal”.

A key verse for me was Ex. 25:8 – “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” What a statement! In other words, if you wanted to find God, you would go to the Israelites because that is where he lived. Interestingly, at the end of the Bible we see Christians described as God’s “tabernacle” – God has made his home in us and his plan is that we be the “meeting place” for others to find him.

The “ark of the Testimony (or witness)” was a key sign of the covenant agreement between God and Israel. (see picture of a model) Inside the box were the 2 stone tablets (Jennifer will like this – 2 copies of the covenant agreement – one for each party in the agreement!). The top, made of solid gold, was especially significant because, “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you” (Ex. 25:22). This is where Moses would go to hear from God; just imagine for a moment what this would have been like!

The basis of this relationship was the covenant between God and Israel. However, it is fascinating to note that the top was called the “atonement cover”. Atonement (which means to cover over a wrong) speaks of reconciliation – restoration of a relationship after it is broken. It was key that at the heart of the covenant was also a provision for Israel’s failure. God still works the same today!

See here for more pictures of how the tabernacle may have appeared.

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