There are 3 seemingly tedius and long chapters in the Old Testament that I have read over countless times: Exodus 25-27. Exodus is an action packed, miracle-filled book, up until the end…once God begins laying the foundation for these sheepishly, slave-minded people, I find myself dozing off in between verses. Why? Rebellion is my heart. Not that I’m just outright wanting to disobey God (although pre-salvation Lacey had no qualms about that) but as a church I think we have completely disregarded the Law and limited the Old Testament into being just that…old and irrelevant. But it’s really not old in regards to application and it’s constantly relelvant to anyone who would choose to listen to the whisper of God through the Old Testament’s “founding Father’s” message.
Exodus 25-27 is a word for word, measure for measure description of the intricate and specific requirements for the Tabernacle that God dwelled with the Israelites in. From the rich and exotic colors of the curtains, to the massive gold cherubim over the Ark of the covenant, this Tabernacle and everything in it is nothing short of incredible. Like I said before, I’ve read this time and time again. But this time, I was reading through this depiction of the Tabernacle while also building a sukkah (tabernacle or temporary dwelling) of my own for this 2017 Sukkot. It was no coincidence or of my own doing. I have been consecutively reading through the Bible over the past few weeks, and here I was on my next chapter reading this description of God’s Tabernacle on the perfect day at the perfect time.
Sukkot, feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering, is a Biblical Jewish festival commanded to the Israelites by God multiple times throughout the Bible. It is a seven day festival in which you are bringing in the harvest, a season of joy after all the labor. You build a shelter out doors, a ‘tabernacle’ for you, your family and God to dwell in- in rememberance of the miracles and great provision God had in store whilst freeing the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. A season reminding us that God is our ultimate provider and shelter. It is also believed that Jesus was actually born during Sukkot (for more info check out the links at the end of this blog). Sukkot is also a prophetic time in which all the nations will come up to worship Jesus after His return:
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”- (Zechariah 14:16 NKJV)
These Biblical Holy-days literally point to Jesus!!! The Bible is actually a complete living and active book! There aren’t two parts, but one whole story breathed by God and nourishing to all.
So, back to the Tabernacle! Why so much “seemingly tedious” detail? We can clearly see that this Tabernacle and all that went in it was worth a fortune. It was stunning! This giant Tabernacle was intended to house the King and all His glory. Few could go in to the Holy of Holies because the glory of God was just that intensely Holy. Now here’s something even more interesting..
“And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (dwelt) among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.”- (John 1:14 TLV)
Jesus is the Tabernacle. Those outrageously ornate and beautifully designed requirements for the Old Testament Tabernacle were all pointing towards the beautiful and perfect King Jesus-our living Tabernacle who brought the presence of God to every person. Now, with Jesus, even the sinners, the scoundrels, and the unclean can enter the presence of God. Jesus tore the veil so that anyone and everyone could enter into the Holy of Holies within the Tabernacle (Matthew 27:51). Not only that, but once we believe in Jesus as our Lord and our salvation the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us! We become the tabernacle: intricately and beautifully designed, housing the King of Kings. Everywhere we go, He is right there hanging out with us.
As I sit here in my sukkah, feeling the warm Texas breeze and listening to my two little ones giggling in the soft green grass, I am fully aware of the presence of God surrounding me and within me. He is completely covering me. I can’t escape His presence and I never want to. This season of joy is miraculous and divinely appointed. And I am so thankful to be able to experience life the way Jesus did.