Read: Exodus 40:1–38; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
The Tabernacle that God had Moses build communicates the character of God. First, the Tabernacle means that God wants to dwell with his people. God didn’t just want to lead his people at night with a pillar of fire or a pillar of cloud during the day but wanted to have a house, a dwelling place, in the midst of his people. He was the God that brought them out of Egypt and he didn’t just want to be a distant savior but he wanted to be a present and available savior. However, there is another character trait that the Tabernacle communicates, God is particular. There was a particular way the Tabernacle needed to be set up, there was a particular path and ritual that needed to be accomplished in order to fully access God.
As we consider the second passage for this week, from 1 Corinthians, God, through Jesus, has done away with the need for the physical tabernacle. Just as he has always shown, God wants to be with his people, he wants to dwell in and among his creation and he could not get more intimate than dwelling within us himself. He didn’t come to earth in Jesus to simply take in his handiwork of salvation at a distance, he desires to be closer than ever. However, God’s other character trait of particularity? Well, it is still a character trait of God. God desires to dwell within us as his temples but there is a particular way we are instructed to live in order to fully experience the power of God within us. There is a particular path to take through Jesus in order for us to become the temple of God. This particularity does not mean that God loves us less, wants to be with us less, or means we need to transform our lives before He dwells in our lives. What it does mean is that we must have humility, accepting the sacrifice of Jesus over our lives, and submit in obedience to the path and life that God desires for us, which is the ultimate good for our lives.
- What is one thing that stood out to you from this week’s passage?
- What do you think the historical significance was for the Hebrews that their God wanted to dwell among them?
- How do you feel about God’s character traits of desiring dwelling with us but also the particularity of that dwelling? What emotions does that create in you?
- This is not conveyed in the text but we could imagine, it could have been nerve racking and fearful for Moses to setup the Tabernacle just right. On the other hand he could have been eager and mindful because of honor and reverence for God. Now think about the 1 Cor passage of us being God’s temple. How would it change our relationship with God if we ‘setup’ our lives to dwell with God out of fear rather than out of eagerness and honor?
- Can you think of a time in your live that you felt God call you to do something particular that resulted in you feeling closer to God?
- What is a practical way that God can dwell in your life on a daily basis? What kind of impact do you think that would have in your life?