Unlocking the secrets and symbols God gave to ancient Israel
As Christians we follow Jesus. His life story is told in the New Testament of the Bible and we rightfully focus on those books. Sometimes though, our focus brings us away from the rest of the story – the Old Testament. We think, why do we need all of that Jewish history? Why do we need to know who conquered whom and how all the rituals worked that God required of the Jewish nation to show their loyalty to Him? The fact is, we NEED the Old Testament and we need it badly! This need is dramatically illustrated in the Tabernacle – the portable tent and furnishings the Jews carried with them during their 40-year wilderness experience. The story the Tabernacle tells is a breathtaking example of God’s care and His foresight.
It is probably hard to relate to Israel way back 3,600 years ago. They were miraculously delivered from the horrible slavery of Egypt and were now in the wilderness. They were brought to the land of Canaan, the land they had been promised but were too scared to take it. Even though God had assured them of victory, they shied away from the fight. As punishment, God sent them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. How would they survive? God would provide for them in many ways beyond their own imaginations.
The Tabernacle was a physical manifestation of God's presence
How would they know God was with them? How would they know God had not just left them there to die? Here is where their Tabernacle came into play. This Tabernacle was kind of like a Temple on wheels for worshipping God. Wherever and whenever they were to set up camp, this portable Temple was to be set up in the middle of all their tents and herds. One of the amazing details of this structure was that the people could literally see God’s presence. By day, there was a dark cloud that stayed over its holiest room, and it turned to a pillar of fire by night. What’s more amazing is they knew when they were to pull up camp and move because the cloud moved first!
There are multiple “why” questions that surface here. Why did they need this structure? The fact is, no one was even allowed in the two holy rooms except the priesthood. Why was this portable building so precisely constructed? Exact dimensions and details were given for every part of this building. There was lots of gold overlay work and beautifully embroidered linen coverings that could only be seen from the inside. Why did this building have such unusual furniture?
Check out our November 11, 2019 podcast, “Should Christians Care about the Jewish Tabernacle?” for answers. With our special guest, Tom Ruggirello, we look at the Tabernacle’s details, construction, measurements and building materials. What we find is treasure map of sorts that shows us God’s love care and requirements for His people, both Jewish and Christian. This Tabernacle is about YOU – find out its message!
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