Dear Bible student,
I’ve been so looking forward to this day when we start the study of the tabernacle together. The Old Testament tabernacle, and particularly the instructions on how to build the tabernacle, aren’t often my favorite passages of Scripture to study. They’re clunky and long, and they don’t seem to have immediate application in my 2018 day-to-day life.
So my temptation is to rush past them. To get to the “good stuff” in Exodus. After all, I think I know what to do with the golden calf narrative or the crossing the Jordan. But the tabernacle? Can it really be more than an ancient, albeit divine, set of desert blueprints?
Over the next six weeks, we are going to spend our time in God’s Word knee-deep in these blueprints. We are going to listen in as He speaks to Moses about the purpose and priority for His dwelling place, the intention behind His desire to dwell among His people, and even the reason the priests were to wear such elaborate clothes. And on every line, embedded in every single instruction God gives, we are going to hear a resounding theme: God’s presence is costly, and yet it is our salvation.
The tabernacle design was intended to do more than create a dwelling place for God among the nation of Israel. It was meant to point them generations forward to the One who would come and be God in their midst. The tent that hosted God’s desert presence was God “among us,” and it was always meant to foreshadow the Incarnate Immanuel, who would be “God with us.”
So here’s the encouragement I want to give you at the precipice of this study: intentional, daily Bible study is hard. It’s often less immediately rewarding than reading a devotional book, and it’s doesn’t always have daily application that makes us feel spiritually proficient. But day by day as you study God’s Word – as you lean into our coming word studies and cross references – you are forming in yourself a greater desire to know God for whom He has revealed Himself to be. You are teaching yourself to crave His character and Word. And, you’re creating space in your day and in your heart to long for the presence of God.
Which, after all, is what the tabernacle is all about.
You can kick this week’s study off by reading the Text we’ll be studying over the next six weeks: Exodus 24-30. Read it with diligence and watchfulness. Fix your eyes on the character of God, and close your time in prayer. We’ll dive in tomorrow.