One of the central themes of the bible is about God wanting to ‘dwell’ with His people. We were made for relationship with Him. That is our design and our purpose and we will never be truly fulfilled until we discover this.
We see how God seeks relationship with those He has created throughout the pages of the bible, from Genesis to Revelation. In the early days at the beginning of the bible this relationship was developed with individuals such as; Adam, Abraham and Enoch, but this was only a temporary measure until He could develop a relationship with many people. The Jewish nation was never the end game but only a progression until He could gather a people from every tribe and nation.
At the point we have reached in Exodus, God makes it clear that He wants to be with His people;
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. (Exodus 25:8)
He then goes on to give details about how He wants this tabernacle to be measured and what it will contain. We see in every aspect of this design how Jesus is ‘shadowed’ and we will look at these in greater detail over the coming weeks.
The tabernacle became a nomad like God’s people and was set up and packed away wherever they went. This demonstrated God’s closeness to His people, He was there in the centre. He dwelt in a tent just as they dwelt in tents. This was all a shadow of what was to come when Jesus took on flesh and came to dwell with those He had created.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)
The word ‘dwelt’ there could just as easily be interpreted ‘tabernacled’. Jesus came to tabernacle among us.
Another name for the tabernacle was ‘The tent of testimony’ (Numbers 9:15). It testified of all that was to come.
The tabernacle was set out, under God’s instruction, to allow a sinful people to approach him. It had priests and sacrifices and interestingly only one door. This is significant when you consider that Jesus stated “I am the door” in John 10:7. There is no other way to approach God except through Him.
This is the fantastic news that God has made a way, through Jesus, to dwell with His people. Through this amazing transformation that Jesus paid for on the cross, our bodies have now become temples of the Holy Spirit and we can have God living with us and inside us every moment of the day
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Paul writing to the Ephesians, gives just some of the many blessings of Jesus dwelling with us
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Just wow!! That is worth meditating on. why not take a few moments to let that fully sink in.
This all points to the culmination of history when we will dwell with God forever
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:3)