God Dwelling among Us?
God, stir my heart with wonder at You—our God who would want to dwell with his people!
Read Exodus 25:1–22
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.
17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it mean to you that Jesus chose to leave the splendors or heaven to live with humankind?
Not only did God rescue Israel, but he also wanted to dwell with them! He gave them instructions on which materials to donate as they felt stirred (1–7), and then shifted focus to the Ark of the Covenant.
Can you imagine being given unique access privilege to the Ark of the Covenant—this gold-covered wooden box that pictured God’s heavenly throne? Surely you would be astonished that God would choose to dwell in a tent with his people. And perhaps you would feel fear since this is the God who gave the Law to the people—a Law nobody could keep. By God’s mercy, God’s Law does not have the final word against us. The Law was kept under the Mercy Seat, where blood would be sprinkled for the sins of the people.
Reading about the Tabernacle in Exodus points us forward to when God’s desire to dwell with us was fulfilled in Jesus, who “tabernacled” among us (John 1:14). Jesus is our Great High Priest whose perfect sacrifice cleanses us so that we now have full access to God’s throne (Heb. 9:11–14). And while we don’t see Jesus today, he dwells in us,
his new temple (Eph. 2:21,22).
Does being close to God stir fear in you because of your sin? Research some verses about God’s mercy and loving-kindness.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus and spend some time at God’s merciful throne. Tell God how you feel about his mercy.