A PORTABLE CATHEDRAL

WHEN GOD WAS OBVIOUS

PORTABLE CATHEDRAL
PORTABLE CATHEDRAL

AN UNLIKELY SIGHT IN THE DESERT (PORTABLE CATHEDRAL)

AND EVERYONE WHO WAS WILLING AND WHOSE HEART MOVED HIM CAME AND BROUGHT AN OFFERING TO THE LORD FOR THE WORK ON THE TENT OF MEETING (EXODUS 35:21)

THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO A WONDERFUL WORK OF ART WAS BUILT, AND THE LAST CHAPTERS OF EXODUS PROVIDE A WEALTH OF DETAILS ABOUT IT. IN A HOSTILE DESERT LANDSCAPE, A TRIBE OF JUST-LIBERATED SLAVES BUILT SOMETHING OF EXQUISITE BEAUTY: A PORTABLE CATHEDRAL, OR TABERNACLE. (PORTABLE CATHEDRAL)

GOD DIRECTED THE PROJECT PERSONALLY, SPECIALLY ENDOWING THE CRAFTSMEN WITH SKILL AND ELABORATING RIGHT DOWN TO THE COLOR CHOICE OF WOVEN YARNS, THE PRECISE LENGTH OF CURTAINS AND WOODEN FRAMES, AND THE DESIGN OF GOLD FILIGREE. THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL JOINED TOGETHER IN A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY, CAREFULLY FOLLOWING GOD’S PATTERN. A TON OF GOLD WENT INTO THE PROJECT, AS WELL AS NEARLY FOUR TONS OF SILVER AND STOCKPILES OF PRECIOUS GEMS AND RARE WOODS.

GOD MOVES IN (PORTABLE CATHEDRAL)

AFTER DESCRIBING THE TABERNACLE CONSTRUCTION IN GREAT DETAIL, THE BIBLE DEVOTES JUST FIVE VERSES, EXODUS, TO ITS CULMINATION. IN A MATTER-OF-FACT TONE, THOSE SENTENCES RECORD A REMARKABLE EVENT.

THROUGHOUT THE BOOK OF EXODUS GOD HAD BEEN PROGRESSIVELY REVEALING HIMSELF TO MOSES: ONCE IN A BURNING BUSH, ONCE IN A MYSTERIOUS APPEARANCE BESIDE A ROCK, ONCE ON A TREMBLING MOUNTAIN, AND OFTEN IN A CLOUD-COVERED TENT OF MEETING. GOD’S PRESENCE CAUSED SUCH FEAR AND AWE THAT THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL BEGGED THE HE NOT SPEAK TO THEM DIRECTLY. WHEN MOSES HAD COME DOWN FROM MOUNT SINAI AFTER MEETING WITH GOD, HE GLOWED AS IF RADIOACTIVE, AND EVERY ONE WAS TOO FRIGHTENED TO GO NEAR HIM.

YET, ON THE DAY THE TABERNACLE WAS COMPLETED, THIS SAME GOD MOVED IN. HIS GLORY FILLED THE NEW TABERNACLE. GOD TOOK UP RESIDENCE WITH HIS PEOPLE.

A VISIBLE REMINDER (PORTABLE CATHEDRAL)

FROM THEN ON, WHENEVER THE ISRAELITES MARCHED OR CAMPED, THEIR PORTABLE CATHEDRAL STAYED IN THE EXACT CENTER OF THE CAMP, WITH THEIR TENTS AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS RADIATING OUT FROM THE MOST HOLY PLACE AND ARK OF THE COVENANT. THE TABERNACLE GAVE THEM A VISIBLE REMINDER OF GOD’S CENTRAL PLACE. EACH DAY PRIESTS PERFORMED FUNCTIONS OF SACRIFICE AND WORSHIP THERE.

THE STORY OF TABERNACLE, WHICH TAKES UP ONE-THIRD OF EXODUS, REVEALS MUCH ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF GOD. HE CAN NEVER BE TAKE LIGHTLY—-THE RITUALS HERE AND IN THE NEXT THREE BOOKS.  A HOLY GOD IS SIMPLY TOO OVERWHELMING. EVEN MOSES, EXODUS SAYS, COULD NOT LOOK ON GOD’S FACE AND LIVE.

AND YET, AMAZINGLY, THAT SAME GOD WHO SEEMED SO DISTANT CAME NEAR. DESPITE THE HUGE GULF SEPARATING GOD AND HUMANITY—A GULF THAT ALL THE RULES ON HOLINESS AND PURIFICATION ONLY HINT AT—GOD ALLOWED PERSONAL ACCESS TO HIMSELF. HE MADE HIMSELF AVAILABLE. (PORTABLE CATHEDRAL)

AND YET, AMAZINGLY, THAT SAME GOD WHO SEEMED SO DISTANT CAME NEAR. . HE MADE HIMSELF AVAILABLE.

LIFE QUESTION

WHERE DOES GOD “LIVE” NOW?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQqT_zirQpJJewIeXcH-snQ?view_as=subscriber

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