The Tabernacle

Creating 'spaces' to experience the presence of God

What is Tabernacle

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Tabernacle is the most beautiful space on earth. It is beautiful for one reason & one reason alone. It is where the God of Israel is & He is beautiful.

In a world that crudely clamours & screams for our attention, loyalties & time, the Tabernacle is so opposite. It does not clamour or scream. It is not crude, abusive & tiring. It is simply inviting. Inviting us to ‘enter a whole new spiritual dimension, a climate so thick with the presence of God that it will affect our ability to stand, let alone walk. For God is restoring His manifest presence among us.’(Graham Cooke, A Divine Confrontation.)

It’s about HIM…

Before we go any further, one thing must be made clear. We are living in a new time. It’s a new century & we serve a God who is a creator by nature. Creation means to bring into reality something that does not yet exist, something previously unseen, unknown, original, and new. He IS doing a new thing.

The Prophet Isaiah spoke many centuries ago, what are now very famous words. ”But forget all that it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

The context of this statement comes in verse 21. ‘I have made Israel for Myself, and they will someday honour Me before the whole world.’ The new is about the honour of God.

What you are reading now is not about Tabernacle, it is about the God of the Tabernacle. It is about Him, His presence, His glory, His honour, His name, His majesty, His superiority, His goodness. All around the world God is calling His people, both His chosen people, Israel & the ‘branch’, His church back to Himself.

The Tabernacle is not about another new program, new ministry, new approach, or new work. It is not about the things of men. It is not even about men. It is simply about God & His presence manifest among us. This is the most important thing you can understand.

Tabernacle – God’s idea…

‘Tabernacle’ is from the Hebrew word ‘Mishkan’, meaning ‘the dwelling place or house’, it first appears in Exodus, the second book of the Torah, which are the first 5 books of the Old Testament. In Exodus 29 & 33 we get a glimpse of what the Tabernacle was.

Exodus 29: 42-43 “Offer it in the Lord’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance, where I will meet you and speak with you. I will meet the people of Israel there, and the Tabernacle will be sanctified by My glorious presence.”    

Exodus 33: 9-11 “As he (Moses) went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at the entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”

The Tabernacle was where the glorious presence of the Lord dwelt & where He spoke. It was a space where people were ushered into the presence of God, & where God’s heart & voice was heard. It was primarily for God, not people. They could come there to meet with Him but it was not about them, it was about Him.

Interestingly it was also a place where sacrifices were given to God as we read in Exodus 29 & 1 Chron 16:4. There were sacrifices, specific things that were set apart, surrendered & offered at the Tabernacle. This was part of the Tabernacle experience. It always has been & always will be. Sacrifice was the ‘ticket’ for entry.

What happens in the Tabernacle…

In the presence of the Lord we have seen people, including ourselves, often go to the ground, lying prostrate they fall to sleep. This, it seems is a common reaction to being in the presence of the Lord, finding rest in Him. Human beings doing nothing physically, nothing! In that moment, God begins to do something.

And this is the point! His Tabernacle, His space to do what He wants, when He wants, how He wants. It is not about us, not about what we can do or should do. It is about what He does.

What if we would simply “show up” and be before God, letting Him pour over us His affection, letting Him reveal our own hearts to ourselves, and as we do, finally learn to become familiar with God & His presence?

What did it really mean when Jesus cried out on the cross, ‘It is finished!’ What was finished? What had He completed?

Hebrews 5:7-10 tells us. “While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver Him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. So even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. In this way, God qualified Him as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him. And God designated Him to be a High Priest in the line of Melchizedek.”

Jesus finished for us what we could not. No amount of working, striving, straining could make us pleasing & clean of our rebellion in the sight of God. We were separated from Him, from His presence. No sacrifice offered was enough.

It took Jesus to do what we could not. Jesus did it, gave the sacrifice of a perfect life to cleanse the way for us to enter into relationship with God, to know & live in His presence. Jesus did it. Jesus completed it. The Book of Hebrews declared it; Jesus is now our high priest, our way to God.

Here we are back again at the point. The Tabernacle is about God & His presence manifest because of Jesus. We lift Jesus up, not another program, person, work or strategy.

Another thing that often happens in this place of His presence is something that seems to be an inherent, compulsive drive & need in human beings, worship. The Greek word for worship is ‘pronosis‘. It means ‘to kiss, to adore…’ It seems that if we don’t worship God, we will worship something else.

We are created to worship & what we behold/worship, we become. Worship is warfare. Worship is about our hearts & our hearts are about what we adore. To adore something, is to honor it.

This is the cry of God’s heart. Isaiah revealed this. ‘I have made Israel for Myself, and they will someday honour Me before the whole world. (43:21) God wants to be honored before the world. He wants to be adored, kissed, worshipped.

When we, fallen, broken human beings taste upon the goodness of God, worship flows as the natural response. We lift Jesus up & it becomes all about Him.

This is the Tabernacle experience.

The most beautiful thing on earth. Him.

Helen Goatley

*This text may only be used with full acknowledgement of this website & permission of the Author

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