“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
Exodus 40:34-38 NKJV
“Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.”
Ezekiel 10:18-19 NKJV
God is for us, God is with us, God is in us. As my life proceeds to the point where I have decades behind me, and only mere years ahead, the concept of the tabernacle of God has become all the more real. In my early days in the faith, the thought that God had come to live in me, was far beyond my understanding. As my outer vessel has aged, I lean on the internal power within to make it through each day. This vessel that is my body will pass from mortality, to immortality glorified in the presence of the Lord.
With that increased understanding of God tabernacling with me, I have become more aware of His glory, by way of the presence of the Holy Spirit, guiding me each day. It is a battle to maintain a place for Him in me, as my flesh battles against Spirit, seeking to reign supreme.
This morning I finally finished wading through the building of the Tabernacle of Moses, with all its intricate details. As I read, my mind periodically paused on the exactitude of it all. I would consider the tabernacle that God occupied as He brought Heaven to earth, in the ministry ion Jesus Christ.
Instead of a tabernacle of wood, fine fabric, precious stones and precious metals, Jesus came to the world in fragile human flesh, of His design. Every cell, every organ, every part far more intricate than the most detailed section of the earthly Tabernacle.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
Psalms 139:13-17 NKJV
In Him was all glory, muted by humanity, that we be able to look upon Him and not die. By faith, He saved us, and upon that salvation, His Helper the Holy Spirit has come to live in us.
In the passage in Exodus 40, God so filled the temple that Moses could not enter. God was at home in the temple, and filling within and hover above. Because the children of Israel were a stiff necked people, they eventually fell into sin, and when it had become too much, the glory departed the temple. What came later was doom.
God has provided warnings to us in the form of types and shadows in the Old Testament. Israel is a type for the follower of Jesus. We can gain much wisdom in the story of the nation Israel, form their rise to their fall, to the their rebirth.
The born again follower of Jesus is given the Holy Spirit, and His presence can fill the temple, if one is surrendered. I remember my early time walking with the Lord. God was very strong in my life, as not was a life and death battle from the beginning, as I was filled with many strongholds, and impacted by gross sin.
The glory filled this temple, driving out the old man, leaving no room for him to operate. In the middle season, when I had been in the faith for awhile, I became complacent, and sins, previously conquered, came roaring back. God brought the correction of physical refinement through illness, to get my attention and draw me back to Him.
In the revival, His glory returned and filled the temple, and continues to even now.
Brothers and sisters, we are tabernacles where the Lord lives. Let us look upon ourselves as needful of holiness, that we be appropriate places for the King of Glory to reside.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
I Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV
We have great advantage over the Tabernacle of Moses built with hands, as the Lord will never leave us. However, we can blunt the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we fail to listen to the leadings in our lives. In our sin and disobedience, our conscience can become seared, not able to respond to the Lord.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
I Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV
Let us not let that glory become dimmed, as we are in a time when it is all hands on deck in the spreading of the Gospel.
We must be about the Father’s business. Let us be about the cleansing of the temple, confessing and repenting of sins that have ensnared us, yielding to the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit, that we be effective ambassadors for Jesus, who came to save us from our sins.
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