Discipleship Minute: Wilderness 4

Read Exodus 40:1-15, 34-38.

In the end, fixtures and furniture may change, but a home is special because of the people that inhabit it. While Moses was on the mountain, God gave him instructions on building the tabernacle. This was to be a portable tent where God would dwell in the midst of His people. Yahweh gave Moses specific details about the structure and the furnishings that would go into the structure. Moses was also to take oil and anoint the tent and everything in it. Everything was to be set apart, which is the idea behind holy. But what about the men God called to be His priests? Earlier, God had told Moses to set apart Aaron and his sons for the priestly ministry. This was the same Aaron who fell to peer pressure and fashioned the golden calf for the people. In order for him to be able to do the priestly duty, Aaron would need to be forgiven, purified, and brought into a right standing before God. This was done and Aaron and his sons were symbolically washed with water and given a permanent ministry as God’s priests. With all the preparations made, the glory of the Lord descended on the tabernacle. God would dwell with His people throughout their journey to the Promised Land.

How would the people remain in a right relationship with God? The book of Leviticus gave the people regulations on how to make the sacrifices that would atone for their sins. However, this was only a temporary measure. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews reminds us that the tabernacle and the sacrifices offered there were only a copy of a heavenly reality (Heb. 8:5-6). The need for animal sacrifices has been superseded by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who has given us a better covenant through His shed blood on the cross. Instead of a tent as God’s home, now God dwells in our hearts.

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