Bible Order: Deuteronomy 16–19
Chronological Order: Numbers 14–15
New Testament Only: Mark 7:31–8:10
The Tent Of Meeting
Of late we have read a good deal about the Tabernacle. That place of worship has been referred to in several different ways. In yesterday’s reading it was referred to as the “Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 8:19). Moses went into the Tabernacle to meet with God. When you entered the Tabernacle you entered “the Holy Place”. At the back of the Tabernacle hung the veil which separated “the Holy Place” from “the Most Holy Place”. Behind this veil sat the Ark of the Covenant. On top of the Ark sat a couple of Cherubim and between their wings rested “the Mercy Seat”. It was from this seat that God would speak with Moses.
You see, the Tabernacle was indeed a place of meeting. It was a place where God met man. Later, only the High Priest could go behind the Veil and stand before the Mercy Seat, and then only on certain occasions. The veil separated God from man. We needed someone to go before God on our behalf. As Jesus said His last earthly words upon the cross, “it is finished”, the breath of life left Him – a debt was paid. At the same moment, in Solomon’s temple, the veil was torn from top to bottom. This was significant.
The veil didn’t rip from bottom up – from man to God. It ripped from God down to man. God made a way for us to go directly to Him. In that moment the tabernacle became the heart of every human being who submitted their life to Christ. No longer was a temple or a tent of meeting required. If you have accepted Christ the tent of meeting is within your own heart. How often do you meet with Him there? Are you like the High Priests of old only coming before God once a year? What a tragedy that would be.
Back in the Garden of Eden, God had created a perfect place for man. It was a place with no disease, no hunger, no poverty, no war, no death. It was a place where God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. Can you imagine that – walking with God through a perfect garden, listening to the Creator as He opened the mysteries of the universe to you? Wow!
The story of the Bible is the story of God’s plan of redemption. He created a plan to bring each of those He calls His own back to right relationship with Him; to a place where we once again walk with Him in His garden. The story of the Bible is about man’s eventual return to Eden. The journey back to right relationship with God, to Eden, is a long, slow, and treacherous trip. We tire often. We make wrong turns. We sometimes want to quit. What gives me strength to carry on is the knowledge that God has not abandoned me to my own efforts and devises; He goes with me on the journey. He meets with me in my heart whenever I take the time to do so. He gives me strength and courage as I wander in the desert of my own making. He continuously guides me out of that desert and back to Eden.
The real question is, how often do you meet with God? You cannot claim that He is too far away or too busy. He is imminently close and available. I think we fail to meet with God on a regular basis because we still struggle with the original sin – the desire to be our own God. I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t ask a question unless you are willing to hear the answer. What if God asks something of us we are not prepared to do? What if He wants us to stop doing something we enjoy doing? Better not to ask the question right? Better not to meet with Him and run the risk of actually having to submit!
Wrong! Submission to Christ is the only thing worth doing. If you aren’t meeting with God in your “tent of meeting” on a regular basis you need to ask yourself why. Is it because you still want to be in charge? Is it because you don’t want Him to convict you of the changes you need to make in your life? Brothers, you only hurt yourself when you take a pass on meeting with God. You are taking a pass on what Jesus died to give you. Are you avoiding the tent of meeting? I hope not brother. I hope not.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 3/2/11)