Scripture reading for October 30th: John 1-2
John was the youngest disciple and along with James was one of the “sons of thunder” brothers. These brothers were in the inner circle of disciples and John was the one resting his head on Jesus’ chest in the famous picture of the Last Supper. John was also the disciple Jesus asked from the cross to take care of His mother. (John 19:26-27) The theme of his Gospel is “Jesus, the Son of God” and John goes back to Genesis as he begins his account.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
John started with a revelation of the Son of God! He was and is the eternal Word! He was with God in the beginning! The beginning spoken of by John was the beginning of created things, not time, for God is from everlasting. By speaking His powerful Word in faith He created the visible world and heavens. When we think of how vast and huge these creations are, we are humbled by the power of that Word!
But at the right time, this Word became flesh and dwelt among His people! The word for “dwelt” is the same word used to describe the pitching of a tent. God dwelt with His people when Israel was in the desert after Mt. Sinai. Moses was given instructions to build a special tent and furniture as a place for God to dwell in the midst of His people. This tent was called a “tabernacle”. God’s presence marked His people as separate and blessed above all others on the earth. No enemy could defeat them as they marched with Him, no sickness could attack, and even clothes and shoes did not wear out! (Nehemiah 9:19-21)
Jesus Christ came to His own people, but they did not receive Him! (John 1:11-12) But to those who did receive Him, Jesus gave the power to become children of God! They would be “born again” and become “living tabernacles” of God’s presence! Why not invite Him to pitch His tent in you?
Scripture reading for January 28th: Exodus 25-27
God gave Moses specific instructions as to how His tabernacle was to be constructed. He told him numbers, lengths, weights and the type of materials for each part. God left nothing to chance when it came to His first dwelling with His people on earth. It was a mobile dwelling because God was moving with the Israelites and leading them as they journeyed. Four times in our reading today God re-emphasized the need to make everything after the pattern shown on the mountain. (Exodus 25:9,40; 26:30; 27:9) (He knew that men need clear instructions–they won’t ask!)
God’s dwelling place was a special representation of heavenly reality. The ark was a chest of acacia wood about 4 feet long, coated with pure gold. Two gold cherubim were to be beaten out for each end. God’s glory would reside between these cherubim. The box was to have two rings on each side where poles of acacia wood would be used to transport it. It was to be carried by priests who were consecrated for this job. The tablets of Testimony, the ten commands, were to be placed inside of this box. Later a jar of manna was placed there as well as Aaron’s rod that had budded and sprouted in God’s presence. (Hebrews 9:1-5)
The ark of the Covenant reminds believers today of Jesus Christ, God dwelling with us. John 1:14-15 tells us that Jesus came and “pitched his tent” (tabernacled) among us. We beheld His glory! Jesus kept the law of God, the tablets of Testimony. He was the only man who has ever lived who fully obeyed the Law and was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15-16) He was the living bread (manna) come down from heaven, that if any man eat of this bread, he would never die! (John 6:47-50) He was the one chosen by God to have all authority in heaven and on earth! (Aaron’s rod!) (Matthew 28:18) He was worshiped by angels at his birth, and now is in the presence of holy angels in heaven. (Revelation 4:12) This awesome object lesson opens our understanding of heavenly reality! Thank God for this ancient object lesson!
Scripture reading for January 28th: Exodus 25-27
How would your life be different if you knew that God lived with you in a special tent? This is what the Israelites experienced for many years after Mt. Sinai. Moses was given specific instructions while he was on the mountain with God during the two forty day periods. These instructions included the ten commandments as the foundation of holiness for God’s people and then the practical explanation of how these ten words worked out in their everyday life. (Exodus 20:3-17) In order for God to be in their midst, they must be holy. Holiness is all about love flowing in our lives.
The Lord commanded the Israelites to bring Him an offering from the plunder of Egypt. (Exodus 25:2-7) A true test of our love coming from our heart is to follow the money that we give and spend. This offering was to be given willingly and cheerfully, not out of compulsion. (2nd Corinthians 9:7) The offering was then to be used to build a sanctuary for the Lord so that He might dwell with them on their journey. God gave them the exact pattern for this special sanctuary called the tabernacle.
The tabernacle was really an elaborate tent that contained a special box called the ark of the covenant. The ark was to be made of special wood, covered with pure gold. It’s lid was call the atonement cover and it was to be specially made from one sheet of beaten gold and contained two cherubim, one on each end. The cherubim were angelic figures with wings outstretched over the cover. This box contained the ten commandments given to Moses by the Lord. (Exodus 25:17-21) God told Moses that He would meet with him there, on the atonement cover between the angelic cherubim.
As we think about this amazing process, Jesus Christ comes to our mind. He came to God’s people 1500 years later and pitched His tent in their midst! (John 1:14) His humble body was completely obedient to God’s law and he willingly gave Himself as the offering to build God’s true house! It is through Him that all mankind can now meet with God in the true tabernacle in heaven, where the real cherubim surround the throne crying “Holy, Holy, Holy!” It is through Him that we each become a dwelling place for God’s glory during our stay here on earth! Praise the Lord!