When reading about the building of the tabernacle and ark, it is easy to get carried away with seeking symbolic meanings. Indeed, we can gain insight into the significance of the objects and their shapes by consulting other scriptural passages and searching through history. Very often, however, we just don’t know the meaning God has attached to particular objects. When God is silent, speculation can often lead us awry. It is better to appreciate the detailed workmanship and consider how these objects would have been used for worshiping God, something future readings will explain.
This tabernacle has an important connection to a few other building projects in scripture. First, the tabernacle is meant to hearken back to creation, as mentioned yesterday, it also looks forward to the construction of the great Jewish temple (2 Chronicles 3-5), which would be a stationary version of the tabernacle. Second, this tabernacle prepares us for the ultimate heavenly city that awaits us all (Revelation 21:9-27). The wandering tabernacle joins many buildings in scripture that reflect God’s ongoing desire to dwell with His people, but there is a superior tabernacle in the person of Jesus which ensures God’s presence with us forever (John 1:14-16). Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we are made fit habitations for God’s dwelling (1 Corinthians 3:16). When we look at its detail and importance, how can we be but amazed that God would ultimately see fit to dwell in us like He did this great tabernacle, which he calls Moses and the children of Israel to build? Let us worship the Holy One!