Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Exodus 40 - The Glory of the LORD Fills the Temple

LINK: Exodus 40


BACKGROUND


The tabernacle was completed one year after the Exodus. The people arrived in Sinai three months later. Then, Moses was on Mount Sinai for the instructions. It is estimated that it took about 6 1/2 months (from mid-September to late March) to gather all the materials needed and to construct the tabernacle.

The Lord gave instructions to Moses about how to arrange everything in the tabernacle, consecrating it for holy use, and anointing Aaron and his sons for the priesthood. "Moses did; according to all the LORD had commanded him" (40:16). Then He "finished the work" (40:33). Did you know that the word "commanded" is used eighteen times in Exodus 39 and 40.

With the work on the tabernacle completed, the glory of God filled the tabernacle.

REFLECTION


"Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" (40:35).  In this cloud was the "Shekinah glory" of God (see also Exodus 24:16). This comes from the Hebrew word shawkan that means in the Qal tense "to settle down to abide." The presence of God had "settled down to abide" in the tabernacle. We will learn in 1 Samuel 4 that this abiding presence departed when the people and priests sinned against God. When Solomon dedicated the temple, this Shekinah glory came again to dwell (1 Kings 8:10-11), but their sins made it depart again (Ezekiel 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:23).

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, 
and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)

God's glory returned in the person of Jesus Christ. After His death and resurrection, that glory has come to dwell in the body of believers in Jesus Christ!  


Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 
For you have been bought with a price: 
therefore glorify God in your body. 
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Isn't that an awesome thought that God's Shekinah glory dwells in you?

APPLICATION


Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in You" (John 15:4).  He dwells in You, and He has asked you to abide in Him. His glory is already there in You. All you need to do is plug into it!  Talk to God about your willingness to abide in His presence. Make it your ambition in life to abide!

Here are downloadable links to writings by Frank C. Laubach, a man who tried to live in a moment-by-moment connection with God:

Letters by a Modern Mystic 

Game with Minutes

It is such a lovely book. As I was writing this, I realized that I had loaned my hard copy out about two months ago, and I just asked for it back because I love to refer to it on a regular basis! I gave it as a gift to a friend, and she is playing the "Game with Minutes" with her kids. It is a great book!

PRAYER

Thank You that Your glory dwells in us who believe in Jesus. I thank You for Your abiding presence that teaches us how to live to glorify You. Help us to listen to Your voice today. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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