February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“So all the work on the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses. . . . Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.”—Exodus 39:32–43 (NIV)
Becoming a homeowner has stretched me in new ways. From installing a smart thermostat and light fixtures, assembling tons of furniture, redoing the entire back patio, to do-it-yourself bathroom updates, it’s been a season of new experiences. And the reward for our efforts? We get to live in and enjoy this house that is truly our home!
In today’s passage, the Israelites finished constructing every element of the tabernacle, the “tent of meeting,” and brought it to Moses to inspect. And they did everything just as the Lord commanded. They didn’t freelance, improvise, or revise; they simply obeyed all of the Lord’s instruction. And the result of their obedience was this beautiful place where the presence of God would reside with them!
So, when they brought everything they had completed before Moses to inspect, he was pleased to see they had followed the Lord’s instructions. So, he blessed their work. Here’s what theologian Joseph Benson had to say regarding their work: “He not only praised them, but prayed for them: he blessed them as one having authority. We read not of any wages Moses paid them for their work, but his blessing he gave them. For though ordinarily the laborer be worthy of his hire, yet in this case, they wrought for themselves. The honor and comfort of God’s tabernacle among them would be recompense enough . . . they neither needed wages, nor had any reason to expect any. But indeed this blessing, in the name of the Lord, was wages enough for all their work.”
The presence of the Lord dwelling among them was their reward! There’s no greater reward, treasure, blessing, or gift humanity can possibly hope to enjoy than to have God dwell with us.
Friends, may I share something amazing with you? The tabernacle was an emblem of the Lord Jesus. In the same way the Lord dwelt in the tent among His people, Colossians 2:9 (NIV) says, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” But not only that, because of the atoning work of Christ on the cross to rescue and redeem us, Colossians 2:10 (NIV) declares, “In Christ you have been brought to fullness.”
The tabernacle was then also a symbol of every person who is in Christ. In the spirit of every true Christ follower, the Father dwells and rules as the object of all worship and the author of every blessing. But in this case, we didn’t do the work—He did!
Christ did all the work on our behalf. He was perfect in His obedience to the work the Father gave Him. He conquered sin and death and made a way for us to dwell with the Lord forever. And when we receive Him as Lord, Peter says we become “like living stones . . . being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5 ESV). By His blood, the Lord makes our heart His home, dwells with us, and we get to enjoy the results of His work every day and live in relationship with Him!
Pause: What does this passage teach us about Scripture and the way the Lord wove all of history to bring us to the cross of Jesus?
Practice: What other symbols and appearances of Jesus do we see in the Old Testament? Spend some time this week researching the various instances in which the Lord foreshadowed the coming of Jesus and the work of Jesus throughout the Old Testament.
Pray: Father, I thank You for the work of Jesus. I thank You that because of what Jesus accomplished, because of what Jesus did for me, on my behalf, for the forgiveness of my sins, I get to enjoy the greatest reward, the greatest treasure anyone could ever enjoy: a relationship with You; Your indwelling presence walking with me and living with me all the days of my life. I thank You that Your Son has gone to prepare a place for me in heaven, made me a citizen of heaven, and written my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life! I pray that today and every day, I may walk in faith, confidence, and joy because You are with me, and that You may use me, Your temple, to draw others into Your presence. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.