Today’s Reading: Exodus 25-28
Today’s Reflection: Exodus 25:8
8) And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
Exodus chapters 25 to 30 outline in exquisite detail the instructions given to Israel in the creation of the Sanctuary, all of the implements within it, and the clothing and preparation to be given to the priests who would serve in it. The sanctuary served as the centre of spiritual life for Israel. The sacred feast days and assemblies and the holy sacrifices took place there. For many generations of Jews, it was quite literally the most holy place on earth.
But the people of Israel would become caught up in the objects—the lampstand, the priestly garments, the ark of the covenant, the tablets inscribed with the 10 Commandments themselves—and miss the key of what the Sanctuary meant. The Sanctuary was first and foremost a place for God to dwell with his people.
Ever since Adam and Eve’s sin, there had been a separation between God and man. Because mankind was sinful it wasn’t possible for man to come into His presence as Adam and Eve once had. We even see this when God warns Moses to tell Israel to stay away from Mount Sinai when His presence is there (Exodus 19:12) and when Israel themselves refuses to draw near when God’s fiery presence is at the mountain’s peak (Exodus 20:18-21).
But now that God has a people to call His own, and He has freed them from their bondage, His next consideration is to create a space where He can be close to them. This underscores the goal at the heart of what God is doing through the plan of salvation. Yes it is about overcoming sin and death, and yes it is about reforming and changing mankind’s behaviour to come into alignment with Godly principles, but all of this serves the ultimate purpose of restoring the broken relationship between God and mankind. More than anything God just wants to dwell with His people because He loves them.
While you’re serving God, returning tithes and offerings, singing in the choir, going to church, feeding the homeless, reading your bible, praying, asking for forgiveness from your sins, going to bible studies, and any of the other spiritual activities you’re involved in, don’t lose track of the simple fact that the point of all of these activities is to make you a sanctuary, a place for God to inhabit. Because God loves you and He wants to dwell with you.
1 Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?