Read the Podcast?
f you prefer to read rather than listen, you can read the podcast on my blog as an article. These posts are essentially the scripts I use to create the podcasts. Here’s a taste:
The first half of the book of Exodus is a narrative telling how God saved Israel from slavery in Egypt. Most of the second half of Exodus is centered on instructions from God on how to build a large tent, called the tabernacle, that the people would take with them as they traveled towards the promised land. The tabernacle would be their place of worship on the journey. Or, to put it another way, the tabernacle would be the place where God met with them. It was the place where heaven and earth touched.
These instructions for building the tabernacle are one place where people attempting to read straight through the Bible get stuck. Its not the most riveting stuff; its a lot of instructions on the size of poles and how to cut the curtains correctly. What I want to focus on are the two passages that bracket these instructions and that reveal the purpose of this tabernacle. First, in Exodus 25:8-9 God tells them why they are to make the tabernacle: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” The next fifteen chapters are tough to read, as they are filled with lots of details on how to build the tabernacle and all its accessories. Though, as a side note, right in the middle is the story of when the Israelites got tired of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain and they make a golden calf to worship. This reminds us that, like Abraham, the Israelites are a broken people. Nevertheless, God will dwell with them. At the end, after the tabernacle is complete, we read of God taking up residence within it: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34-35).
Think back to Genesis 1 for a moment. God is creating a cosmos in which he will dwell with humanity. God created humanity not out of necessity, but out of love , and thus God desires to live in relationship with people. Of course, as we learned above, this goal was derailed due to human sin and rebellion. God has been on a rescue mission since Genesis 12. Here, at the end of Exodus, we reach a high point in this rescue mission. The break between heaven and earth in Genesis has been healed in the tabernacle. Once again God is dwelling with humanity as was always the goal.
Read the rest here.