The Tabernacle in the Wildereness – Introduction

Paul BurlesonThis message by Rev. Paul Burleson was delivered at a luncheon gathering at Trinity Baptist Church on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2007, and was taken from Exodus 25 and other passages.

Verse 8 of Exodus 25 is one of those pivotal verses in the Bible:

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8, KJV)

1. This was the first house on earth for God to dwell in. This is not some dry history. This is a divine “Show and Tell.” The tabernacle was a picture of every major doctrine later to be found in the New Testament, such as the doctrine of Blood Redemption, Confession of Sins, the Spirit-Filled Life, and Eternal Security.

In the first house that God dwelt in on earth, how would you know that he was home? Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1ff) saw three things:
1. The Throne = The Power of God
2. A Rainbow = The Promises of God
3. The Shekinah Glory = The Presence of God
The people of God used this house for 400 years. The Shekinah Glory of God shone by day and by night during the forty years while they were in the wilderness. Once established in the promise land God’s presence shone forth once a year, on the day of atonement.

2. Solomon built the second earthly house for God to dwell in, and here too he occupied it once a year, on the day of atonement. Because of great sin and continual rebellion against God, the glory finally departed as shown through Ezekiel’s prophecy. King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple. Even though the temple was rebuilt under King Zerubbabel (Herod’s Temple) God’s glory was never seen from the time between Malachi and Matthew.

3. When the shepherds witnessed the angels and the shining glory on that hillside, at the announcement of Jesus’ birth, the third house for God to live in had arrived: ”

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, KJV)

4. On the day of Penticost, when tongues of fire descended on the apostles, God came and dwelled in his fourth house, Christians. Our job is to glorify God, or show forth his glory through our lives.

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