Looking for the Roots

If you have ever read through your Bible, or at least tried, you most likely started to lose some momentum towards the end of the book of Exodus. This section of scripture includes two long and detailed descriptions of a mobile building called the Tabernacle. I want to give you some things to look for as you read, that will hopefully let you see these long sections with new eyes.

First, we must go back to the beginning, Genesis 2-3, where a Garden is planted in the land of Eden. This Garden was filled with fruit trees, spiritual beings, rivers, gold, and at its center a Tree of Life. This Tree was connected to God’s life-giving presence. Instead of living with God in the Garden, humanity chose their own way resulting in them leaving the Garden.

As humanity spiraled downward, God pursued them. God chose one family and dwelt among them. 

As God made His place with His chosen family of Israel, they were instructed to build a Tabernacle where they could be with God, much like in Eden. But it’s even more like Eden than you might think. Here are some things to look for as you read Exodus 25-31 and 35-40:

1 - Gold, found in the lands surrounding the Garden of Eden, is used for many of the items in the Tabernacle. It appears 48 times alone in Exodus 25-31.
2 - Cherubs, spiritual beings who protect the Garden of Eden, are included as a part of the centerpiece of the Tabernacle along with the design of the curtains. (Exodus 25:18-22, 25:26)
3 - Buds, petals, and branches are said to be the design of the lampstands used to light the Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:31-32)
4 - Olive Oil is used to light the lampstands. (Exodus 27:20)
5 - Pomegranate designs and precious stones are used in the clothing of the priests. (Exodus 28:31-35)

The final thing to notice was that God would enter the Tabernacle and settle in the center in a place called the Holy of Holies. Does this sound familiar? It should because we remember that God’s life-giving presence was also found in the center of the Garden of Eden!

This must have been what the gospel writer John was thinking when he said, “The Word, Jesus, became flesh and dwelt among us.” Our English Bibles translate the word dwelt to describe Jesus coming among us; however, the Greek word used means tabernacled! We see God, Jesus, and eventually the Holy Spirit tabernacle with their people.

Take time and meditate on how the Tabernacle both takes us back to the Garden of God’s presence and calls us forward into a New Garden. (Revelation 22:1-5)

By Lee Sharp

Lee and his wife, Tess, are members at our Armstrong Mill Campus. They have two children and another on the way! Their 3rd child might be here by the time you are reading this devotion! Lee and his wife both love board games, good movies, and, above all, Jesus.

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