As a Tabernacle of the living God, we should be a place of worship.
I want the people of Israel to build me a sacred residence where I can live among them.
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God told Moses to have the people gather materials and build the Tabernacle. It was to be a sanctuary, a sacred or holy place where the nation of Israel was to focus their worship of the Almighty God. And then God said that He would dwell among them. This literally means that God would live with them. In verse two of this chapter God told the Israelites that they could make an offering to Him. But it was conditional; they had to want to give it. It wasn’t required, and it wasn’t expected. God wanted them to give willingly from their hearts. The Tabernacle and everything in it was built from the willing giving of the people. We will see later in the reading that the people had to be told to stop giving because there were more than enough materials.
The Israelites were to build this tabernacle so that God would live among them. What an awesome thing; the Almighty Creator of the universe living in their midst. And this meant for the Israelites that God was right in their presence when they needed Him for leading, guiding, provision, protection, and strength.
The Tabernacle was to be a place where the people would come to hear from and learn about God through the priests. It was at the Tabernacle that they would receive cleansing of their sins. It was at the Tabernacle that the people would focus their attention on God; it was the center of their worship of God.
God still wants to build Tabernacles. God still desires to dwell with us. But instead of there being only one Tabernacle, God wants there to be millions of them. After Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit. As children of God, the Holy Spirit lives within us and we are the Tabernacle that He dwells in. And as a Tabernacle of the living God, we should be a place of worship.
God also wants to build Tabernacles within ministries and churches. Our ministries and churches must be places where God is dwelling, and people are worshipping Him. And we will know that is happening when the power of God is seen in the lives of the people. Are people being changed to be more like Christ? Are people being cleansed from their sins and unrighteousness? Are people being drawn to Jesus? Are people learning how to worship God?
The people gave to the building of the Tabernacle because of God’s presence and promise. Too many people believe that if they build a ministry or church that people will come. Invite God to come and build your ministry or church and then God will bring the people. Jesus, help us to invite you into the Tabernacle before we start building it.