Meanderings of a Minister

The Temple Can Still Inspire Praise
January 27, 2012, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Articles

As I was reading in the book of Exodus this morning, I was suddenly struck with an awesome feeling of gratefulness and awe.   Most of us do not spend much time in the middle to latter part of Exodus and no time in Deuteronomy or Leviticus for our devotions, but failing to do so can also cost us some precious moments of worship and praise.

As I read of the seven stranded candelabra, I was suddenly struck with a deep sense of appreciation.  When you consider the workings of the inside parts of the curtains that made up the holy place in the temple, you see the cherubim (angels) woven in gold throughout the cloth.  Combined with the fact that the cloth was made in deep, dark and rich colors, you begin to see the purpose of the lamps that would burn inside.  They would provide light.  That is a given, but they would also show forth the majesty and glory of the holy place and would create a dazzling display of light reflection and refraction that make this truly an awesome sight.

You and I, if you are in Christ, have that light living within us.  No longer do we need a lamp burning to light our dark hearts, lives or difficult situations.  We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us that not only provides the light to see and understand, but also to overwhelm us, at times, with the beauty and majesty of God.  We are night lights with an awesome light display going on right inside of us!  Amazing!

Next, there is the table of showbread.  This table was also covered in gold, so that the light of the lamps bounced off of it and highlighted its presence.  The bread was to represent God’s presence and provision.  The bread was to be made fresh each day and carefully laid out for each of the tribes.

You and I have the Bread of Life living in us, if you are in Christ.  That means that God is present with us each and every moment of each and every day.  We go through nothing that God is not with us.  We don’t have to change Him out and He never grows stale.  He sustains us and provides for us.  Jesus is not only the Bread of Life, but also the Spring of Living Water.  We have what we need, if all we have is Him.

There is also the altar of incense.  This was an altar covered in gold to reflect the lights of the lamps as well.  On it was placed a special formula of incense that was burned before God, while praying, so that God would be pleased with the aroma of the incense and would hear their prayers.  As we read of Zechariah in the story of John the Baptist, a priest would be appointed to represent the people to God and then come and tell the people what God had to say.

You and I, if you are in Christ, have a greater privilege yet.  We can go to God directly in prayer without the need of a mediator.  We can speak directly to God and our humble hearts approaching God in prayer is better than the incense.  We do not need a priest or anyone else to pray for us.  We have been called God’s children and we can crawl up into our Abba’s lap and talk directly to Him about our pains, plans, promises, problems and praises.  When we agree with Him about our sin, submit to Him our plans and praise Him for His presence, we are that pleasing aroma.

Lastly, there was, in the temple, a veil that separated the priest from God.  When Jesus died on the cross, that veil was torn in two, from top to bottom, to show it was God Who did so.  That was done so that you and I could understand that, upon our confession of Jesus as Lord and our turning from our sins to follow Him, we no longer need to stand off from God in terror, but can approach His throne with confidence, knowing that He hears us and that He cares.

Go back and read the way the tabernacle was built and you just might find yourself lost in wonder and appreciation as I was this morning.


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