I’m a little behind in my Observations in Genesis posts but that’s OK. In my current reading and studying of God’s Word, I’m almost finished Numbers and I completed the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. I sense a deep need to focus more attention on the Old Testament and that is what I am doing. It’s almost like I’m drawn to the Old Testament like a magnet. It’s where I am supposed to be. As I have indicated previously, I’m doing my study very slowly, it seems painstakingly slow at times but this also is the way that it is supposed to be. I continue to be amazed at the things that God makes me aware of. His faithfulness, how He’s always there, His patience and His ways.
Of course, that is not all that is going on in my wife’s and my life. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you’re not aware of. And all of us have our own behind the scene occurrences, where God is dealing with you and teaching you things that the rest of us are not aware of. God is continually teaching all of us different lessons, how to depend on Him, how to interact with others, how to draw near to Him and how to allow Him to give us His strength, when we’ve reached the end of our own.
I’m going to share just one of the things that God showed me recently. It’s just one of those “little things” that I never saw or understood before like I do now.
You recall how in the Old Testament how after the Tabernacle was completed and dedicated, a pillar of cloud would be present during the day over the actual Tabernacle within the Tabernacle compound or court, and how a pillar of fire would be present by night. As long as Israel was stationary, it never varied, 24/7, day after day.
God’s presence was always visible.
Of course you had to actually look at it to see it.
If you went in your tent or you had your back to it or you were away a good distance from the Tabernacle itself, you wouldn’t actually see it. There were the three major festivals each year where you had to be in the immediate area of the Tabernacle and of course you could approach the Tabernacle any time you wanted with various offerings and sacrifices. The important thing to be aware of is that He was and is always present for his children, even when you can’t see Him.
Today, right now, one of the most difficult things for a Christian to deal with is the sometimes perceived silence and absence of God. A lot of us would like to be like Moses who spoke face to face with God. A lot of us would like to be able to speak face to face with Jesus. Wouldn’t that make things so much easier!
You’ll notice of course that if God restricted Himself to one geographical area and we weren’t in that geographical area, a lot of us would be in the hurt locker. There were a lot of people living in Rome when Jesus ministered in Judea. They never got to see Him. Jesus didn’t go to Rome. That’s one of the problems one has to deal with when you’re dealing with a truth or reality that transcends physical geographical boundaries, three spatial dimensions and time. When Jesus told the disciples that He would be crucified and die, rise again from the dead in three days, appear to His disciples again and then go to the Father, Jesus said this was a good thing and there’s a reason for that.
The Tabernacle was a picture of spiritual realities. God is a spirit. Normally God doesn’t walk around in flesh and bones. We, who are God’s creation however, presently do. But we’re not just flesh and bones, we also have a spirit, a conscientiousness of being that transcends the material flesh and bones. That’s because we’re created in His image.
That spirit of conscientiousness of being is designed by our Creator to be in union with our Creator. It’s similar to why birds fly or fish swim, it’s just the way that it is. But what is it that happens when you deny this spiritual reality, when you say that flesh and bones is all that there is, when you say there is no spiritual reality? What happens is that this conscientiousness of being, that you deny, looks only to what you can see. This conscientiousness of being within us reasons that, that’s it, that’s all there is.
Jesus came in the flesh to prove to us, that He was and is, the personification of God our Father. Jesus is one with the Father, He spoke the words of the Father and fulfilled the will of the Father. Actually Jesus said that He did nothing of Himself but only did and said that which the Father directed Him to say and do. Jesus said He who has seen me has seen the Father. Jesus is not the Father but He represents the Father. Jesus is our heavenly Father’s picture to us of himself. And most importantly, God’s Holy Spirit fully dwells within Jesus. So here we have the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You won’t find the word “Trinity” in the Bible but the reality of the Trinity is there.
I could have provided the links to all of the statements that I just made about what Jesus said but I not going to. If you don’t believe what I’ve indicated, do a search of the New Testament, you’ll find them.
What I am going to do is give you one reference and one reference alone. The reason for this is simple. This truth is the key to all of God’s spiritual realities.
Hebrews 11:6 NIV ” And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
You can’t go and physically see the real Tabernacle anymore. It’s gone. Not to mention that the Tabernacle was part of a progressive revelation that unfolds throughout the Bible. You also can’t go and physically see Jesus in the flesh anymore, He’s gone to be with the Father in Heaven, where God dwells
But, the truths that both the Tabernacle and Jesus represented are still valid. The Tabernacle pointed to God and His spiritual reality, and His dealings with His people. Jesus pointed to the Father’s spiritual reality and His own, and the reality of God’s Holy Spirit and our own spirit.
God is still continually with all that believe in Him, who have faith in Him, who trust in Him. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, month by month and year by year.
I lied. Here’s one more verse from Hebrews 11:1 NIV “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
So no, I don’t see with my physical eyes, although I long to. Not because I don’t believe but because I long to behold His beauty and glory. And no, I don’t always hear His voice or feel His presence. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe, it just means that sometimes I’ve looked away or lost sight of Him from my own perspective. But, He’s still there, He always has been and He always will be there. That’s one of the spiritual truths of the Tabernacle.
You’ll notice that I included the word “grace” in the title of this post. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the grace that God has shown me. The depth of His love, the patience He displays, the wisdom and mercy of His ways. That is a gift that He has allowed me to see and it is one of the most beautiful realities that exists.
All this from looking at the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. Who would have thought.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!