Exodus 27 & 28: the altar of burnt offering & the priestly garments
There is so much detail in the instructions… e.g. “Build an altar of acacia wood, 3 cubits high; it is to be square, 5 cubits long and 5 cubits wide. Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze. Make all its utensils of bronze… Make a courtyard… For the entrance of the courtyard… Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor… These are the garments… a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash… use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen… Make the ephod of gold… Fashion a breastpiece… For the breastpiece make… Make the robe of the ephod… Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. … Weave the tunic… make linen undergarments…”
He even instructed them in making underwear hahah!! Our God is in the details, forreal. It’s so crazy because he literally builds his house, his earthly dwelling. But it has to be perfect, like a glove. He orates everything to Moses that may be translated into this physical tabernacle. Why? Why does it have to be so perfect? Because we are so imperfect? Partly. To me, this screams out to me how much he wants to be with us. These are not instructions to separate us from his holiness. No, despite our lowliness he does everything he can to be as close to his people, to those he favors, loves.
But we all know… as he knew, that we do not live by the flesh; moderating our behaviors and works through these laws in the physical world is not enough to create a home for him, a place where his spirit freely flows. There is so much turbulence in that relationship during the time between the tabernacle is built and Jesus’s ministry. Even after building that house per divine instruction… it is not enough. Hallelujah.
Then Jesus comes. And with him, the divine instruction, the detailed uncontainable law of the spirit, of grace and of unfettered love. This new law builds for us the new tabernacle: heart. God speaks and it is done. I’m speechless… almost. Hahah. Is that crazy or crazy?
And behind it… the love. All this stuff, the design of the tabernacle, Jesus’ resurrection, the new law, they all mean jack crap by itself. Duh haha but I had to say it anyway. Why does he do this? Why such detail? Why such striving? Why such pain and darkness and sacrifice? I’m not gonna say it (even though I already did hahah). Deep within, we all know. That craving, that longing to be loved, wanted, desired… to be important to someone, to connect and to be alive. Where does it come from and why?
Gad. Or my gad.
We are the house. We are the tabernacle. God built and established this house completely. Our hearts are the perfect place for him. The place that welcomes him constantly, today, tomorrow and forever. The oil of the Tent of Meeting burns endlessly by not our fire, not our oil, but by his spirit. We are rendered useless save the working of the Holy Spirit, the proximity of his presence, the intensity of his gaze.
We welcome him. No longer does a physical construction provide the welcome mat. With our words and thoughts and desires and praise and constant spiritual (not just physical) worship, we usher in the presence of God into the depths of our souls to mingle with him in holy intimacy.
We are alive. So let’s breathe. Forget everything else. Let him show you what holiness is. Let him show you that righteousness, love unconditional, grace, hope, joy. When he enters the building, when he is given full reign and rein over his tabernacle, unhindered by our thought processes and mental knowledge and previous experiences… we will know. Do not doubt this… look how far he has come to reach us.
We are loved.
Time to study. Happy Monday.