Exodus: Going with God #14 - Going Where God Dwells
Text: Ex 25-27; 30:1-31:18; 35:1-40:38,
God, the creator of the universe is, as the Bible reveals Him, is infinite and omnipresent. He is without limit, and He is in all places at all times. And though God is infinite and omnipresent in our passage from Exodus today, God tells Moses, “Let the people of Israel make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell with them.” God who fills the universe and has no limit, confined Himself, for a time, to a tent in the middle of the desert so that He could live with his people, that His people might come to know Him.
The tabernacle is a paradox about God’s nature and also truth about God’s relationship to all His people. Knowing and understanding the lesson of the Tabernacle in the wilderness will help us to know and understand more of God and our relationship with Him through Jesus today.
J I Packer wrote a book about Knowing God in it he said, “Not many of us, I think, would ever naturally say that we have known God. The words imply a definiteness and matter-of-factness of experience to which most of us, if we are honest, have to admit that we are still strangers. We claim, perhaps, to have a testimony, and can rattle off our conversion story with the best of them; we say that we know God- this, after all, is what we are expected to say; but would it occur to us to say, without hesitation, and with reference to particular events in our personal history, that we have known God? I doubt it, for I suspect that with most of us our experience of God has never become so vivid as that.” - J.I. Packer “Knowing God” Packer goes on to show that the only way to know God is through His attributes, character and person as seen in His word. The study of the Tabernacle is part of the revelation of knowing Him.
Lets start in Exodus 25:1-9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
It is worth noting that God who could command the people to do whatever He wanted them to do, does not command them to give their offerings for the building of the Tabernacle. Instead, He makes it very clear to Moses, “that they bring me an offering of every man that gives it willingly with his heart.” The building of the Tabernacle, the place where God would dwell with man would only be built by those things that were freely given. The Hebrews had to be willing to give for God’s dwelling place in the wilderness and we must be willing to give ourselves in order to fully let God dwell in our hearts and lives.
The people would bring their offerings and God had Moses and his craftsmen collect those materials along with the pattern, the plan that God gave Moses and Tabernacle was built. That pattern we see in the Tabernacle was also a prophecy of the person of Jesus Christ and of His relationship and dwelling place with us today.
Let’s begin with the Outer Court.
Going Into the Outer Court: Salvation
Entering The Outer Court
All around the tabernacle was a courtyard that was formed by a wall of linen curtains hung upon columns and rods.
Exodus 27:9-10 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: 10 And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
Surrounding the tabernacle on all sides was a wall made of fine woven linen. It stood on posts made of shittim or acacia wood with bases of bronze and capitals of silver.
Now a cubit is roughly 18 inches or 1 1/2 feet in length. Keeping this in mind the tabernacle courtyard was 100 x 50 cubits or 150 x 75 ft.
There were 60 posts: 20 posts on the N & S, 10 on the E & W. 5 cubits (7.5 ft.) apart
Each post was made out of acacia wood, a hard desert wood that does not rot and that insects will not destroy. Eash post has a base made of bronze, a silver capital or cap on top and silver hooks just under the capital. Cords would be tied to these hooks and the post held in place by stakes on the inside and the outside of the wall. Along the tops of each post was a connecting rod made of silver which spaced the pillars and upon which the fabric that made up the wall was hung. 40 curtains total make up the wall.
Exodus 27:16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.
However, on the east side of the tabernacle was the gate, it was 20 cubits wide. All of its posts were made out of solid bronze. The fabric of the gate was also different than that of the rest of the wall. It was three different colored fabrics, embroidered together to make one cloth. The colors of the gate were blue, purple, scarlet. The gate was the only entrance into the courtyard, and it always faced east, the direction of the rising sun.
The Brazen Altar –
Exodus 27:1-8 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof. 5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. 6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. 7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it. 8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
As you approach the tabernacle armed guards stand with orders to kill anyone who tries to enter anywhere but the gate and any who do not have the proper sacrifice. They must come with a lamb, a dove or an ox in order to enter the court.
Standing at the entrance of the gate, imposing itself in the courtyard would be the Brazen Altar. The altar measured 5 x 5 x 3 cubits (7.5 ft. around by 4.5 ft high.) It was constructed out of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. It was a hollow box, with a solid bronze grate halfway up on the inside.
Upon this altar your sacrifices would be offered to God. This sacrifice must be without spot or blemish, a lamb, ox, or turtledove to be offered to God as an acknowledgment of sin or thanksgiving.
The offeror would bring his offering through the gate and then in the presence of the priest would lay his hands upon the animals head, signifying it as his offering for sin. Then the priest would take a knife and slit the throat of the innocent animal. The blood that would flow from the wound would be collected and put upon the horns of the altar.
The animal then would be cut into pieces and the pieces arranged upon the altar to be burnt.
Exodus 30:17-18 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein
This was a large bronze basin filled with water. There are no dimensions given for the laver, though it would be quite large and probably near a scale to the altar. The laver was used by the priests who would wash themselves before and as they served God inside the tabernacle.
Entering Our Spiritual Outer Court
The outer court of the Tabernacle can be applied to the first stage of our relationship with God, which is salvation.
Just as in the tabernacle there is a wall that separates us from God. That Spiritual Wall, the Bible tells us, is our sin.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
The Spiritual Gate:
In the OT there was only one way to enter the outer courtyard and that was through the gate. To try and enter any other way was sure death.
For us today there is only one way to enter into a relationship with God. John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…”
The Spiritual Altar:
At the Brazen Altar the Hebrews would offer a perfect lamb to offer for their sins. Jesus is God’s perfect, sinless lamb God offered in sacrifice for our sins.
John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
The Spiritual Laver:
There was cleansing at the Bronze Laver and in Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from our sin and iniquity.
1 John 1:7 … the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
For God dwell with us, to make his abode with as as the Gospels say, we must enter through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life. We must accept the lamb of God as our sacrifice for sin and we must have our sin cleansed by His shed blood.
And that is why we sing. -
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Refrain - Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
The song, and the salvation it sings of, is a paradox. Salvation by grace through faith based solely upon what Jesus has done and not what we can do makes no sense to the world, but by God’s design and plan, it is the only way of salvation. Just as God had only one way to build His dwelling place in the Wilderness, there is only one way to salvation and God dwelling in us.
We have entered the Outer Court through Jesus Christ now let us go into the Holy Place.
Going Into The Holy Place - Sanctification
Entering The Holy Place
There are three articles of furniture in the Holy Place and only the priests of God were allowed to enter into the Holy Place.
These pieces of furniture and almost everything in the Tabernacle are representations of the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Every object, the material they are built of, even the people who served there all show us Jesus as our God, King, and Priest.
We can spend a year just drawing out those pictures and symbols but for the sake of time let’s look at the major aspects of the Holy Place.
The Table of Shewbread
Exodus 25:25-30 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.
The table of shewbread was gold covered and measured 3 feet long by 1 1/2 feet wide by 2' 3" high. Along the edge of the tabletop were two rims, the top one designed as a crown. Upon the table would be placed in two rows 12 loaves of bread. The bread represented the 12 tribes of Israel and they were to be place in the presence of God from one Sabbath until the next. At the time the old bread was removed and the fresh loaves placed on the table. Upon each row of bread frankincense was to be placed probably in one of the golden vessels which were used in the carrying and handling of the bread and incense. The frankincense was burnt upon the altar of incense when the bread was changed. The twelve loaves representing the tribes of Israel were to be in the presence of God at all times within the Holy Room.
The Golden Lampstand
Exodus 25:31-34 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
If we looked directly across the room from the table of shewbread to the south side of the Holy Room we would see the golden lampstand. The lampstand stood 2 ft 6 in high, 3ft 6 in wide and weighed 94 pounds. It was beaten into the shape of almond branches from a single piece of solid gold. There was a central stem with 6 branches growing out from the center. At the end of each branch there was a gold cup in the shape of an almond. This cup held the oil which was made from freshly pressed olives. The oil was to be supplied directly from the people and was to be fresh and from the first pressing of the olive.
The lampstand illuminated the Holy Place. To the nation of Israel it was a reminder that God would lead them and guide them through the darkness of the wilderness.
The Altar of Incense
Exodus 30:1-8 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. 2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. 3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
This altar was 1 1/2 feet square and 3 feet high. It had a rim all around the top edge and at each corner there was a horn. The altar was placed directly in front of the veil which separated the Holy Room from the Most Holy Room or the Holiest of Holies. The fire for the altar of incense had to come from coals taken off the Brazen Altar in the courtyard. The incense which was burned here was restricted to only here. Nowhere else in all the camp of Israel could it be burned. The Bible says the odor of the incense filled the tabernacle area and was "well pleasing to God."
On the High Day of Atonement, Yom Kippor, blood from the sacrifice was placed upon the horns of the altar of incense by the priest on His way into the Most Holy Place.
Entering Our Spiritual Holy Place: Sanctification
In the Tabernacle only the priest could enter into the Holy Place, but after salvation the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (unique) people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
We are called as royal priests into our spiritual Holy Place and we serve in the illumination of His marvellous light. We can see that in the three articles of furniture can be applied to our sanctification, our growth in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the Table of Showbread or Presence Bread represents the promise of Jesus Christ to be with us always.
John 14:16-18 I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
The Lampstand: The Promise of His Word
Just as the oil provided light to the tabernacle so also knowing Jesus more and more through scripture gives light in Him for the dark place my life. By knowing more of Him, we know who we are, what we are doing here and where we are going one day.
We can only know Him and have the light of His countenance through His Word.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Do you really want to grow in your relationship with God then look to the light found in the lamp of His Word.
In The Altar of Incense Is the Promise of Prayer
We grow and are progress in our sanctification through the power and promise of prayer. It is our time spent before the throne of God in prayer that we experience some of the most intimate time with Christ. In that intimate time, we find grow in Him.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
How sad it would be for a Christian to only know the Outer Court, to only know salvation. As one of my Bible college professors once said, “Salvation is the most important thing in the world, until you are saved and then it is the least important.” – Raleigh Campbell.
Once you are saved your eternity is settled, but sanctification is what settles your life on earth by growing daily in Christ, through His presence, prayer and the promises of His Word. So grow in the Lord. As the last thing Peter wrote in his last epistle, in 2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
Well what else can the Tabernacle teach us of our relationship with God? In the Tabernacle there were three distinct areas, and so there is one area left to us. Let us enter the most Holy Place, the Holiest of Holies.
Going Into The Most Holy
Entering The Most Holy Place
The Veil of the Tabernacle
Exodus 26:31-33 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
Just beyond the Altar of Incense a veil hung in the tabernacle. The veil stretched from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. It contained the same colors as the gate and the curtain that marked the entrance to the Holy Place. The color, scarlet which points to Jesus’ shed blood. Blue speaks of His coming from Heaven. Purple shows us His majesty, His right to be King.
Woven into the fabric of the veil would be intricate, cunning embroidery of cherubim. Angels much like those which stood at the entrance of the Garden of Eden to prevent entrance back into the Garden.
The Most Holy Place measured 15' by 15' by 15'. It was overlaid with the coverings we studied in lesson one and the pillars which made up its walls were fastened together with rings and rods to form a solid wall. These pillars were covered with solid gold overlaying acacia wood. Entering into the Most Holy Place would be like walking into a room with walls of gold and a ceiling of angels. The tabernacle and later the temple were representations of heaven, and the throne room of God. The Most Holy Room represent the throne room of God in Heaven. Gold show His deity and the angels show His praise.
Exodus 25:10-22 10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. …. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, ...
The Ark of the Covenant stood in the center of the Most Holy Place. It was the most important article in all the tabernacle. It measured 2 1/2 cubits long, 1 1/2 cubits wide and deep. It was a box constructed from acacia wood overlaid inside and outside with pure gold. Along the top edge of the ark a crown would go around the box forming a raised rim. A gold ring was fastened to each corner of the ark and a gold overlaid pole would be inserted there for carrying the ark. On top of the ark the mercy seat was placed. This would be the exact dimensions to form a lid upon the top of the ark. It was constructed of solid and the two cherubim, one on each end, knelt on top of the mercy seat. They faced each other with their wings spreading up and over the mercy seat itself. Inside the ark, God instructed Moses to place three items, the ten commandments, Aaron's rod and a pot of manna.
Leviticus 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail:
In addition to the things that stayed inside the Most Holy Place, there was an article that entered into the room with the priest. This was a censor used to carry live coals from the Brazen Altar into the Most Holy Place. The high priest would pour finely ground incense upon the coals in the censer to was to obscure the presence of God with the smoke from the incense. Aaron, on the Day of Atonement, would sprinkle the blood from the slain lamb upon the mercy seat.
Entering Our Spiritual Most Holy Place
If I can apply these things found in the Most Holy Place to my walk with God, then I will believe we will more fully know Him. A knowledge that is ever growing, every fulfilling, ever new each day but never can it be exhausted.
God’s Person - The Ark of the covenant is a symbol of who God is.
In the Ark of the Covenant God told Moses to place the tablets of stone that contained the Ten Commandments of God toward His people. They were a revelation of God's attributes and character. Through the Ten Commandments they would know their God.
If I am to ever walk closely with God, I must know Him deeply and intimately. Yes, part of that knowledge comes through the law, or the names of God, but it is only fully revealed in the grace and love that can only be found in God the Son. To know God I must know Jesus, deeply, daily and devotedly.
This was Paul's desire expressed in Philippians 3:8-10 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
God's providence was symbolized in the ark by the pot of manna given to the Hebrews. But His greatest act of providence was the grace given through Jesus Christ. Jesus himself tells us that the manna was a symbol of Himself. He was the true bread of life.
John 6:32-33 … my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
When we know and trust in God’s complete provision, we can some to the full assurance Paul had in Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 -- I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Aaron's rod was also kept inside the Ark. This rod was a proof that Aaron and his sons were the family through which God would establish His priests. The rod was an undeniable token of God's will for Aaron to be the mediator of the tabernacle sacrifices.
In the full assurance of a Most Holy Room Christian there is the sure knowledge that we cannot ever be lost as a child of God, because our High Priest ever lives to intercede for us. Jesus is our High Priest, he is our mediator of the New Covenant who made us epistles written in the heart.
Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man (Jesus Christ), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
This understanding is vital for it brings us to a total confidence in our salvation through Him. I am His because He will his love is ever interceding, His grace is ever sufficient, and His word is ever true.
You cannot come into the Most Holy Place remembering what took place there once a year on the Day of Atonement. On that day, the High Priest would enter with the censor and the blood and as the smoke of the incense filled the room he would sprinkle blood upon the mercy seat that sat atop the ark of the Covenant.
This is the vivid picture of Jesus pouring out His own life's blood upon the cross before God, that we might receive His righteousness and be reconciled to God. A forgiveness which by its very nature is so powerful and so complete that it can never be repeated.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
A Most Holy Place Christian knows that grace, forgiveness and mercy did not end at the cross. They know that forgiveness is a daily, moment by moment event of turning from sin and self and to the one who shed His blood for us. The Christian, at this level of relationship with God, yearns to dwell with "clean hands and a pure conscience" in the presence of God's holiness, therefore he humbly and constantly seeks forgiveness.
The most outstanding characteristic of the Most Holy Place was the presence of God which dwelt above the mercy seat and between the cherubim. It was God's presence in the room that made it the Most Holy Place. By Him it was a place of reverence, a place of power and a place of wonder in the majesty of the most high God.
Most Holy Place Christians come to a place in their lives where they truly grasp the reality of the presence of God in their lives. This is not a mystical experience, a second blessing or ecstatic vision, instead it is the clear and powerful reality of God's presence in our hearts, lives and the circumstance of our lives.
Isaiah, who saw the glory of God in the temple said this in Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Jesus who was God in the flesh made this promise to the disciple and to us. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
I think David reflects this kind of understanding of God in his life in Psalms 139
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest
my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down,and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Conclusion: Where are you dwelling with God this morning?
Do you stand in the outer court?
Praise the Lord you are saved and cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus! You will never lose that wonderful gift of grace. But there is so much more to living with God.
Set your steps toward the Holy Place, open that veil and find Jesus as your light, your constant friend and find the power of prayer.
And finally have as your goal on this earth to dwell in the Most Holy Place. Know God intimately, know His provision, know His assurance, know His unfailing forgiveness daily, and know His presence and peace in all aspects of your life. Don’t wait for Heaven to fully know God. He has revealed Himself to us today and we should long to experience Him more and more everyday that we live.
Finally, let me ask if there are any here who stand outside the walls of the tabernacle? Any who have not gone in by the gate, any who have not made Christ their sacrifice for sin? I pray that you see you are separated from God by sin. There is a wall, a gulf that you cannot cross. But you can enter in through Jesus. Take the first step and you will find the gate of God’s grace open wide.
“There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and on for ever.” - J.I. Packer