While reading about the making of the Tabernacle this week, I began to wonder what it would have been like to actually be making the curtains, the frames, the bronze clasps, gold lampstand or any other element. How much care would I have taken? How many do-overs would be required – stitches pulled out, clasps thrown back into the fire to begin again – before I finished something to God’s exact specifications and worthy of His dwelling place? I thought about the holiness – the hushed awe, the uniqueness – that would embody the acts of creating the elements of the Tabernacle.

I imagined women sitting together sewing “curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them” (Exodus 26:1). The room is filled with holy reverence because this curtain – THIS curtain – would surround the Most Holy God – the great and wonderful I AM. I imagined hammering pure gold to create the atonement cover and the cherubim that were to hover over it. What image was God giving them as they hammered out the faces on the cheribum?

Whether performing the delicate work of embroidery, the movements of controlled strength required to hammer the gold, or the hard physical work necessary for framing the Tabernacle, I imagined the expressions of the workers to be intent – intent on getting it just right, intent on the purpose for which their elements would be used. Often, when I am intently concentrating on something, others tell me that my expression looks stern, almost angry. I don’t imagine that the expressions of these workers would be so stern or angry. Rather, they would be so full of awe that it would shine through and even the most detailed or demanding task would not mar the holiness of their countenance.

Even before I had thought through all of this, God reminded me that I am His dwelling place.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I was challenged afresh by these thoughts in two ways:

To view my life as the dwelling place of God – to live always aware that the Spirit of God lives in me. God’s temple is sacred and I am that temple.

To view all the various circumstances in my life from the perspective of the Lord’s temple being built in me. In other words, some element of the Lord’s Tabernacle, His dwelling place is being created in me – I am being shaped, sewn, fired, hammered, etc., into the perfect element of the Tabernacle that God determined and designed me to be. As I imagined the act of creating the various elements of the Old Testament Tabernacle to be embodied with holiness – can my life be any different? God is creating me as one of the elements in His New Testament Tabernacle – the Church, and the whole process has an indwelling holiness. This is described in 1 Peter 2:

As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:4-5

When I don’t see this in my circumstances, I am simply being blind to it. As such, I am challenged to treat the circumstances in my life (especially the difficult circumstances) as holy moments – moments when I can work with the Almighty Builder/Transformer, to create the Tabernacle where He will dwell. How awesome is that?

Lord, fill my spirit with awe and wonder as I meet each circumstance this week, this month and this year. Help me to always remember that we are building Your dwelling place.

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