Welcome to Sanctuary Pathways
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
What does an ornate desert tent built nearly 1500 years before Jesus’ birth have to do with us today?
Was it just a historical item of interest only to the Jewish people? or was there something hidden in its services and even the way it was built, that can change our lives for good today?
Let’s go back for a moment and look at the experience of one of the priests:
The early morning sun warms your back as you walk across the open sands between your tent and the curtained gates into the tabernacle courtyard. The white linen curtains surrounding the courtyard and richly embroidered gate stand out in bright beauty against the desert landscape.
As you walk through the gates into the courtyard, the curtains drop softly behind you. With them, the family burdens you carried only moments before seem to drop away as well. Already an offering for the sins of the people is on the altar. Quietly you begin to preparing for the duties of the morning; it is your day to share the work of cleaning the Holy Place.
As you go through the ceremonial washing at the laver, thoughts of the cleansing it represents come to your mind. What would it be like to be truly clean before God? You were raised to understand that the familiar sacrifices and ceremonies point to the Messiah. When will He come? What will that be like?
You lift the curtain and step into the Holy Place, then stop. Quietness and peace envelopes you like you experience no place else on earth. The golden walls reflect the soft, flickering light of the candlesticks and mirror the furniture and your presence. You breathe deeply of the sweet, spicy fragrance of burning incense coming from the golden altar and saturating the room.
But it is the light…involuntarily you gasp as you gaze transfixed at the living, pulsating light that spills over the curtain from the Most Holy Place and dances on the intricately decorated furniture. How do you describe the awe and emotion that is coming from deep in your heart and bursts from your lips?
“Oh, Lord God, how excellent is Your Name! How marvelous are Your works in all the earth! How unworthy I am to serve You here in Your tabernacle!”
The light bathes your upturned face and tears course down your face as you stand in the ever-present glow of the Shekinah glory. Only the aging, woven tapestry curtain stands between you and the majestic Creator God of the Universe!
Almost reluctantly you begin the methodical work of dusting and polishing, trimming and filling the lamps with oil, but always you feel a kind Presence surrounding you as you work. That Presence fills your heart with wonder, and your mind with thoughts of the God who is so near. Many in the camp are afraid of the presence of the God who fills this Holy Place with His love. But, oh if they could only know…if they could only know….
In our Sanctuary Pathways study, we will explore what was in the mind of God when He had Moses build the wilderness sanctuary. Just a hint: In 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are told, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” NIV
1. What does it mean to be the “temple of God”?
2. How will it affect the way we interact with and serve others?
3. Is there any way to find answers if we don’t understand something?
Welcome once again as we explore this exciting and healing relationship our Creator God has revealed to us in the hidden secrets of the Wilderness Sanctuary.