The Presence of God in the Tabernacle
I. Where is love?
A. Last week we celebrated Valentines Day in North America
B. People go to romantic places and do romantic things
1. It is a good day to get engaged
2. It is a good day to return to where you first kissed
3. It is a good day to go to a special restaurant
4. It is a good day to give the same type of flowers you gave before
C. People do that because emotions are fixed to objects and they want to recall the emotion
1. The object may be a flower
2. The object may be a place
3. The more powerful the event, the easier it is to regain the emotion, the memory
D. These impulses point to a universal tendency to want a location for things
1. Something without a location is not real to us
2. Something with a location is real
II. Where is God?
A. We often thing of God as “up” or “in heaven”
We read of people “lifting up their eyes” to him or “raising their hands” to him
Others think that they can disprove God by showing that he is not “in heaven”, that there is no heaven for him to be in
B. We may think of God being in a church
We think of people who go to church to meet God. They do not care if a church is empty or not, whether a service is going on or not, for it is “the house of God”.
III.In the Old Testament God gave us a place in the tabernacle
I realize that there are a lot of texts on this topic, so I am summarizing, giving you only a few scriptures. I also realize that the temple was a development from the tabernacle, but the tabernacle was what was divinely revealed, so it is that upon which we focus.
A. There was a very physical awareness of drawing near to God
B. One prepared to enter the tabernacle by removing that which would distance
1. You washed, if necessary
a) Sinai – Exod 19:10, 14
b) Leviticus lists may other reasons to do so
2. You brought a sin or guilt offering, if necessary
a) Discussed in Leviticus
b) These prepared you to “draw near”
(1) Some could never draw near – Lev 21:18
(2) In some cases aliens dared draw near – Exod 12:48
C. On entering the tabernacle you thought of God as “in there”
1. He was beyond the altar in the tent
2. He was not in the first room of the tent, but the inner room
a) It was a cubical inner room
b) In the temple it was lined with gold
3. Specifically he dwelt between or above the cherubim, the protectors
a) Num 7:89 - between
b) 1 Sam 4:4 – his throne
4. There was a sense of awe – danger as well as privilege
D. In the presence of God you offered your fellowship or thank offerings
1. Only the fat was burned
2. The meat you ate as a feast in the presence of God
IV. Where is God today?
A. Today the temple of God is a people, not a place
1. 1 Cor 3:16
2. 1 Pet 2:5, 9
B. But the principle is the same
1. We “deal with out stuff” before we come together
a) This means personal self-examination
b) This means interpersonal reconciliation – not to do so can be dangerous – 1 Cor 11:27-31
2. We come close to God as we gather together
a) It is not the place where we gather, although holy places are fine
b) It is the people who gather in the place
3. The high point of worship is a meal in the presence of our God
V. So I ask you today, have you come to where God is?
A. Have you recognized that he is here in his gathered people?
B. Have you prepared so that you would be ready to meet him?
C. Are you here in awe of him, letting him build you into his holy dwelling?
VI. Ministry time
A. There are those here who have come into his presence without dealing with their stuff – he is here to forgive so that you do not hurt yourself
B. There are those here who have a petition you need to present to God – he is here, bring it to him in the presence of others