When I was newly married and in Bible College, I lived in a rented three room house. It was small, but adequate as I didn’t have much stuff to place in it. It was like a palace to me as opposed to living in a shared dorm room! My thought today centers around God’s love for three-room houses.
In Exodus 40 the Tabernacle is erected and arranged and in verse 33, “Moses finished the work.” When man ended, God began. The cloud covered the Tabernacle and the glory filled the Tabernacle. God’s presence came down from the mountain and was dwelling in the midst of His people. Visible guidance came from the cloud by day and fire by night and it remained throughout the years of their journey.
The Tabernacle was basically a three-room house. The outer court, the inner court and the Holy of Holies and God dwelt therein. It wasn’t a spectacular edifice; merely a tent, with a wall of linen curtain around it and badger skins dyed red to cover it all and protect from the harsh climate surrounding it. But, it was God’s dwelling place. Because the design was heavenly, it was therefore orderly (Heb. 8:5). The arrangement of the Israelites camp was so impressive and orderly with the Tabernacle in the middle and three tribes on each of four sides that it inspired Balaam who was sent to curse the camp, to bless it instead. (Deuteronomy 23:4-5, Joshua 24:9-10)
God called the Israelites to be holy, to be set apart to Him and His purposes. The difference would be visible and bring God glory. God’s glory came in the midst of them when they obeyed His explicit instructions.
When Jesus came robed in flesh, He was living, walking and talking with His people, doing the work, performing the ministry in a physical sense. I am reminded today that after Pentecost, when the Spirit came to indwell man, God also dwells in a three room house – our physical bodies made up of body, soul, and spirit. So in this context, does God not also require the same from us as He did the Israelites; to be holy, set apart to Him and His purposes. We are also to be distinguished in nature and in character from the world – different in the way we think, act and live. The difference will be visible and bring God glory. His living in us makes our holiness possible. (Ex 31:13)
That three-room house God dwells in contains the outer court (our physical body), the inner court (our soul), and the Holy of Holies (our spirit). In Colossians 1:26-27, Paul writes to the church of Colosse “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (NKJ)
I can’t imagine what waking up every morning and seeing the Tabernacle would have been like, but we have such a greater reality to face every morning – the very real and present God dwelling inside of us. I have to agree wholeheartedly with songstress7’s blog from Sunday; Do we esteem the presence of God within us? Does it inspire awe and wonder that He has chosen us to indwell? Does it make a visible difference in the way we live our lives and conduct ourselves? Does it make us think, act and live differently from the world? Does our character and our very nature reflect the indwelling God? Do we bring God glory every day we live?
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (I Corinthians 3:16 – NKJ)