Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Tent of God (Hebrews 3:1-6)

"[Jesus] was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house" (Hebrews 3:2).

We have just seen that Jesus is seated at the center of the Glory Cloud, which consists of God’s host arrayed around Him. We have also seen that Jesus is the Archbishop of the kingdom. Today as we return to our study of Hebrews, we notice that the cloud and the kingdom are also the house.

We are familiar with New Testament imagery that says we are living stones in the house of God. This imagery takes its rise from God’s revelation in the centuries before Christ. When God called the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave them many chapters of instruction on building Him a house. This house was the tabernacle, a glorious tent.

This tent was no mere tepee or Scout tent. The walls were made of upright boards set in sockets that were laid on the ground. The boards had rings in them and staves were run through the rings horizontal to the ground, keeping the walls steady. Corner braces kept the walls in place and marked out the various rooms in large, elaborate tents. Curtains hung on the inside of the walls to provide beauty and protection from the cold. Layers of leather covered the tent to keep out the rain. Such were the tents of Abraham, Isaac, and the patriarchs.

God’s tent was glorified. The sockets on the ground were silver. The boards were overlaid with gold. The curtains were of the most costly blue fabric laced with gold thread. The incense burner, the dinner table, and the lamp were all made of gold, as was the chair in the throne room. The curtains were woven with angels, so that the tabernacle could be understood as an architectural duplicate of the Glory Cloud (Exodus 25–40).

This glorious tent represented God’s glorious host, but since Jesus had not yet died, human beings were not allowed so near to God. Instead, the tabernacle represented them. Moses and Aaron were servants in this house, but the house was designed by God and was built of the spoils of Egypt, which God had provided. God’s Holy Spirit gave Bezalel the skill to make the various articles required (Exodus 31:3). Thus, it was God who built the house; Moses only supervised it under God’s authority.

It is worth noting that Hebrews focuses not on Solomon’s glorious temple of stone but on its predecessor, the tabernacle. As a believer you are a tent of the Holy Spirit. Be willing to serve and glorify God this day, realizing His presence moves with you.