I Will Dwell Among You

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Exodus 25:1-9

Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. (v. 8)

During its heyday, the rock band Van Halen was notorious for presenting concert venues with exacting contracts. Each contained one obscure detail: a bowl of M&M’s in the dressing room with all the brown M&M’s removed. Why? It ensured the contract—including necessary details about stage construction and safety measures—would be followed to the letter.

God’s instructions for the tabernacle seem excessive. They are hard to read and were undoubtedly harder to execute. Why does God go into such precise detail? Because the tabernacle was more than just another tent. It was a glimpse of a glorious other world. The tabernacle is an earthly space that represents a heavenly reality. It serves as a vestibule to heaven: a place where human beings can safely encounter God’s glory.

The tabernacle was a temporary measure. It anticipated a time when communion with God would no longer be confined to one place but might be possible in every place. The tabernacle symbolized heaven on earth, portraying God’s glory in material terms. But God planned to bring heaven to earth. The representation of the tabernacle became a reality in Jesus Christ, who “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3).

We no longer need to visit a specific place or follow a detailed contract to encounter the glory of God. God dwells among us in Jesus, and makes us tabernacles of his Holy Spirit. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.