The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), February 14
“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34-35).
The artisans may now rest from the “minutiae of obedience.” The fruit of their painstaking labors is about to be revealed. After the tedium of sanding, sewing, and smelting they stand back and watch as Moses assembles the disparate pieces of their work into one cohesive structure. But this is no ordinary structure; this is the habitation of God among His people.
In response to the faith-filled obedience of His people, who have completed the structure revealed to Moses on the mountain, God manifests His Presence–the Shekinah glory. He fills the tabernacle, and the out-radiating of His glory so illuminates the structure that Moses cannot enter it. This is the “Wow!” factor at work! Just like Job said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You” (Job 42:5), so what they had only heard from Moses becomes real. In their wildest dreams they never could have imagined what they saw in the instant the glory filled the tabernacle.
Plowing must take place first in order to plant and then harvest a crop. The “plow” precedes the “Wow!”
This is what God intends for church to be like when the disparate pieces of His body—each redeemed sinner—fulfill their purpose in unity and love, and the glory of the Lord falls on His people. The church becomes what He always intended it should be—a showplace for His glory. Believe it or not, God intends this experience for local bodies of believers. Even though they exhibit flaws, hurts, and struggles, they allow Jesus, the Master Artisan, to shape them by His Spirit so that the Body fits together and functions as one. Churches like this cause believers and unbelievers alike to experience . . . the “Wow!” factor of God’s presence among His people.
Once the Tent of Meeting is constructed, Moses no longer needs to climb Mount Sinai to meet with God. The Mount Sinai experience is temporary. Israel will move throughout the wilderness and eventually to the land of promise, and God will go with them. From then on God speaks primarily through His Word and through the mouth of His prophets.
Only Moses hears the voice of the LORD when he enters the Tent of Meeting. God speaks to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony. It is called “the Tent of Meeting,” because it is from there that God meets with Moses and speaks with him.
Question from today’s reading (Exodus 39:32-40:38; Numbers 9:15-23):
What does the impartation of God’s glory upon the Tent of Meeting communicate about God to His people?