When Adam was in the garden, God came down to man, and when man sinned, it was man that turned his back on God! The fellowship of God with man was severed! Yet God still desired fellowship! It was God in Genesis 3 that came looking for Adam! And it was God who came looking to dwell once more with man in Exodus 25. “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
Walk with me around to the other side of this tent. This tabernacle that you see here was the first dwelling place among men since the Garden of Eden, and it’s interesting to note that it was a temporary shelter. God designed a temporary dwelling place! And when the tabernacle was finished the “glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” In this so simple of an act, God moved in and dwelt with man! But this dwelling place was temporary.
After the tabernacle, God chose to dwell in Solomon’s temple! In 2 Chronicles 7:1 after Solomon had finished dedicating the temple the Bible records, “and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” But this dwelling place was temporary.
After Solomon’s temple (in all of its beauty) was destroyed by the Babylonians, Zerubbabel came to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple as God commanded, and God was in this! But this dwelling place was temporary.
After Zerubbabel’s temple, King Herod built a temple of magnificent size! Compared to Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple was far bigger and far more costly – but God was not in this temple, because God did not order this temple to be built. Besides, the Bible states clearly that God’s temple was already here in the very person of Jesus Christ, and the glory of the Lord filled this temple!
II Corinthians 5:19, “…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…”
Colossians 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
Christ Himself said in John 2:19, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” You see, though this was the God-Man, the temple of His body was only a temporary dwelling place for God. After Christ was crucified, buried, and arose again from the dead, he ascended up into heaven, but not without leaving us a new dwelling place! Of course, God’s new dwelling place is in the hearts of believers! My friends, can we not see the heart of God as he was drawing nearer and nearer to the heart of man!
Galatians 4:6, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
I Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…”
But this dwelling place is also temporary – until this tabernacle of flesh is dissolved. Then God will establish himself an eternal dwelling place!
II Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
What began with God coming down to dwell with man will soon end with man going up to dwell with God! And the very first type of this promise was this tabernacle that you now see.