An Expensive Tent


Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it.

~Exodus 40:36, NLT


Worship is the fulfillment of our ultimate purpose: it will be the business of heaven.


I enjoy doing bible math. Moses used a ton and a half of gold in making the Tabernacle. Most of the gold was used making the furnishing. There was also close to a ton of silver {19,075 lbs}. Apply these weights to today’s market for gold and silver and it will come to $98,000.00. If you add the bronze, the cost of precious metals in the Tabernacle and furnishings would be over $113,000.00. This tent was anything but cheap. God instructed Moses to build the Tent and Moses did exactly as the LORD instructed. Everything, including the Tent itself was mobile. Nothing was fixed or stationary. The LORD wanted Israel to be flexible, sensitive to His movement and willing to move on a moments notice. God put His skekinah Glory Cloud over the Tabernacle. The Cloud was visible day and night. When the Cloud moved, the Israelites broke camp and moved with the Cloud. In Exodus 23:20, God promises Moses that He would send His Angel {the Angel of the LORD} before the Israelites. This Angel would guard, guide, speak and give victory to the Israelites {Exodus 23:20-23}. Many believe that this OT Angel of the LORD is the pre-incarnate Christ. The logic behind this is found in Isaiah 42:8, I am the LORD, that is My name; My glory I give to no other, nor My praise to idols. This Angel of the LORD has to be God because He shares in God’s glory. No common angel shares in God’s glory: this is why they always rebuke those who try to worship them.

The point I want to make in today’s blog has to do with the mobility of the Tabernacle. It was made to be moved. All the furnishing had loops with poles inserted so they could be lifted and carried in a moments time. I think there is a spiritual lesson here: we need to be flexible and ready to move. I believe Christianity in the West is in a rut. We worship buildings, budgets, numbers, and success more than we do Jesus. We are not responsive to the Holy Spirit. When He moves, we should move but we are so enamored by our success and so tied down to this world that we have become immobile. The reason the LORD doesn’t speak from the Cloud is that He knows we are not in a position or a mood to listen and move. We are comfortable in our present condition just as Israel was content in Egypt. God put a thorn in their nest by allowing them to become slaves. When they discovered that Egypt {world} had no love for them and would only give them greater misery; they grew discontent and wanted to move.

This is not the only reason God gave Israel a mobile house of worship. God knew their tendency to worship things. He knew that if they had some gigantic elaborate edifice, they would worship it instead of Him and that is exactly what happened. The same thing can happen today. We need to spend the bulk of our money on Mission, Ministry and Making disciples, not on buildings. It is not wrong to have a building as long as we use it for God’s glory but I remind you that we did not have church building for the first 300 years of Christianity. They are nice but they are not a necessity. Buildings are wonderful tools for reaching others but tools are made to be used, over and over. Don’t build a sanctuary for Easter Sunday; build one for the Sunday night crowd and use it three or four times on Easter.

Today is no 100 yard dash, it is a marathon. I do thank you for your prayers. When I visited with Kathy on Thursday, she shared with me that Pruitt had prayed the sinners prayer at home and so that lifted a huge burden. I do wedding strictly from memory so if I get over there and go blank: well, just pray that I don’t. It’s not that I fear the embarrassment, I just don’t want to spoil this special day for these kids. I will tell you one thing: I will be glad with 5:30 gets here. The ceremony is at 5:00. Pruitt COLS is at 2:00.

Looking forward to tomorrow: Two services at the POINT beginning at 6:30 and then I get to visit my old SS class, attend worship with my children and grands and hear Joe David’s Easter sermon. Getting to share one of my favorite bible stories in the morning, the story of Jesus raising Jairus 12 year old daughter from the dead.

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