The exactness of a tabernacle

Today’s Reading:  Exodus 25 – 28

Today’s reading covers the first four of six chapters about the tabernacle.  The tabernacle was basically a portable temple that the Israelites could use as a place of worship while they moved to the promised land.  At this point they thought it was temporary.  Soon we will find out that it was going to last a longer time than anticipated.

DSC_9584Over these six chapters many objects, details and dimensions of the tabernacle were described:

  • Chapter 25: Materials needed, the Ark, the table for 12 showbread, the Menorah.
  • Chapter 26: The tabernacle, the beams, partitions.
  • Chapter 27: The copper altar, the enclosure, oil.
  • Chapter 28: Vestments for the priests, ephod garment, ring settings, the breastplate, robe, head-plate, tunic, turban, sashes, pants.
  • Chapter 29: Consecration of priests and altar.
  • Chapter 30: Incense altar, washstand, anointing oil, incense.

As you read the instruction on the preparations one thing really sticks out – the DSC_9630_compressedinstructions are very precise.  You read wording such as…

  • It must be 45 inches long and 27 inches wide.
  • Decorate it with a 3-inch border all around
  • You will need seventy-five pounds of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories

Exodus 25:40 sums it up best:

Exodus 25:40 NLT

40 “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.

I sat thinking about the different churches and places I have worshiped at since I became a Christian in 1981.  Here is a brief look at some of them:

  • Lecture Hall at Bradley University
  • 1970’s built brick church for about 150 people.
  • The storefront chapel of the Peoria Rescue Mission
  • Small wood frame country church for about 50 people
  • A prison chapel at Cook County Jail, Chicago, USA (learned a wonderful version of Amazing Grace)
  • Large early 20th century church building for about 400 people
  • Large early 20th century church built in classic Italian look for about 600 people
  • a chapel in the midst of a pine forest while camping
  • Small unremarkable building that looks nothing like a church for about 130 people.

Each one has been different.  Some had burnt orange carpeting popular in the 1970’s.  Others had wonderful oak flooring while my current church has a ceramic tile floor.  Some had beautiful stained glass windows, while others have had simple skylights.  Some had organs with pipe that were over 30 tall while others simply had an upright piano.  One church I attended actually had a full size swimming pool just outside the windows of the sanctuary.

Copy (2) of Munich 2004 -058While I have not been to one, I have seen many church buildings in developing countries that are simply buildings with posts and a roof, no windows or doors.  They are simple affairs whose main purpose is to keep people shaded and dry. 

What I love about our faith today is that we are not tied into the buildings and the decorations and the dimensions of the gold trim around the edge of an ark of the covenant.  We do not fret about curtain hangers and priestly garments and incense burners.  Our attention can be on the one worshipped, not the means to worship.

Matthew 18:20 NASB

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”


NOTE:  All the pictures are from a few trips around Europe.  Can you name the countries, cities and churches?

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
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2 Responses to The exactness of a tabernacle

  1. Stefan & Joyce Geerts says:

    the last one is Notre Dame de Paris

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