I spent many days as a young boy painting, assembling, and building model cars. It was one of my favorite hobbies, and I must confess one I’ve often been tempted to try again. The paint, glue, and tiny parts were all part of a labor-intensive process to both express creativity and re-create a model of the original. While a detailed model can look like the real thing, it will never possess the same power, impact, and experience. The materials are not the same, the size is different, and the purpose is only to point to the actual object.
In a similar way, we can find a better understanding of what first appears to be a slogfest of verses to dredge through in Exodus 25-30. Drudgery should not be the attitude. In fact, there is deep beauty and symbolism in the blueprints and construction of the first Tabernacle. Exodus 25:1-9 paint the purposeful picture. God desires to dwell with the people, and before He takes up residence, Moses constructs a model with materials that are similar to what he was able to see in the glimpse of Glory he received up on the mountain.
Please lean into this! The ancient Tabernacle was a shadow of heaven and ultimately was the place where God would dwell. Much has changed since then. The Temple later replaced the Tabernacle. Jesus would come to declare that He is the Temple who would be raised up in three days. As God’s children, you are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit. All of those still serve as models of the beautiful dwelling of God. All of those still point to the mercy of God and His desire to share with humanity. All of those remind us of His great love to reside in a world of sin. You and I have hope because of that great step of love. Furthermore, you and I find purpose as believers when we see that we serve as a model of His presence to the world in our function as priests who connect God to the world.
I pray you find some encouragement from this purpose. May we walk each day confidently, knowing that God dwells with us in love. May we be careful the next time we approach sections of Scripture that seem initially insignificant when in fact, they are deeply important.