Monday, November 11, 2013


Shortly after the children of Israel left Egypt, God gave them a very specific plan for a kind of temple called The Tabernacle. Without going into great detail, The Tabernacle was designed to lay out before us the way to God under the Old Covenant Law and to point us to the better way of the New Covenant!

This "way" was progressive. If anyone were to peak inside the outer court, they would see an altar made of bronze.

The bronze altar must have been an ugliness to it from the perspective of curiosity seekers. The mixture of the blood from the animals and the charring left from the hot fires that consumed them could not have been a pretty sight!

Farther ahead, they would see a wash basin made of bronze where the priests would wash and then change into their unusual priestly garments.

Still further would be a tent covered with badger skins.

What might one think if is he or she were to peak inside this tabernacle?

I can think of at least four reactions:

1. Questioning
What in the world is going on in there - slaughter, blood, fire, changing into strange outfits - what kind of religious nuts are they?
Why must they follow such odd, specific rituals?
What kind of God makes them do these strange things?

2. Repulsion or Rejection
This religion of Israel is too uncivilized for me.
There is too much blood and gore.
There are too many rituals to follow.

3. Faulty Conclusions
God must be on a great ego trip.
God is treating them like puppets, making them jump through all these hoops for His own amusement.
God must be insane.
The followers are weak and blind and do not have the intelligence to question these things.
If there was a God, He wouldn't make everything so complicated.

4. Foolish Decisions or Vows
I can never serve a God like that!
I can find God in my own way!
I'll find God in the beauty of life not through these strange, gory, demanding rituals!

If one were to reject following God after one quick peak into The Tabernacle, he would miss out on the glory which He shows to those who go deeper! Inside the tent covered with badger skins was the Holy Place - full of gold and light - an incredibly beautiful sight!

Also inside the tent but separated from the Holy Place, was the "Holy of Holies," or the "Most Holy Place!" It was in there that the very Presence of God resided! This is the glory of Tabernacle but it was unattainable under the Old Covenant, except for an elite few, on rare occasions!

Do you see the progression here? At first glance, The Tabernacle seemed ugly and undesirable. But as one progressed, he would see the place God intended, full of gold, light and God's very Presence!

So is the New Covenant of life in Christ one of instant, attractive beauty? 

I believe that that looking from the outside on the things of God can still evoke the same kind of reactions today!

The more carelessly, casually and superficially a person looks into Christ, the less he will understand of His true nature and the more bewildered and even repulsed he or she may be!

Isaiah states it clearly:

2 ...He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:2b-3

[For many the Servant of God became an object of horror; many were astonished at Him.] His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s, and His form beyond that of the sons of men—but just as many were astonished at Him.
Isaiah 52:14 Amplified Bible (1)

Christ had no special beauty and was not naturally desired or esteemed. A superficial interest in Christ will not reveal His glory! Even today, the initial reaction of a mere glance into the Christian life may be the same, but as one goes deeper into this life we call Christianity, the beauty and glory of God is progressively revealed!

"Why would I want to become a Christian?" the casual observer might ask. "God will take all the fun out of my life." "Why would I want to get up early on Sunday mornings?" "Why do I need more rules to follow?"

The man or woman who knows God has seen enough to render those questions moot! He sees  that God adds to our life and never subtracts anything worthwhile!

The deeper we go and the more we know Him, the more clearly we will see His beauty and glory!

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 29:2

The beauty of the Lord is not revealed to curiosity seekers! It is revealed to those who continue beyond an initial, curious "glance" and seek to enter into His presence!

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Don't be one of those who rejects God outright without seeking to know Him. Press past what may seem confusing, undesirable or ugly until you begin to see the real Jesus.

If you continue to press toward Him, understanding will grow and the incredible beauty and glory of God will be progressively revealed to you!

(1) The Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

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