Fine Line

Did you know that we are to revere the purity and holiness of God? The word revere means deep respect and admiration. When we consider all that God has done, we have to admire so much, especially that He never gives up on us. Take the Tabernacle, an instrument used to bring us into closer proximity and relationship with God. When the Israelites set out to build a replica of God’s throne room in heaven, God tells Ole Mo the people need a fence that encloses the Tabernacle, forming a courtyard. Exodus 27:9~Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen (שֵׁשׁ shesh), (ESV) The word (שֵׁשׁ shesh) means bleached stuff or white linen. This is not a suggestion; it is a command because, in the Bible, white symbolizes God’s righteousness and holiness (Matthew 28:3; John 20:12; Revelation 3:4-5, 7:13-14). 

Fine twined linen was derived from boiling flax plants in water and wringing them out carefully. This was a very labor-intensive process, and therefore, this cloth was very expensive. It was to be finer version, made both whiter in appearance and better suited for twisting and weaving. Twined linen was a thicker cloth made by two, three, or more threads being twisted together. Thus, it a more highly-valued cloth. For example, This is what Lil Joe receives from Pharaoh in Genesis 41:42~Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. (NIV) 

Later when Mordecai leaves the king of Persia’s presence, he’s wearing a robe of fine linen and purple (Esther 8:15). Fast forward to the church at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, John records for us in Revelation 19:8~Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) (NIV) In Isaiah 6, Isaiah has a vision of the Lord sitting on His heavenly throne, of which the Tabernacle is a replica. Above the Lord are seraphim angels, each having six wings, Isaiah 6:3~they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. (NIV) 

Today, I want you to take a few moments and breath in the glory of the Lord. Use your eyes to witness the awe and wonder of all that God has created. Whether it is the clouds of the sky or flowers outside your window, even perhaps something altogether different, consider all that God has created. Then spend the next few moments just thanking Him for all you have and know that the whole earth is full of His glory.



Rebuild

Our biggest need in life is to be reconciled to God. We sometimes forget that we are sinners in need of a Savior and as such, we need to be reminded that it is our sin that separates us from God. One of the first questions we should ask ourselves as we approach God is, Does God wants us to worship Him? If God desires our worship, then why have a fence completely surrounding the Tabernacle? Listen to the response of Isaiah 59:2~But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear. (NIV)

Understand, we are all sinners and Paul reminds us of this in Romans 3:23~For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT) People are not worse because they do this sin or that sin, it is all sin to God. Our greatest sin is not accepting Jesus as Lord over all of our lives. We must comprehend that God is not like us, He is holy, moreover, we are to become like Him Psalm 99:9~Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. (ESV) 

Our world wants us to believe that everyone and everything is equal, and it simply is not. Yes, humanity is equal at the Cross. Everyone standing before the Cross of Calvary has equal footing. Tall or short, big or small, no matter your country of birth or ethnicity, every person is equal at Calvary. However, animals are not equal to people, no matter how special that animal may be. God values the soul of a person so much that in the New Testament era He sent His only Son Jesus to provide a way into His presence. Hebrews 4:14-15~…we have a great High Priest…Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, (NKJ) Hebrews 4:15-16~but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJ)

Before that glorious event when Jesus came to earth and Tabernacled among us (John 1:14), taking our sin upon Him (1 Peter 2:24), He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), yet died for us that we might receive His righteousness and become the righteousness of God, in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:15) Understand, we are polar opposites of God. Listen to the testimony of a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14) Psalm 89:14~Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. (ESV) 

Due to the fact that God is not sinful like us, for He is holy, the people in Exodus needed something that would provide separation from God. Knowing our need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8), God provides precisely what we need, and that is a fence. Not to keep us out, but to keep us safe. For us, the fence pictures the great separation, like a moving wall, between God (who is holy) and us (who are sinners). It was completely necessary before Jesus Christ, who finishes the work of salvation on Calvary’s cross. (John 19:30) For this reason, we have a Fence, providing us with our first truth. Truth #1: Sin separates us from God. And so, we need someone to mediate our sin and that is Jesus, or else we can never come inside the fence. Why? Because sin separates us from God. 

As you prepare to head out into the world today, why not take a few moments and ask God if there is anything that is separating you from the God who loves you, formed you, and planned good things for you to do. Then just confess it before Him and take a few moments to thank Him for sending us, Jesus.



A Fence?

The Tabernacle reminds us that we must always be in preparation to worship the Living God who is holy and just. Because the Lord God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6) and holy, we must be holy. 1 Peter 1:16~For the Scriptures say, You must be holy because I am holy. (NLT) Last week, we discussed how the Tabernacle is a replica of God’s throne room in heaven. As God commands, Ole Mo constructed it after the original he was shone on Mt Sinai. 

Like in everything, God has a purpose for every detail, and the floor plan of the Tabernacle is filled with intentionality, every piece of furniture holds utility and meaning. As ole Mo sets out constructing the Tabernacle and all of its furnishings, the Lord reveals in great detail how He desires for us to worship Him. Each component shows an aspect of God’s nature and character, as well as how we can have a relationship with Him. The Tabernacle is full of object lessons and in them, we see a more complete picture of Jesus and what He has truly done for us. This week, we begin as all of humanity does, on the outside, as we process worshiping a holy God. Drawing near the Tabernacle, the first thing that we would notice, even from a great distance is that there is a fence that separates us from God.

What is it that separates you from God in your life? In a time when we practice physical distancing and are attempting to be cautious in our choices, we realize how easily things can separate us. I hope that you will take a few moments to think about what has been separating you from others. I bet that someone who is important to you is feeling isolated and today, the first day of the week is a great time to let them know that they are on your mind and in your prayers. Take time today to reach out to them and let them know that though you may have been apart, they truly mean a lot to you.