In the last installment we saw that God is a jealous God, which simply means that He claims what is rightfully His. In other words, He’s not seeking something that is not His, and thus His requirement for Israel to worship and bow to Him alone was to a people of His creation. As they are about to embark upon their journey into the promised land, they will need to understand this aspect of God’s character in order to experience the blessing of His abundance. “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” O, the love of God–how incredible!
Today, what takes shape on the canvas of God’s biblical storyline is a mysterious weaving of God’s own Spirit into the lives of His creation in order for His creation to create something that will provide for their redemption and point to the time when God will redeem once and for all. Sounds like a mouthful, but this part of the biblical narrative offers a peculiar–and symbolic–intervention of God penetrating into humanity in order to bring into existence the place where God’s presence will dwell. And so, as the people of God are now directed by God through Moses to worship Him alone, they will now also be given the means through which they will construct God’s tabernacle–the place where heaven and earth will overlap. This is the place where God will forgive sin year after year…it is the place that will be full of God’s glory…it is a symbol of how God will accomplish what He promised in Genesis 3:15. The tabernacle will be the place of the shadow pointing to a greater reality that God will one day manifest. However, in the meantime, God’s intervention into humanity to construct this sacred space follows the same pattern that God has followed from the beginning–that is to say, to utilize humans as conduits (broken indeed) to carry out His purposes and will. Only this time, something mysterious takes place…something of great importance…
“Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer…”
In order for God to carry out the construction of His place of redemption and glory, He does not send down an angelic host of craftsman, but rather He chooses people to fill with His Spirit in order to accomplish the task. Incredible. These men–very well could have been skilled already–required a divine and supernatural filling of God in order to carry out the work of God.
The works of God require the work of God. Up to this point in the biblical storyline, the tabernacle–as we will see later–is the place where God’s most profound presence will dwell–the place of redemption and forgiving of sin. And so, God intervenes–into broken humanity–by filling certain folks with His Spirit to assume the roles to be undertaken for the construction of His abode–where heaven and earth collide. Incredible. God will not share His glory with another…not in worship, and not in construction. Unlike the black and white portion of the biblical canvas from the ancient babel builders of old, God will–through the filling of humans with His Spirit–craft the place for broken humans to be redeemed! What an amazing God! His plans will succeed…
How Does This Apply To Us Today?
Are there times when you stand in amazement at the wonders of human creation? I do. Take sky scrapers, for example. Those things are incredible feats of engineering, architecture, land surveying, etc. Take airplanes as another example. What an awesome picture of ingenuity and innovation. The list goes on. But, what is one attribute that each material thing lacks? The ability to redeem sinful man. Man’s attempt to build temples, to build shrines, to build sanctuaries, or sacred places do not and will not possess within them the ability or power to take a broken man and make him whole–free from the power and penalty of sin. The creatures create amazing things, but all pale in comparison to what God creates. Take nature, as well…it too falls short. No tree, no sun, no galaxy, and no force therein can possess within itself the means to restore a sinful human to the holy God. Only One has this power, only One has the means, only One has within Himself the necessary and providential life and substance to both redeem and reconcile a sinful humanity to the holy God. And so, His life must be exchanged for the lives of sinful man. His body must be broken and His blood must be spilled upon an altar not made with hands–though acceptable for a time as we shall see–in order to offer an eternal redemption and reconciliation to any human recognizing their spiritual need and separation from their holy Creator-God. Thus, upon the death of Christ, man will now have the opportunity and blessing of having the Spirit of God fill them–not just for a period of time and temporary task, but in order to recreate and regenerate their spiritually lost and dead souls to love as He loves. In other words, Christ had to die in order for a broken, sinful, and separated humanity to be in a right relationship with God–and then to in turn love God’s people as God loves them. Incredible.
And so, the application for us today? The picture of the craftsman above that God fills with His Spirit in order to construct the tabernacle points to the day when God will fill broken humans with His Spirit the moment they look to Christ in faith (dying in their place and paying the penalty for their sin), in order for them–sinful and broken humans–to carry out the task of loving one another as Christ gave them the example to love.
Consider then one prominent purpose of the Christian…to love as Christ loved you. AMAZING! The practical question then is, “How are you loving God’s people–His bride that He laid His life down for?” O Lord, let us be the Church–the loving, Church. But how do we love? More to come on the how. And so, until next time, consider this as yet another reason why Christ had to die…to fill us with His Spirit in order to love as He loved. Easy? No. But necessary? Yes. Lord, help us.— May 19, 2017