As we come to the close of Exodus we see the essence of true worship unfold before us. The tabernacle and furniture were built. Priests were prepared to serve. There had been setbacks because of the people’s rebellion and disobedience, but there were highs when they pledged their allegiance and devotion to God.
They gave more than was needed to build the tabernacle. Those God skilled did their work faithfully unto God. When the tabernacle was brought to Moses for his inspection, he saw that it was built according to specifications, and he blessed them. When all was done Exodus 40:34-35 says, “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
God’s glorious presence was a reality. It was the basis of their unique identity as God’s people. It was the basis for guidance and true worship. It was humbling and exhilarating. Humbling in that His presence made the people recognize their unworthiness. Exhilarating in that in spite of their unworthiness He chose to be manifestly present in their midst.
The temple eventually replaced the tabernacle. Later Jesus Christ came to dwell within all who believe in Him. True worship now takes place in the heart of believers. It’s humbling and exhilarating when we recognize the amazing privilege of personally knowing and serving God. He promises to be present as we responsibly follow Him.