Under the Old Covenant, which was started during Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, the High Priest would enter into the tent of meeting (the most holy place) to meet with the Lord. God’s visible presence marked the tent as holy, either by falling on that location as a cloud or as fire.
It is impossible to know just how the people of Israel would have felt when witnessing this, but we can be sure that a holy fear or terror would have been a part of the experience. Imagine for a moment that you are standing in front of a bonfire which is raging as it burns a pile of wood. Or maybe you’ve experienced the fear of being in the path of a furious bush fire – out of your control and heading right for you…
Consider the fear, but also consider the privilege of being able to enter that tent without being consumed by the fire.
In that tent there were a number of items. Some were man made and some were made by the hand of God himself. The elaborate garments, utensils, etc. were man made – his best efforts to produce an offering that was acceptable to God, and worshipping him how he said he wanted them to worship. All of these things were made from the matter which God had already made in Creation. And from God there was his law, written by his own hand, and the miraculous bread from heaven.
There was bread made by man and bread made by God in that place. I think that this was the only item which both brought there. Is there symbolism in a shared meal, fellowship over potluck food? I think so. Now we have Jesus though, the Bread of Life, from whom we will never need to eat again once he has fed us of himself.
Also in that place of God’s presence was the law of God. This shows that his presence is there when we read the Bible today. This is one of the most privileged positions, in the presence of the Word of God, and now blasted wide open, beyond the bounds of a mere tent and veil, for all to partake of freely if they care to do so.
Do we value the Word as we should? Do we treat every detail as a deliberate part of the message from God? Do we enter into his presence often to hear from him in the sure word of Scripture? Do we?
I urge you… Please do.