The Boards, the Bars, & the Oneness (3)
The tabernacle shows us
that God desires
a dwelling place in which
He and man are
If we were to design a dwelling place for God, we would probably make it all of gold; only such a precious metal, we might feel, would be fitting for such a holy and glorious God as the Lord.
However, when God gave Moses the instructions for how to build the tabernacle, He did not take that way. Instead, He told him that the basic structure of His dwelling place was to be wood overlaid with gold. Even most of the furniture within the tabernacle would be of the same construction. That is, the ark, the showbread table, and the incense altar were all made of wood overlaid with gold; only the lampstand was made of pure gold.
When we consider that, in the tabernacle, the wood signifies the human nature, and gold, the divine nature, this shows us just how much God values humanity. He would not be satisfied to have a building all of gold, that is, something that was only divine. What He desires, and what He created us for, is to make us one with Himself, so that we become His dwelling place, and He becomes our dwelling place.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told His disciples,
“Abide in Me, and I in you.”
— John 15:4
And a short while later He prayed,
…“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me….I in them, and You in Me; that they may become perfectly one, that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
— John 17:21,23
So, God desires that we would dwell in Him, and He in us, and this is the ultimate reality of the divine and human oneness.
We already know, of course, that God became one with man through the incarnation (John 1:1,14), but this picture of the gold and the wood in the tabernacle, God’s dwelling place in the Old Testament, should help us to appreciate in a fuller way His purpose of becoming one with man.
And it also helps us to see that God’s purpose, and the way in which He carries out His purpose, are one and the same. That is, His purpose is to become one with us, and He carries out that purpose by becoming one with us. This may seem like it’s stating the obvious, but if we genuinely appreciate this fact, it will save us from serving God in a merely outward way.
Praise the Lord for His marvelous purpose for mankind!
We will see more about how God becomes one with us in the next Note in this series.
Sent to our mailing list on
— 20 September 2023 —