The end of Exodus describes God’s instructions for crafting the tabernacle and its furniture. Certain men were set aside for the task according to the special skills God had given them. Each element of the tabernacle and its furnishings were created to exacting detail as prescribed by God. Without a doubt, the tabernacle –God’s tent of dwelling- was a sight to behold.
At the end of Exodus 40, after the tabernacle was complete, the Bible describes the scene like this:
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
What a beautiful picture! The cloud by day and fire by night not only led the people throughout the desert, but it led them to worship. As the cloud and fire settled over the tabernacle, it was a sign of God’s dwelling with His people as “the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
What strikes me the most about this picture is the fact that “Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up.”
In other words, their journey was determined by their worship –not the vice versa. Can you honestly say that, in the same way, your worship of the holy God dictates the rest of your life? Or, would you have to admit that the circumstances of your journey dictate the nature of your worship?
Do you ever finish with God before He finishes with you?