Shekinah and Dabar

Residence and Communications are the stated purposes for building the Tent of Meeting and this Tent turns out to be so full of detailed revelations about the divine order that one can easily go astray in assigning value to its many details. Paul’s contention in 1 Timothy 1:5ff shows how successful the deceiver of souls has become in having people rejoice in elevating the moon above the sun. The contention is sobering because it comes as the first thing on the apostles mind.
Paul was concerned about people swerving off the highway of truth.

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, (1 Timothy 1:7)

The simple stories of the Mosaic Economy have become the pillars of those who wander away but Paul was onto them. Their purpose was clear to Paul and is to us now.

are desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

The tent narrative is hard for all of us but it is not mysterious. Two things are stated explicitly.

God wants to live in his people

Exodus 25:8. Dwell is from shaken (shawKANE שכן)

And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

God wants to communicate with his people.

Exodus 25:21-22. Speak is from dabar דבר

And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:21-22

Tent and temple without a Christian centre crumbles and distracts from the facts, of which the temple is but a mere shadow. The temple/tent/sanctuary is not a building in heaven, it is a symbol of God at work in us.

Christ is above the heavens, from whence he ministers the spirit to those who come to God the Father through him, making us a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit so that it may said even now

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Revelation of John 21:3b

There is no greater Shekinah than Christ dwelling in the hearts of those who come to God and there is no greater communication than the Holy Spirit who speaks the word of Christ to us and guides us into all truth.

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