Text: Joshua 17:1-18, Joshua 18:1-28, Hebrews 9:1-14
As much as I love traveling, there is nothing like coming home. Sleeping in my own bed, waking up to my own coffeemaker, hearing the familiar hum of traffic outside my window—home is truly a restful reprieve.
In Joshua chapter 18, we see a new home established for the nation of Israel at Shiloh: “Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them” (Joshua 18:1).
The tabernacle was the physical manifestation of God’s presence among His people. He dwelled in the innermost part of it, the holy of holies. In the midst of dividing territory and separating themselves physically from one another, it’s significant that the Israelites—all of the Israelites—now gathered in this one place to be in the presence of the Lord. God was the center, the core, of this people. And Shiloh would be His resting place for the next 300 years, until the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines.
When I looked up “Shiloh” in Hebrew, I came across a couple of definitions. One was “a place of rest” and the other, “peace.”
I don’t know that we can fully understand how the Israelites must have felt to finally settle and put down roots after years and years of traveling as nomads. An entire generation had been born and raised on foot, a generation that didn’t know what it meant to have a home—to have something to return to, a place to rest.
This is something we all understand: to have wandered far and long, to be weary and tired and thirsty, to desire peace—real peace. We all desire a place to call home.
What this scene at Shiloh points us to is the place we, as Christians, now find our rest. “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12).
The atonement for our sin that was once achieved through sacrifice and ritual in the tabernacle, is now complete through Christ’s blood. He entered the Most Holy Place once, and for all. For me and for you.
Jesus is our Shiloh.
Are you weary? “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Are you thirsty? “Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again” (John 4:14).
Are you hungry? “I am the bread of life… No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry” (John 6:35).
Are you restless? “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
In Christ, we have rest and reprieve. In Christ, we have a home.
Let us gather at Shiloh today and rest in that truth.