Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 40

The Glory of the Lord Fills the Tabernacle


Today's Text: Exodus 40:1-38, Matthew 3:16-17, Acts 2:1-4

Scripture Reading: Exodus 40:1-38, Matthew 3:16-17, Acts 2:1-4

Imagine belting out a Beyoncé song at karaoke night when the “queen” herself walks in the room. I read about this happening to some of B’s fans several years ago. Apparently, when Beyoncé heard two ladies singing her song in the booth next-door, she decided to join them. I think I would have died.

Our culture is obsessed with celebrities. I would say I care less about famous people than most, but I still get excited if I see a fancy person in the airport. There is something about how untouchable they seem that makes us commoners lose our minds in their presence. But if we get tongue-tied around a successful singer, imagine how awe-struck would we be in the presence of the God of the universe. The thing is, God does show up to the party throughout history. The Lord loves to be with the people He created.

From the very beginning, God made a world in which He dwelt with His people. That was His original design. God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). But the fall of mankind fractured that fellowship, and a perfect God could not commune with imperfect people.

God devised a sanctuary so He could be near the people He loved.  As soon as the tabernacle of Israel was completed, the glory of the Lord rushed in (Exodus 40:34).

It would have been incredible for the Israelites to see the cloud over the tent of meeting and know their God was with them. They moved when God moved and rested when God rested, in a harmony they’d never experienced before. But of course it didn’t last; broken people always find a way of breaking intimacy with God.

The Father had no intention of giving up on His children. He sent His Son to dwell with them in flesh and blood. Again we destroyed the sanctuary of God’s presence. Yet, despite our failings, God had a greater plan all along: resurrection.

As we look toward the Easter resurrection, we prepare to celebrate God’s great act of restoring fellowship with Him. Though we are far from worthy and have broken relationship with Him at every turn, the Lord in His grace set things right. The Bible is a story of God’s commitment to save the people He loves. Through the resurrection of Christ, we will one day be raised to finally dwell in the full glory of God (Revelation 21:3).


Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

  • Pamela Strommen

    God is specific when he calls his people and gives them their jobs. Moses did not feel equipped, but that was the point…he had to depend on God to equip him as he started the Israelites Exodus. Then, fast-forward a couple years to the moment the Tabernacle is finished – the crowning glory of Moses’ work. We know that is not Moses’ work, but it could have seemed like it to him. I mean, Moses is the one who personally received all the instructions and lead the people, right? But, the moment God’s presence filled the Tent off Meeting, Moses COULD NOT ENTER. Wow! It was only the place for the anointed priest.
    I must say, it is pretty humbling. I am wondering if Moses felt humbled.
    God doesn’t call on us to do it all…he uses the whole body (church).

  • Sabrina Michelle


  • Abby Harvey

    I’ve never made the connection between the glory of God rushing into the tabernacle, the Holy Spirit rushing into Jesus at his baptism, and the Spirit rushing into the believers in Acts. The big picture of the story of God’s redemption is breathtaking!! And we only get a tiny understanding of it in our finite minds. Wow.

  • Jessica McCreary


  • Kerry Terry

    Something amazing happens whenever God comes near. I catch my breath and let out a long, heavy sigh and hang my head when I think about all the times He reaches out for me, for His children. I am grateful. Deeply. My husband and I have a child who has continually, and currently, broken the connection, the relationship with us. We long to have a strong and loving relationship with her. It is hard to continue to reach out. I/we can only hope and pray that we become like God and continue to reach out to her. Pray continually that our Father makes us more like Him every day.

  • Heather N

    I think it’s amazing that God’s spirit was seen on the tabernacle, then seen when Jesus was baptized then seen as flames on the day of Pentecost and THEN that same spirit filled believers. We have that same spirit in is that existed thousands of years ago. Wow. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice.

  • Peony Noirr


  • Denise Powers Fabian

    This study through Exodus has given me a greater understanding and has humbled me when I think of the lengths God has gone to have relationship with me. And Christ came, once for all. We were so not worthy, least of all, me.

  • Deborah Thompson

    Never has the story of Hosea and Gomer been more real to me. I’ve studied it many times but something about the connection of constantly failing God and He always comes back!!! What a glorious Redeemer!!!


  • Whitney Wharton

    The God of the universe continually choosing to come down and interact with his creation, even though they mess it up time and time again….so humbling and so amazing. I pray God’s spirit continues to fall on us as we share the gospel this Easter season.

  • This passage in Exodus teaches me the importance of having routine worship in my life. God commanded the Israelites to go through all these rituals to keep them in close relationship to Him. God still desires that closeness with His people today. I often find myself too caught up in the routine of everyday life. During these busy times, it’s easy to get lost in those motions if we don’t set time aside each day to pray and worship. My prayer is that I can continue to keep a daily ritual of prayer, eagerly seeking to continue to grow closer to Him.

    • Denise Powers Fabian

      Absolutely…it points and shows how important this is to God. I think of the old Larnelle Harris song, “I Miss My Time with You.”

  • Amy Cerra

    “Though we are far from worthy and break relationship with him at every turn, the Lord in his grace sets things right.”
    Needed this today.

  • Jackie Price


  • Deborah Craytor

    Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Exodus ends with this question: “What are the main insights, encouragements, or warnings that you have gotten out of your student of the book of Exodus?” Would anyone like to share their answer?

    • Dorothy

      The main insight and encouragement I have received from Exodus is that God never gives up on His people. The warning I received from Exodus is though God loves us there are consequences to our actions that go against His rules.

  • Deborah Craytor

    “Too many sincere people have tried to do God’s work their own way and then have asked God to bless it. But ministry doesn’t work that way. First we find out what God wants us to do, and we do it to glorify Him. If we obey His will and seek to honor His name, then He will come and bless the work with His powerful presence.” ~ Warren Wiersbe

  • I think about how meticulously Moses and the Israelites built and assembled GodS dwelling place among them. I imagine how beautiful it was. Is God’s dwelling place in me just as beautiful? Have I spent time preparing it and building it? Maintaining it? Have I nurtured it or neglected it? I think that is what the Season of Lent is all about. Rending our hearts. Making God’s dwelling place in us beautiful. I loved this Lenten study of Exodus! I didn’t think I would. I’m sad to see that we are almost done. Thanks SRT for a wonderful study!

  • I am so quick to turn from the Lord! So quickly I see the things of this world and indulge in them. So thankful for a God who is full of grace and always forgives me. He always turns the darkness into light, the death into life. I’m sorry for turning on you Lord, thank you that because of Jesus, you will never turn your back on me. Your give us your whole heart. I know who I am because of who YOU are. (Song Whole Heart by Passion-so good!!)

  • So much going on in my head and I’m reminded by Churchmouse’s comment not to get ahead. I’m amazed every time I come here to fellowship with all of you how grateful I am for all of you as I’m growing in learning from all of you. I cannot get ahead as my mind tends to race I need to be quiet and listen .

  • Our world is groaning for Pentecost. Our church is groaning for Pentecost. Our family is groaning for Pentecost. We need resurrection. Oh God, defend us, fill us, restore us. Help us to come out of the shadows and, squinting, walk in the light. Today, Lord, Amen!

  • Christie Layne

    The detail! O the detail! And Moses never took one short cut. I long to be a strong follower like Moses. People today just think it is enough to show up in Gods house. They don’t dedicate their selves to his Glory like the Israelites and like Moses. All these years and we still don’t get it. Praise God he is a forgiving God. I praise him daily that he never gives up on us.

    • Kelly Chataine

      God is so gracious. I remember when I believed going to church was enough. God in His grace continued to love me and grow me. Now, He is on my mind throughout the day, I read His word daily, seek His direction for my life, and truly want to demonstrate my love for all He has done and for all He is. Praise God for the first steps and the entire journey! You are so right, He is a forgiving God and He never gives up on us! YES!

  • Maya Basquin

    “The Father had no intention of giving up on His children.”

  • In these pre-dawn hours I keep repeating Habakkuk 2:20 “The Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth keep silent before him”.
    We are that temple. He is closer than the air we breathe. May we enter this new day knowing He is walking with us. That leaves me awe-struck.

    • Rachel


    • Lisa

      “The Father had no intention of giving up on his children “ such powerful words- definitely needed to read those today ~ thank you

      • Dorothy

        I think I am going to put those words where I can read them everyday to remind me that in God’s eyes I am valuable and worth something.

  • Churchmouse

    I remember the excitement of moving in to our house 31 years ago. It had taken nearly six months to build. Everyday we would note what was being added, knowing we were one day closer to completion. Finally it was time to move in all the furnishings. It took a full day of placing boxes in the right rooms and rearranging furniture. It took even more days to unpack everything – especially with a six month old. Even with all the preparations and all the arranging, it did not become our home until we actually moved in. It took our presence to make it our home. So it seems to me with the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The detailed preparations and the carefully positioned articles did not define the tabernacle – it took the presence of the Creator, God Himself, moving in, taking possession. Then it became what He intended for it to be – His home with His people. He wanted to be in their midst, traveling with and guiding this often fickle, stubborn and wilful people. What love! What care! Proof of a God who plans and pursues, protects and provides. As God tabernacled with Israel, He even today tabernacles within His people. We are never without His presence. He makes it possible for me to be at home with Him – now, here and forever, there. I’m shaking my head in awe and gratitude.

  • God is an AWESOME God!!!!

  • https://youtu.be/89J6Av1PVK0 I also found this video. It explains how the tabernacle points to our Savior and Lord, Jesus!

  • https://thebibleproject.com/explore/exodus-19-40/ Here is a link to the Bible Project. They do videos about books in the Bible. I just watched this one about Exodus 19-40. Thought I would share the site.

  • This text spoke to me. The Israelites had to look to the tent of meeting every morning in order to see what God´s plan for the day was. What a good way to start the day! ;) But they could never plan ahead because they didn´t know beforehand when God decided they should leave. So they had to be open for His plans every day anew. This is something I still have to learn …

  • God is so unbelievable in everything he accomplishes. I try and imagine in all it’s beauty the ark, the tent of meeting, the courtyard, the priestly garments and all the rest and I am in awe. About 12 years ago in went on a trip to the Holy Land and it renewed my faith. On my trip I was able to get baptized again in the Jordan river. I saw all of the beautiful areas that God had set aside for His people – Jews and Christians – and loved it. I felt like I had fire in me after leaving.

  • Julie Whitacre

    The tongues of fire on individual heads, the same as the fire over the tabernacle…is that right?

    • Dorothy

      I don’t know either I am curious also if it is one in the same.

    • Lesley

      I think they both represent God’s presence and guiding. In the OT the cloud and fire at the Tabernacle reminded the people that he was with them and guided them on their journey. In Acts the fire is the Holy Spirit- God’s presence with, and in, the believers then (and us today), which is also how God guides us.

    • Amy Loflin

      I noticed that, too, Julie! How amazing is that?!? Another commonality I noticed through this study is the bread on the alter. I knew about the animal sacrifices (the blood) but had missed the bread in the past. What a perfect representation of the coming Last Supper!

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