God Dwells Among His People in the Tabernacle

Open Your Bible

Exodus 25:1-22, Exodus 26:31-35, Exodus 40:31-38, Numbers 10:33-36, Hebrews 8:1-5

We live in the shadowlands.

Consider the tabernacle, that place of awe and wonder described often in the Old Testament. From cherubim stitched into towering curtains to pillars overlaid with gold, the size and beauty of the tabernacle would have taken our breath away. Yet inside all of that artistry and engineering was something (or better yet, another One altogether) even more spectacular: “They are to make a sanctuary for me so that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).

Sit in that thought for a moment. Let your imagination try to wrap itself around the fact that the God who spoke the stars into being (Isaiah 40:26), the One who sits “enthroned above the circle of the earth” (v.22), and measures the waters of the earth “in the hollow of His hand” (v.12), chose to dwell in a tent built by human hands. What could speak to God’s love for us and to His desire to be in relationship with us more than this? But as spectacular as the tabernacle must have been and as breathtaking as it would have been to see the cloud of God’s presence descend (Exodus 40:34), it was only a shadow of a coming, greater reality of God’s presence with His people.

God did more than descend in a cloud. He wrapped Himself in human flesh and walked among the people He’d made. Through Jesus, humankind experienced fellowship with God undivided by poles and curtains. Jesus Christ is both the High Priest and sacrifice that we need: holy, innocent, undefiled. In order to be with us, He died “once for all time when he offered himself” (Hebrews 7:27). Our High Priest’s work is finished, and now He sits “down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that was set up by the Lord and not man” (Hebrews 8:1–2).

Yet even as we read about the Son of God walking and talking with people in the Gospels, we’re still just seeing shadows. God’s desire to dwell among the Israelites in the portable tabernacle and Jesus’s willingness to take on flesh and live among humanity both point forward to the ultimate, full reunion of God and His people. The earthly tabernacle was eventually destroyed, and Christ’s human body became His glorified body before He ascended to the right hand of the Father. These are the shadows of the time when “night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). Everything we experience here on earth is merely a shadow of the greater, redeemed reality that is to come in the new heavens and the new earth. We can endure life in the shadows because we know a day is coming when we will fully dwell with Him—and He with us—forever.

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41 thoughts on "God Dwells Among His People in the Tabernacle"

  1. Naomi Dowling says:

    ❤️❤️

  2. Justina Robinson says:

    ❤️

  3. Amy MathewsKushner says:

    Amen

  4. Martha Echandy says:

    In the meantime, fight the darkness. Endure the fight. For a time will come, when the full light of Christ will be revealed.

  5. Karen Breaux says:

  6. Susie Basham says:

    The tabernacle where the Lord dwells to me is a foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit endwelling in us

  7. Taylor Graves says:

    I’ve seen a few of you mention the quote “We can endure life in the shadows because we know a day is coming when we will fully dwell with Him – and He with us – forever” from Erin’s devotional today and I just want to add to it. These words are so comforting to know that despite the terrible and rough things I am enduring right now on Earth, I don’t need to fear. I can make it through and I will make it through because I have been promised that one day I will be joining God in a better place. I have been promised that I will be taken home where I can spend the rest of eternity walking among our Heavenly Father! That is amazing to even think about! Our God is so good and I am in awe every day as I read about how much He loves us and what we have to look forward to on the day when He calls us home. I pray all of you women are having a wonderful week so far! ❤️

  8. Taylor Graves says:

    @ Rhonda I find it amazing and hard to fathom that God would use me as a dwelling place as well. I am so flawed and no where near as perfect and glorious as the Tabernacle was. I’m tired and drained from going through my grief journey and also from worrying about my mother who is going through breast cancer treatment. I feel like I carry so much and therefore find it hard to believe that God would want to use me as a dwelling place. But, as you said, He does and I can find comfort in knowing He loves me regardless of my flaws. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Tricia C says:

    Thank you JULIA C. Your comments were a blessing to me.
    MEME FAYE thank you for sharing that song. KATIE MEGEE I too was thinking that we are his tabernacle. He fills us with His presence now. How beautiful.
    TAMI C and RHONDA J how many times have I also done this? I pray that the Lord would guide me and everything I do. I often fall short. Praying for you that you will seek the Lord and his guidance. I know exactly what you mean.

  10. Donna Wolcott says:

    Rhonda, may I add a “me too”. I looked up pictures of the ark of the tabernacle it must have been very beautiful to see in person. The Christian Bookstore I shop at also has small versions of the ark and obviously not of solid gold. Sometimes when I read about these items and the synagogues and temple and wonder at the length of time to build, the skill of the craftsmen and obedience to building something that they probably didn’t even have drawings of it leaves me in awe. Thinking of little old me being a “temple” for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, this temple is not worthy, BUT GOD says otherwise. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
    May you all find peace in His presence today.

  11. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    “We can endure life in the shadows because we know a day is coming when we will fully dwell with Him—and He with us—forever.” Yes and Amen! Thank you Erin Davis for the reminder! No matter what we must endure on this earth – it is preparing us for our eternal home in heaven. This is but a shadowland.

    God chooses to live not only among us, but within us. Why??? would He want too? Jesus left His throne in glory to come and live on earth and die a horrible death on the cross. Why??? Because God loves us. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Praise God for His never-ending, all encompassing, unfathomable love!

    Very late in getting here today. If anyone comes here after me, asking prayer for terrible lower back/hip pain that came out of nowhere yesterday morning.

    @Kelly Neo – still no full time job for my sister. And I haven’t had any more contact with my cousin Scott. He did respond to my initial message but didn’t address me giving him the gospel. Thank you for asking about both and for your prayers!
    @Julic C. – great comment, thank you for your thoughts.
    @Traci G. – praying for Debbie and Larry.
    @Laura Diane – prayers for safe delivery and healthy grand baby!
    @Mia – continued prayers for you and your family.
    @Rhonda J. – praying for you today!

  12. Mercy says:

    Happy Thursday shes. How does this week go by so fast? Tomorrow is Friday already.
    I was a bit distracted today with the gemstones on the ephod’s breastplate for a moment lol. I was googling how they looked like. Anyone else ? :)

    I am so thankful that we are His holy temple by His grace and His pursuit. Praise the Holy One who considers our lowly estate and yet still chooses to dwell with us.

    Isaiah 57:15, For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

    @RHONDA J: I think you are beautiful and wonderful❤️. Thank you for reaching out to AMANDA with your email.
    @JULIA C: thank you for joining. I put your name down ❤️
    @TRACI G: prayers for Debbie and her husband Larry, praise God that you were there with her as God’s voice of faith. God has been using you so mightily to encourage people in the hardest of times. I am just in awe hearing the stories that you recently shared of whom you ministered to.
    @MICHELLE PATIRE: how are you and your brother doing? Prayers that the tension is easing between you and him after the rough conversation.
    @INDIANA ELAINE: did your student’s aneurysm surgery go okay? Was the surgery successful and is he in recovery?
    @GWINETH52: prayers for your insomnia, good rest & strength. Missing you.
    @ADRIENNE: how is your friend Sharon’s recovery from her skull surgery after the fall? And her husband Fred’s colon cancer treatment? prayers over them.
    @MARTHA HIX: continual prayers over Jesse.
    @DANIELLE B: prayers over your car accident recovery, and grace for the hard season to come to pass.
    @MIA FAITH: prayers and hugs over you and your family today, thank you for coming on to comment ❤️. It comforts me to see your name here knowing that you are okay and in our midst.

    Be blessed dear sisters ❤️

  13. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I don’t take for granted the wonderful truth that God dwells inside of me. I pray that I will put my hope in the promise that God will one day dwell with us completely and fully.

  14. MARTHA HIX says:

    Amen!
    All of these declarations and revelations in our reading and your insightful and interpretative comments are so good!!!
    Please Lord let it permeate us as You reveal Yourself to each of us. ❤️

  15. Allison Bentley says:

    He dwells in me!! Praising God this morning for the reminder that God is merciful and the “mercy seat” is always open!!! @Katie Megee- so true and mind blowing!! Thanks for adding the verses! Happy Thursday She’s! Lifting everyone up in prayer! ☮️❤️

  16. Rhonda J. says:

    Thank you so much Tami C!! Have a great day! You have no choice but to show up each day for school! Sometimes I need that! That is one reason I have my groups of serving…4 days a week I gotta show up! But it still is wearisome sometimes. Thank you for leaving that comment! And all of you all each day..
    -thank you Mercy yesterday!
    -thank you for sharing Traci G..that is so hard and so sweet too that you got to be with her. Prayers for her and her hubby. Praise God he went to church. God will move in him. He might be angry for awhile, but God will soften him.

    Have a blessed day.

  17. Ginny Krawczynski says:

    He descends to the lowly, though He is seated as The Highest!

  18. Mari V says:

    “…. when we were fully dwell with Him-and He with us-forever.”

  19. Traci Gendron says:

    Yesterday I met with an old friend that has been told they have no treatments left for her and she has 6 months to live. We talked a lot about our faith. After 30 some years she finally got her husband to go to church with her. Praise God! It was a beautiful day spent talking and looking back on our lives together. We had some good laughs. As she drove away a huge emotional heaviness weighed on me. I may never see her again here on earth. Please pray for her. Her name is Debbie and her husband is Larry.

  20. Mia Faith says:

    A day is coming…
    Holding on to this!!

  21. Tami C says:

    Rhonda, we posted at the same time. Just read your post. Thank you always for your transparency. I understand how you feel. I “know” these things but they haven’t quite “dropped” into my heart. And I’ll constantly messing us, moving forward, taking a step back, cursing (was it Traci? that admitted that – you aren’t alone), living in my flesh, holding grudges, etc. But like the quote from Joyce Meyer, “I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I was.” So what do we do? We keep showing up, keep doing the next right thing, repent and move on til the next time we have to repent. Gotta run.. I’m a teacher and bell just rang lol.

  22. Rhonda J. says:

    Oh Katie, Chyrel and CeeGee you summed that up much better than me, ty!

  23. Tami C says:

    Exodus 40:36 the Israelites set out whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle… if the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out..
    This convicted me. How many times do I set out without waiting on the Lord? How many decisions do I make without consulting Him? I want to walk in obedience and move when he tells me to move, stay when he tells me to stay.

  24. Rhonda J. says:

    GM

    I have to admit I have so much trouble with the grasping that HiS presence is with us..the ALMIGHTY GOD in us. He is bigger than anything we can grasp and make sense of, yet he dwells in us. I am so fleshy, and look to God for all my needs, worship Him as creator, know he is working in me to make me better…yet, I know I don’t “act” like His Glorious presence is in me. I mean, I am a slug this morning on the couch..and I don’t feel his presence. I feel like such a mess…outside and inside. Meaning my body is failing me (age and chronic pain, beauty fading with wrinkles and spots, can’t move and do the things I love…and on and on) –How can that feel like the Holy Spirit?! Then all my failings and negative personality traits…critical, sometimes tired and grumpy..argumentative with my hubby and tired..yes I repeated tired because I’m…tired. All that saying…it is so hard to know HE resides in me. Does that make any sense. I know what I know, yet how do I “grasp?” I dunno. It is hard to “let” the Holy Spirit be bigger than flesh-me. My thinking, thoughts, and feelings…His ways are higher than our ways..Lord let it be. Let me put the HOLY Spirit ahead of me. I could erase and start over..but I am going to leave in case anyone else “gets” or feels like that this morning. All I know is the truth is HE DOES reside in us, he makes his temple to dwell in his followers, and I can know that and put it to practice and God will renew my strength, he will sit with me, He will make me a new creation. He loves this tire old body and drained spirit, because I can not do it in my own strength.

    We have a Freedom Conference at church tomorrow night and Saturday. It is going to be just what I need. Praying for all of you that are tired and drained from care-taking, fighting a illness and disease, fighting spiritual battles, mental battles, losses and more. He sees me, He sees you. He is a personal God that loves us. The might God that creates all, yet dwells in the tabernacle with his people. That is a blessed assurance.

    Amanda Noble…let us know if you are here, and if you could contact me at rhondafit at gmail I could get some information from you so we can gift you from your She’s!!

  25. Rhonda J. says:

    GM

    I have to admit I have so much trouble with the grasping that HiS presence is with us..the ALMIGHTY GOD in us. He is bigger than anything we can grasp and make sense of, yet he dwells in us. I am so fleshy, and look to God for all my needs, worship Him as creator, know he is working in me to make me better…yet, I know I don’t “act” like His Glorious presence is in me. I mean, I am a slug this morning on the couch..and I don’t feel his presence. I feel like such a mess…outside and inside. Meaning my body is failing me (age and chronic pain, beauty fading with wrinkles and spots, can’t move and do the things I love…and on and on) –How can that feel like the Holy Spirit?! Then all my failings and negative personality traits…critical, sometimes tired and grumpy..argumentative with my hubby and tired..yes I repeated tired because I’m…tired. All that saying…it is so hard to know HE resides in me. Does that make any sense. I know what I know, yet how do I “grasp?” I dunno. It is hard to “let” the Holy Spirit be bigger than flesh-me. My thinking, thoughts, and feelings…His ways are higher than our ways..Lord let it be. Let me put the HOLY Spirit ahead of me.

    I could erase and start over..but I am going to leave in case anyone else “gets” or feels like that this morning. All I know is the truth is HE DOES reside in us, he makes his temple to dwell in his followers, and I can know that and put it to practice and God will renew my strength, he will sit with me, He will make me a new creation. He loves this tire old body and drained spirit, because I can not do it in my own strength.

    We have a Freedom Conference at church tomorrow night and Saturday. It is going to be just what I need. Praying for all of you that are tired and drained from care-taking, fighting a illness and disease, fighting spiritual battles, mental battles, losses and more. He sees me, He sees you. He is a personal God that loves us. The might God that creates all, yet dwells in the tabernacle with his people. That is a blessed assurance.

    Amanda Noble…let us know if you are here, and if you could contact me at [email protected] I could get some information from you so we can gift you from your She’s!!

  26. Cee Gee says:

    God’s Presence was with the Israelites “throughout all the stages of their journey.” Ex. 40:38

    His Presence is with US through ALL the stages of our lives. Father, help me to remember that truth and to see You through the clouds and storms that diminish my awareness of Your Presence.

    SEARCHING – ❤❤

    Amen, JULIA C and KELLY NEO.

  27. Cheryl Blow says:

    “We can endure life in the shadows.” This phrase stood out to me. Because of Jesus, we can endure life here and now! He has gone before us as the Perfect Sacrifice and He is our High Priest, ever interceding for us. He is forever interceding for us. Just calls to mind His great love for us!

    He does every according to His pattern and plan. I just left the reading with an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness and love!

    Praying for you all! Stand firm! Don’t be discouraged!

  28. Meme Faye says:

    As i read about the mercy seat, a song by Travis Cottrell called Mercy Seat (Lord, have mercy) comes to mind… here is the youtube link (i think)
    https://youtu.be/xHYbPDOJTDE?si=JvN5_qHOHKNq1bjU
    Have a blessed day, sweet sister Shes!

  29. Katie Megee says:

    And do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6?)…WE are now the tabernacle that houses God’s full glory (in His fullness we have received-somewhere in John, my references aren’t working this morning + chemo brain)…the intricacy, detail, and ornateness with which God designed and instructed Moses to build the tabernacle is the same attention He gives when He knots our bodies together in our mother’s wombs (psalm 139), when He numbers the hairs on our heads (Luke 11). We are the new tabernacle. That always reminds me of His mind-blowing and profound love for my personal design

    1. Taylor Graves says:

      @ Katie I love this! Yes, God paid the same amount of attention when creating us that He did when instructing Moses to build the tabernacle. What a wonderful reminder that we are beautifully made by God to be His dwelling place now.

  30. Julia C says:

    TAYLOR GRAVES – AMEN to your words from yesterday!
    JENNIFER ANAPOL – ❤️
    TRICIA C – ❤️
    MERCY – Forgot to say it yesterday, but count me in as well!
    MARTHA HIX – Praying for perseverance and resilience for Jesse
    TINA – Thank you for sharing that quote of Joyce Meyers “I may not be where I should be but thank God, I am not where I used to be” ❤️
    ERB – Praising with you! I hope your mom’s appointment yesterday was helpful.
    TRACI GENDRON, RHONDA, and all other sisters sharing personal testimonies – Thank you for your honesty and transparency ❤️
    CINDY HANNA – Praying you have a good time in Costa Rica
    LAURA DIANNE – Praying for your daughter, her husband, and the baby
    TAMI C – Praying for healing and strength for your brother
    SEARCHING – ““But walk forward leaving your sin and shame at the foot of Christ’s cross.” Leaving it there, covered by the shed blood of our savior – can I do that, and not feel compelled to snatch it back in time and again?” ❤️
    KELLY (NEO) – Thank you for following up on prayer requests ❤️

  31. Eileen Dowd says:

    Thank you, Julia C. I so enjoyed your comments today. Be blessed.

  32. Cat-tee says:

    Amen ❤️

  33. Searching says:

    Such detail and obedience in the instructions and the building, and the sophistication of their talents & tools always surprises me – weaving, carving, molding, casting …
    One thing that caught my attention right from the start in verse 2 “From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.” May my heart always be willing.

    KELLY (NEO) & JULIA C – Amen, the hope we have, that we long for, eternal life with Christ & our LORD.
    KELLY (NEO) is there a tabernacle study that you’d recommend? ❤️
    TAYLOR GRAVES – He sets us free! Hallelujah!
    ERB ❤️ thank you for mom update, praying for continued healing, relief of nerve pain and BP to settle down. Wonderful news on the speedy OT appointment answer to prayer! We had a speedy answer to prayer yesterday about a water issue in a house we are keeping an eye on for a relative. Company we had never used before had someone there in 45 minutes (from another county) and problem was solved in 15 minutes.
    MARTHA HIX – thank you for Jesse update (KELLY (NEO) is awesome!). Great to hear he is doing well, praying for perseverance and continued improvement.
    TINA – great quote, thankful I am not where I used to be either!
    TRACI GENDRON ❤️ – thank you for your testimony, and I hear ya on not being able to imagine our sisters here swearing … but surely I’m not the only one who still has a “choice” word or two come to mind at times, and the Lord knows our thoughts so same as speaking them. Praying we are able to commit to Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
    CEE GEE ❤️ that song! :)
    LAURA DIANNE – praying for a safe delivery, healthy mom and baby
    NICOLE FLORENCE – yes, baptisms bring happy tears as someone is raised to walk in the newness of life in Christ!
    TAMI C – praying for brother’s healing. Thank you for testimony, may we live so that others want what we have in Christ.
    ADA MCCLOUD – yes, Lord please make it clear.

  34. Aimee D-R says:

    Holy Spirit thank You for Your presence. I need you. Amen

  35. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  36. Ada McCloud says:

    Seeing God’s presence IN the tabernacle as a cloud or fire had to be an amazing experience. I am trying to think of what it compares to and I’m at a loss. There are times I wish God would be that clear now. Just tell me exactly where to put something, how to do something. I’ll take notes and get it done!! Speak to me Lord.

  37. Cindy Hanna says:

    Couldn’t sleep. Decided to read today’s verses and devotional. Sitting in the dark listening to howler monkeys and other things rustling in their own “shadowland”and periodically setting off the outside motion lights.
    Not too different than the way I live my own life. Rustling around, busy with daily tasks, basically in the darkness of distraction until I move towards Jesus and the light of his love illuminates the shadows around me.

  38. Kelly (NEO) says:

    “We can endure life in the shadows because we know a day is coming when we will fully dwell with Him—and He with us—forever.”
    Along with JULIA C, I say Amen and Amen, ERIN!

    If you ever get a chance to do a study on the symbolism of the tabernacle and all its components (down to the tent pegs) I highly recommend it.

    Thank You Holy Spirit for Your presence – closer than my next breath! May Your light chase the shadows/darkness from my life so Your glory shines through

    SHARON JERSEY GIRL – any job leads for your sister?

    ERB – good news! Trusting God will give your mum direction about her blood pressure.

    VICTORIA E – praying your GI appt gives you some answers

    MARI V – continued prayers that Alyssa turns to God for her peace and direction for life.

  39. Julia C says:

    “We can endure life in the shadows because we know a day is coming when we will fully dwell in Him —and He with us—forever.” Amen, ERIN DAVIS!

    Dear Father,

    Thank You for Your presence in Your Word and our lives.
    Thank You for the Hope that one day, we will fully dwell in You and You in us —forever.

    So many people think the Bible is just a book with good stories or inspirational lessons that show us how to live. Although we can learn from the people in the Bible, the Bible is not merely about them or us.

    The Bible is about You: who You are and what You have done.

    Because we are all sinners saved by Your grace. Your endless love and perfect justice became visible in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
    — You condemn sin and set a price for it. That is justice.
    — Jesus took our sins and paid the price. That is love.

    May this truth make us humble.
    May we turn to You —day after day— knowing that You extend Your grace to us —day after day.
    May we show the same love towards others.
    As Luke 7:47 says, “Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”

    Help us when we struggle with sin, both sin of our own and sin of others, and forgive us.
    Let the Gospel change our hearts and lives.
    And may we realize that, at the same time, it’s not those changes that will save our lives, but You —only You.

    In Jesus’ name,

    AMEN.

    1. Mary Ann Graves says:

      Amen