[CF Devotionals] 2004-10-17 - The Tabernacle

Haggai, Part 19

The purpose of the Tabernacle was as a place of worship and sacrifice for the Israelite in the wilderness. But God's primary purpose was to give them and us a picture of the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross. God never intended the sacrificial system to save anyone. As we read in Hebrews:

"When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean, sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:11-14).

The truths pictured in the Tabernacle were carried on through the line of temples. The outward appearances of the structure may have changed, but the layout, purpose and typology have never changed. The only difference will be in the Millennial age, but we will get to that later. In order of appearance, the temples are; Solomon's, Ezekiel's, Zerubbabel's, and Herod's. But we won't take them quite in this order, because Ezekiel's never existed in the physical plain. It was a vision of the Millennial one. Therefore we will look at it last.

Returning to the NIV Dictionary, we read:

"TEMPLE (Heb. hekhal, bayith, Gr. hieron, naos). Three temples stood successively on Mt. Moriah (2 Chron 3:1) in Jerusalem. The first was built by Solomon, the second by Zerubbabel, and the third by Herod the Great. Most ancient religions had temples. The Jerusalem temple was distinctive, in that it contained no idol in the inner sanctum, but only a box (called the ark) containing the two tablets of the law, with the symbolic worshiping cherubim above."
"Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David" (1 Chronicles 3:1).

Solomon's Temple: King David wanted to build God a house that was worthy of Him. But because he was a man of war, he wasn't allowed. He did, however, prepare the plans. His son Solomon was given the opportunity to construct the first temple from his father's plans.

"Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work. Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the LORD, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service" (1 Chronicles 28:10-13).

So Solomon began building the temple sometime around 967/966 BC. It took seven years to build and was completed around 950 BC, when it was dedicated to the Lord: As we find in 1 Kings:

"In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it" (1 Kings 6:38).

This temple represented Israel at the height of its glory. This wasn't necessarily a spiritual height, but materially and politically. The structure was beautiful, and it was this that caused the older among the returnees to weep for its loss. This glory hasn't been seen since and won't until we see the Millennial Temple.

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com