The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey

They serve at a sanctuary [tabernacle] which is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.”

(Heb 8:5)

There is something very special about the Tabernacle (the place of worship, where, we are told that the presence of God resided with the Hebrew people in the Old Testament). Moses was told to build the tabernacle exactly as God had shown to him in a revelation. The book of Hebrews, in the New Testament,  enlightens us further explaining that the tabernacle was a “copy and shadow” of that which is in heaven. Something of the heavenly structure of worship was represented in that earthly tabernacle. We don't know what or how the structure mirrored heaven, but we do know that it was a most holy place containing the very presence of God. The tabernacle was a place that could only be entered after ritual cleansing and, the inner 'most holy place', could only be entered by the high priest - and that only happened once a year. Incredibly holy – no sin could enter there.

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them...”

(Rev 21:3)

 In the book of Revelation, John sees the tabernacle - that inner dwelling of God - being with and inmen (mankind). The tabernacle, as described in the Old Testament and the New Testaments, explains, as we have seen,  the fact of the very presence of a holy God dwelling there. It was very holy! Utterly holy! No impure, sinful or unclean thing could ever enter there. God's plan is that the hearts men, women, boys and girls become that tabernacle – being the place of residence of the very God of the universe. That is so far beyond our understanding we can only imagine or get a tiny glimpse of now. And yet, in the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit at Pentecost God began that process – and through holy living, His revelation and presence reside more and more within us. 

Finally, if we are being transformed into the very tabernacle of God, sin must have no place in us! If no sin or defilement could enter Moses' tabernacle, likewise nothing spiritually dark, sinful or sexually unclean must be allowed to contaminate us. We must be vigilant! Drive out and avoid anything sinful, or God will not reside there. And, if we do sin, let us quickly throw ourselves at the Cross of Jesus Christ in repentance of our sin and to receive cleansing. We are called to be children of God – Oh, that we should appreciate what a holy calling that is! Bless His Name.