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What Can I Learn From the Articles of the Temple/Tabernacle?

The Psalmist said, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory” (Ps. 63:1-2). Where was His sanctuary? In the Old Testament, it was the Temple and the Tabernacle. Today, God does not dwell in buildings. Our bodies are the sanctuary. He does not write His law on tablets but on our hearts. As we consider how God met with His people in the past, it will help us as we approach Him today. In Exodus 25:8-9, 22 the Lord says, “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you… There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you.” Just like God gave a physical pattern to approach Him in the Old Testament, He has given us a pattern, model, guide, template, outline we can pray through today. Imagine walking through the Tabernacle as you pray.

The Outer Court: Focus on Thanksgiving 

Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”  He inhabits the praises of His people. Before you ask God for more, thank Him for what you already have. Find something to be thankful for. Gratitude is so important.

The Brazen Altar: Focus on the Cross

Then, focus on the cross. The brazen altar was where animal sacrifices were made. Seeing the altar covered in blood would remind the people that something had to die because of their sin. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin. Jesus is the once and for all sacrifice for sin! He is the only way to get into the presence of Holy God. “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:1-5, 12).

The Laver of Water: Focus on Cleansing

The laver was made of mirrors where the people had to look at themselves. Pray, “Search my heart oh God….” We don’t need to be saved again but we need to be washed daily with the Word and filled with the Holy Spirit. I want to be a clean vessel that God can use. Let Jesus wash every part of your life: attitude, thoughts, heart, actions, etc. Pray over your body, your mind, ears, eyes, mouth, hands, feet. Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1). Remember the old songs, “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord for thee” and “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy tried and true.”

The Candlestick: Focus on the Holy Spirit

In the Bible, fire represents the Spirit of God. Ask God to manifest the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you are saved, you also have at least one spiritual gift (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, 1 Pet. 4, Eph. 4). Beyond that, you have the Giver of the gifts! Ask God to help you do what you have to do each day.

Table of Shewbread: Focus on The Word of God

This area would smell like a bakery. It would lure you to the only thing that can satisfy your life and the only offensive weapon to fight spiritual warfare. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “‘It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” God speaks to you though His word. God will never say anything that contradicts His Word. Feed on God’s word.  The Word is our only offensive weapon against the enemy. “Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:17-18).

The Incense: Focus on Worship

Have you ever walked by or in a perfume store or candle store? Our life is to be a sweet-smelling fragrance to God. Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Worship means worthship! You may be thinking, I thought we already worshipped.  No, we entered with praise. We move to worship His Name. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.” Worship the names of God.

The Ark: Focus on Intercession  

Now we can come into the Holy of Holies, emptied of self and sin. You would not take filth in a special place. The Holy of Holies is where the priest would intercede for the people. Make your case for others. Plead with God like Abraham interceded for Lot and Moses interceded for the people. Do what Paul meant when he said, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). You stand between the person and God, the problem and God.  You bring this to God and bring God to this. Cast all your care on Him because He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7).

When Jesus was crucified, the veil was torn. Today, we can go through the curtain with confidence.  Come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in your time of need (Heb. 4:16).


Works Consulted:

Pray First, Chris Hodges

The Prayer Code, O.S. Hawkins

The Tabernacle, Stephen Olford


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