The Lord said to Moses, “….You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give…gold, silver and bronze… blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen… “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
Exodus 25, verses 1, 2 & 8
In the ultimate working out of the covenant (Exodus 24), the people are set apart as the Lord’s own in worship. There is a sacrifice, shed blood, and a meal in the presence of the Holy One. These images cast a very Jesus-shaped shadow. Then, on the mountain covered by his glory, God gives Moses the detailed design for the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle; a way of carrying his own glorious presence for them to worship and for the nations to see.
In the New Covenant, Jesus has brought through his blood, God’s promises to bring us right into his presence and give us the Holy Spirit to live in us. Like the beautiful, costly, detailed, royal ark of his presence; we are remade, recreated and carefully crafted by his own hands to become a place where he dwells.
So what did God ask his people to freely offer as materials for the ark and the tabernacle? The gold, silver, bronze and valuables God plundered from their enemies the night they left Egypt, the treasures of their past from their terrible years of oppression. He wants us to lay down all our past, all that we are for Jesus. He does not throw it away, he takes it, melts it down in the fire of the Spirit, and uses it as part of the glorious design to give his presence to us and through us to others. Whatever we carry from the past, whatever the enemy thought was his, Jesus can make us beautiful in him if we are willing to offer our all: our experiences, training, mistakes, personality, weaknesses, sufferings, disappointments, emotions, and unfulfilled desires. So often we think these things cannot be part of who God wants us to be now, but he asks us to bring it, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to him at the cross. There, Jesus does not just free us from the past – he redeems the past.
Real transformation comes when we choose to place it all in Jesus’ nail-scarred hands, so he can come in, heal, restore, and remake us as his home. He will redeem and use our past to give his beautiful presence to us and to those we meet. It takes time, but you can trust Jesus as the skillful healer and craftsman. So come to him, willing to give him your past.
v. 8: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them
John 14:17 But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Pray that you, and those you are praying for, will offer all of themselves to the Lord, your past and all that belonged to the enemy, and allow Jesus to craft you by the fire of the Holy Spirit into a beautiful place of his of his presence, for you and for others to see him. Pray that you and they would welcome the Holy Spirit and not be too afraid or too proud for him to have your whole heart as his home.