And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory. So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests (Exodus 29:43-44)
In these verses we see a summation of the Sanctuary’s purpose — God’s desire to dwell among His people and that every component functions properly when He is present. For all of its intricacy and beauty, without the Presence of the Holy One, the sanctuary — and later the Temple — would have only been a structure that allowed men to engage in religious practice. It was His Presence that made it come alive and function in the way that He intended allowing His people to enjoy a relationship with Him.
The evidence of this truth is the fact that both the Tabernacle and the Temple ceased to exist when God’s Presence vacated those structures. In the days of Eli the High Priest and his two son, Hophni and Phineas, God’s Presence departed the Tabernacle resulting in the capture of the Ark of the Covenant and the death of Eli and his sons. It was on that day, in fact, that Phineas’ wife named her new born son, Ichabod — “there is no glory” — with her dying breath. The temple built by Solomon was destroyed by the king of Babylon for the same reason — the glory had departed. The same is true with the Second Temple.
The lesson for us is that, as Temples of the Holy Spirit, our gifts and talents — as attractive as they might be to many — don’t mean much if they aren’t being used for the right reason. Moreover, we only function in our purpose as His people when His Presence is in our lives. Without Him dwelling within us, we might exist but we don’t really live, at least not in the way He has intended. With His Presence in our lives, the gifts and talents He has given us are sanctified and consecrated for His glory. As a result, those we meet will know of the one true God because they will recognize that it is He who works within us. More than ever before, we need to be filled with His Presence that we might fulfill our role in His purpose — not just for ourselves but for the sake of others who need to know the one and only God.
Blessings and Shalom,