All the gold that was used in all the work of the holy place, that is, the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred and thirty shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. And the silver from those who were numbered of the congregation was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. (Exodus 38:24-25)
With all of the wealth that went into the building of the Sanctuary, it isn’t hard to imagine that the enemies of Israel, had they known, would have seen it as a prize to be looted and destroyed. However, there is no record to suggest that the Tabernacle was ever molested. It seems that, as long as it was in use, it remained intact and was never captured or desecrated. There is a footnote to this, however; in the days of Eli the High Priest, when the Sanctuary was in Shiloh, the Ark of the Covenant was removed by his wicked sons and taken to a battlefield and subsequently captured. It was on that same day that the wife of Eli’s son, Phineas, gave birth to a son she named Ichabod — a name which means “There is no glory.”
She was referring to the glory of God that had departed the Sanctuary and the people of Israel. With all of its inherent wealth, without the Presence of God, the Sanctuary was just a tent with expensive accoutrements. In time, the Tabernacle simply disappeared from history. Later, the two Temples that succeeded it — the one built by Solomon and the one updated by Herod — though outfitted with precious metals and other expensive trappings — were eventually looted and destroyed AFTER the Presence of God vacated them. Without His Presence, they were simply huge, impressive buildings with expensive furnishings but with no life.
In short, these structures only served their purpose when God inhabited them. Likewise, we who are Temples of the Holy Spirit, only serve our purpose when the Presence of the Almighty resides within us. Short of that we exist but don’t truly live — not in the way that the Creator intended. Seeing this amplifies the need for us to live in a way whereby the Holy Spirit always feels welcome. He will only abide in a Temple that is clean and holy — He will not long abide in a house that is filled with things that offend. Thankfully, His Word defines what is holy and what is not so that we, the Temple, can make certain to do and not do what is right in His eyes. And so may it never be that “Ichabod” is used to describe any of us, but that His glory is always seen upon us and working in us.
Blessings and Shalom,