He Tabernacled Among Us

Brian Mahon - 12/24/2023


Call to worship: 1 John 4:7-12

Text: Exodus 40:34-38


Exodus closes as the Lord enters the tabernacle, filling it with His glory. Even Moses, who finished all the work as the Lord commanded, is put out by His indwelling presence. Is there a way back into the tent of meeting? Indeed. It's now furnished with emblems of grace that keep relationship with an ever-present Lord. In this way, their Shepherd visibly dwells among them, guiding them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. They see Him. As He moves, they move. But will they live by faith always? The answer finally comes as the Son puts on flesh and tabernacles among them. Jesus is God incarnate. He calls Himself the temple. As He dies, the way into God is opened. As He lives, He indwells all who believe. The Church is the temple of God, the local church, the visible manifestation of Him and His glory on earth. The more we fix our eyes on Him, the more we keep in step with Him, the more we'll show what He's saved us to show.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Meeting the God Who dwells among us (40:34-35)
  2. Following the God Who dwells among us (40:36-38)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Exodus 40:34-38. Consider it in light of the other passages for Scripture reading.
  2. What has just been accomplished (40:33)? Upon this accomplishment, what happens? What does the Lord's glorious presence signify about the tent/tabernacle that Moses/Israel has built? Where has God defined His glory, and what does it mean, then, about the character of the Person 'within the veil'?
  3. Why was Moses not able to enter the tent at this time? How is that a change from 33:7-11? What has changed? What do these verses tell us about God, His heart, His will, His purpose, ultimately? Consider Genesis 2, John 1, Acts 2, Revelation 21. God desires to dwell with us. All souls, whether they know and admit it or not, truly long to meet and abide with God. Is that our felt desire?
  4. What does Moses affirm in 40:36-38? What does visibility have to do with it? Why does God care to be made visible? How does that find expression in the advent of Christ? How does Jesus understand Himself in, say, John 2:19? How do the apostles' understand Him in, say, John 1:14-18 or Colossians 1:18-20?
  5. How does divine visibility relate to vivid discipleship? What does seeing have to do with being and behaving? How did this play out in the journeying life of Israel? How should it play out in the journeying life of the Church? How has the advent of Jesus advanced the concept of the people of God? What is a church? Consider 1 Peter 2:3-5. Who/what is the temple of God today? What does that mean for our purpose in the world - until God dwells among His people once and for all?
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