Exodus 40:16-21,34-38; Ps 84 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, Mighty God; Matt 13:47-53
We look at the building of God's dwelling amongst the people of Israel.
A few things stand out. First, several times this phrase is repeated, "as the LORD had commanded."
This phrase which is at the beginning and end of the part of the dwelling being built reminds us that it is God alone who determines how he will be present in our world and where he will dwell.
Everything is gift or grace. It is up to us to respond to the invitation. We cannot force God's hand but we can be attentive and obedient to his call and command.
We hear about this dwelling several times in the passage. The "dwelling" in Hebrew is indicative of "where one settles down" or "builds a home" or "rest regularly." God is choosing on his own to find rest among humanity. This is encouraging. This is refreshing. This brings us hope.
Secondly, as we read the development of Moses putting together the dwelling it seems like one of those projects that require assembly. We have all bought things in which the packaging will say "assembly required." I get that sense when i read these words of Moses' action, "He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns…hung the curtain veil..."
Assembly required suggest that though God alone chooses how he will be present in our world, this revelation also invokes and requires a relationship. God does not dwell in our midst on his own without involving us in the process. Revelation and relationship always seem to be connected.