Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet…
Consider here -
I. GOD'S COMMANDMENT THAT A DWELLING-PLACE SHOULD BE PROVIDED FOR HIM. Against even the least degree of image-making there was a stern edict; and we might also have expected that there would be equal sternness in forbidding the creation of aught in the shape of a holy house. For what on the face of it would seem more probable than this, that the erection of a holy house would be a strong inducement towards the fashioning of some visible representation of Deity? Thus we might conjecture; but our conjectures soon get swept away as we are made clearly to understand that it was a good thing for Israel that Jehovah their God, their guide, and their unfailing support, should have a dwelling-place in the midst of their dwelling-places. Such a dwelling-place was no necessity for him, but to the people it was a help so great, that it became a necessity; and so we see they were more than permitted, they were even commanded, to construct an enclosure which should be reckoned the house of God. When we want to find one of our fellow-men, we reckon that it is at his house we shall find him easiest; and just as it is possible, by going and making proper request at the palace-gates, to get a great favour from a king without even a momentary vision of his face, so an Israelite was to be taught that by going to the holy dwelling of Jehovah - whom no man had seen or could see - he might unquestionably secure Divine benefits. As there was a condescension in the new dispensation, so there was in the old. He who became to a certain extent circumscribed in the limits of a human body, only carried out into a more abiding and far-reaching mystery, the circumscribing which first became a fact at Sinai. He who has the heaven for his throne and the earth for his footstool, chose to make the narrow limits of the tabernacle his peculiar dwelling-place. He meant Israel to understand that he was there, as he was nowhere else.
II. THE PECULIAR FORM WHICH THIS DWELLING-PLACE ASSUMED. Ever as the people dwelt in tents, easily set up and easily taken down, so God, in the midst of them, likewise dwelt in a tent. There was of course an elaboration and costliness about the tent of Jehovah, such as could not be found in the tents of even the noblest and wealthiest of the people; but still it was essentially a tent. A correspondence obtained between this tabernacle with all its splendid adornments which could not have obtained, if even the plainest of true buildings had taken its place. It is most needful for us to remember that the house of God in the midst of his people was not a building that had foundations. It was strictly suited to their wants. It was more suited to their immediate future than they themselves had any apprehension of; and we cannot but feel that for one thing, God had in view their forty years' wandering. They had not yet sinned the sin which led to this penalty; but that sin was before the mind of him who knew their expectations and their instability. Then it would appear also that God had nothing else than a tabernacle in view, even after his people secured each one their place in the lot of their temporal inheritance. It is not perhaps too much to say that the erection of the splendid temple which glorified Solomon's reign was no part of the Divine intent. God made the erection of that imposing mass to work in with his intent; but in the end it proved to have no more stability than the tabernacle which preceded it. Bear in mind what Jesus said of the temple which was standing in his time. His disciples in admiration pointed to the great stones which went to compose it; but Jesus in the discernment of his heart nevertheless was able to point out that not one stone should be left on another. The temple seemed more stable than the tabernacle; but it was only a seeming. Well-meaning men, not able to escape from carnal notions, may make God's house to take the temple-form, but God himself will take care that it has the tabernacle-reality. It is not in what we can make with our hands, be we ever so liberal, be we ever so diligent, that God can find a real abode. His real abode is in ourselves, in each of us who are holy and perfected individuals through our believing connection with Christ, and still more in the midst of his perfected people, joined together in the inexpressible, indestructible harmony of heaven. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.