"Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD." Psalm 107:43
Text: Exodus 26
ATTEMPTING TO COMPREHEND THE CONCEPT OF GOD’S HOLINESS
The Holiest Place was clearly marked out and distinguished from the rest of the Tabernacle. The concept of holiness was clearly taught again and again. It was a particularly difficult concept to comprehend indeed! A review of how God tried to teach them about His holiness would serve to highlight the profundity of this doctrine.
1. Mount Sinai off-limits
Mount Sinai was off-limits to all when the Lord descended on it to speak to Israel. On pain of death, the children of Israel were strictly forbidden to touch even the base of the mountain (Cf. Exodus 19)!
2. Only on invitation- and even then limits were established
Even when the other leaders of Israel were invited to worship the Lord up the mountain, they were only allowed to go up to a certain level. Only Moses was allowed to ascend the heights of the holy mountain of God (Cf. Exodus 24)
3. The concept of the Holiest Place
The concept of separating the Holiest Place from the rest of the tabernacle served to reinforce an important truth.
4. What were some of the lessons God sought to teach Israel?
a) That He was profoundly holy and none may trifle with that concept.
b) That man was essentially unholy and thus he must take extra care when he approaches God.
c) That even if God said that He would make a tabernacle with Israel, He is not to be treated in a common manner (Cf. Exodus 25:8).
d) That God would meet with man only on the basis of His great mercy. It was only at the Mercy Seat that God would speak even to Moses (Cf. Exodus 25:22).
e) The concept of such profound holiness was never taught in any other religion that Israel had known.
5. Cultivating “The Fear of the Lord”
It is very likely that the Lord desired to teach Israel how it was to relate to Him. One of the most fundamental truths that Israel must learn was that there must be the highest regard for the Lord! That reverence of the Lord must be cultivated and instilled deep in the hearts of all who called upon the name of the Lord! There must be a healthy fear of the Lord if there is any genuine understanding of God at all!