KEY SCRIPTURE Habakkuk 2:2-3 & Isaiah 35:8
Habakkuk 2:2-3 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Isaiah 35:8. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
There is a connection between these two scriptures. Both point to a day or time when truths shall be established. While Habukkuk speaks of a distinct vision that will surely come and is important enough to write down in plain language, presumably allowing anybody to follow it, not just the skilled or educated. Isaiah points to a way of holiness where the people who travel thereon may appear fools to others, but in the end, shall be exonerated for their faithfulness to it.
This leads me to thoughts on the Tabernacle and questions we should be asking.
Picture the Tabernacle from the Eastern or entrance side at sunrise. What an astonishing sight. A 2.3 metre high and twenty-three-metre wide wall of curtains. (Fifty cubits wide x five cubits high. A cubit is around 450mm). Each curtain strongly supported by polished brass posts of the same height with attachments of silver hooks and 'fillets' (not from fish!). The posts with their gleaming silver caps sit securely grounded in their brass sockets, as solid as cemented fenceposts.
Three white curtains on the left-hand side, four multi-coloured curtains in the centre or Gate looking resplendent in blue, purple, scarlet, and white linen, and a further three white curtains on the right-hand side.
What a sight to behold. A white wall of righteousness standing between the world outside and the priesthood, interrupted by an intense and specific colouration. These four colours were also in the High Priest's garments, so is that trying to show us a correlation between the entrance and the High Priest?
Why would God require four coloured curtains for an entrance when one would have been enough? And why did He choose those particular colours from the full range of colours at His disposal? What made Him decide on five cubits high or 2.3 metres? There are a number of fives in the Tabernacle parts. In fact, when we read about the parts in Exodus, we see many Tabernacle measurements are divisible by five.
And I find it very strange the way the posts and curtains are numbered in Exodus 27:13-16. God mentioned there were only three posts on the left-hand side. This doesn't seem to make sense when they are hanging three curtains, as one would expect God to write in the fourth post to hold up the end of the third curtain. But the fourth post was also the first post of the four coloured curtains.
Likewise, the four coloured curtains didn't have the fifth post. The fifth post became the first post of the right-hand side's three white curtains. Naturally, there are sufficient posts for all curtains, but the way it is written seems to identify an example of cooperation between the white and coloured sections. It seems to say the gate remains part of the full wall of righteousness, but with more to say.
It's worth acknowledging that two lots of three curtains make six, the number of man, as if man is divided or split into two even parts by the entrance gate. The number three generally represents the Trinity or Divinity. Thoughts of Matthew 7:14 come to mind of the Strait Gate concept, which always puzzled me, as little else is mentioned of it other than it being a sort of entrance for the New Testament priesthood.
It's also worth appreciating that the Tabernacle was lit by three completely different kinds of lights. The natural light or sun for outside and inside the court area, then a candlestick fed by oil for the Holy Place; then the Shekinah light or God's glory for the Holy of Holies. Is there a holy progressive pattern here?
The more we look at the Tabernacle, the more patterns and sign language come from it.
I wonder if Moses questioned God when he received this blueprint, as a builder would an architect? Maybe God told him the Tabernacle was the type, the example of better things to come? Receiving construction information from God is where Moses' training under Pharoah in Egypt became essential. His Egyptian building skills would have given him immediate understanding as God spoke. Many of us would have said, "Sorry, can you say that again? I'm not quite getting it." But Moses, with his regal upbringing, would have understood everything—the blueprint, the concept of a worship centre, the need for accuracy, and the dedication to purity from the priesthood once built. The perfect person for this role!
Anyhow, I guess there is much in the Bible that God expects us to find out. Maybe that is why 2 Timothy 2:15 guides us to, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Moses had to work hard to source materials and build the Tabernacle and keep it running for all those years. So we shouldn't expect our job to be easy, should we?
All I know is there's a lot to learn.
Dear Lord, I've said it before but the more I find out the less I know. Please help my understanding and my diligence in searching out these matters of holiness which are so important to you.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez