LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a
“The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness”
Definition of Permitting Change: not allowing things to stay the same – giving consent and recognition to something new and different in life
Master Key Verse: My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. – II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
Another step for me to take in our current Life-Journey-Change experience. Another “P” to be placed on my plate of life. Permitting Change! I was struggling! I could not fully permit this change by myself but God showed me that I could do it with His help. Even though I did not want to permit the Lord to help me permit the change, He finally got His message to me through the phrase, “The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness.”
This phrase seemed a little strange to me because the word “tabernacle” is not commonly used today. Maybe that is why the phrase stuck in my mind. “Tabernacle” was used as a verb in this phrase but I also realized it could be used as a noun. We will try to gain insight and make some applications of this word through the following Bible study.
Scriptural Study of Tabernacle
Tabernacle as a noun
Definition (n) – (1) a temporary shelter, as a tent (2) a dwelling place (3) the portable sanctuary carried by the Israelites during their wanderings from Egypt to the Promised Land (4) the Jewish temple
Scriptural introduction to a temple is found in Exodus 25:8 when God spoke to Moses saying, “Have them make a sanctuary (tabernacle) for me, and I will dwell among them.”
For a detailed account of instructions for how the tabernacle was to be constructed, the different parts and pieces making up the tabernacle, and ceremonies to be carried out within the tabernacle, read Exodus 25-30.
Follow the diagram to help you better understand the layout of the tabernacle (Above diagram copied from: tabernacle.http://epignosisministries.com/tag/moses-tabernacle/)
Three parts of the tabernacle
(1) Outer Court
***Altar where burnt offerings were made that were brought by the people
***Basin where priests cleansed themselves before performing duties
(2) Holy Place
***First of two parts of the Inner Court
***Table of Showbread – where 12 loaves of bread were placed – each loaf represented a tribe of Israel
***Lampstand – had 7 burning oil lamps
***Altar of Incense – located closest to the curtain separating the 2 parts of the Inner Court
(3) Holy of Holies
***Most holy place entered only once a year by a priest
***Ark of the Covenant – a golden rectangular box containing the 10 Commandments, Aaron’s rod that budded and manna
*** Atonement Cover – lid of the ark of the covenant with 4 cherubim representing the mercy seat where God dwelt – God’s presence was resting on the Atonement Cover
All was constructed from the inside to the outside – just the opposite of the previous description of the three parts.
Three parts of how God made us
(1)Body – physical flesh
(2)Soul – mind, will and emotions
(3)Spirit – inner being created for closest communion with God
Comparison and Conclusion
(1)Body and Outer Court
(2)Soul and Holy Place
(3)Spirit and Holy of Holies
Each one of us is a temple (tabernacle) of the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 6:19,20 – “Do you not know that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you are bought with a price.”
John 16:13 – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into truth.”
Since we each are a temple of the Holy Spirit and He guides us, we can come back to our master key verse that assures us that His strength will be within us and available to us when we feel weak.
God is tabernacleing (as a verb) in us as His tabernacle (as a noun).
Tabernacle as a verb
Definition: (v) – (1) to live in a temporary shelter (2) to dwell temporarily
The Israelites tabernacle in booths during the Feat of Tabernacles
Leviticus 23:42-43 – “Live in booths for seven days; All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” – symbolic of their temporary dwelling in the wilderness yet God was with them.
Today we tabernacle on the earth until we spend eternity with God – then we will abide with Him forever
Psalm 23:6 “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Today we are temples of the Holy Spirit
I Corinthians 3:16 – “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
Because we are temples of the Holy Spirit, we can say that the Holy Spirit tabernacles in us.
God tabernacles in our weaknesses
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – In our tiredness and weakness we can come to Jesus and find not only rest but we can receive His strength as well.
How can we begin to comprehend and compare God’s strength and our weakness? – Paul says in I Corinthians 1:25, “the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
God offers amazing strength to us!
Listen to how God will tabernacle in our weaknesses according to Psalm 27:5. “For in the day of trouble (weakness) He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
In God Calling by Sarah Young, God’s words say, “I have chosen you less for your strengths than for your weaknesses, which amplify your need of Me.”
Another quote by Sarah Young – “I (the Lord) designed you to be filled with heavenly contents. Your weakness is not a deterrent to being filled with my Spirit; on the contrary, it provides an opportunity for My Power to shine forth more brightly.”
Let us look at a few scriptures that support the concept of God’s strength available to us in our weakness.
***Read II Corinthians 12:9,10 – God’s grace is sufficient – His power is made perfect in our weakness – Paul says, “When I am weak, I am strong.”
***Philippians 4:13 – “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
***Read I Corinthians 2: 1-5 – (v.3) I (Paul) came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling (v.5) so your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
***Read II Corinthians 4:6,7 – We have the treasure of God’s light in our bodies as jars of clay to show that all surpassing power is from God not us – His light shines through our cracks of weakness.
***Isaiah 30:15 – “in quietness and trust is your strength” – We get our strength by trusting in God’s strength.
We can conclude that it is not a detriment to be weak, but rather it is an opportunity for us to personally experience God’s strength. Can you rejoice in your weakness?
There comes a time in our lives along the journey of change that we must choose to permit change. This may be very difficult, or even impossible, for us to do within our own strength. The good news is that we do not need to do it by ourselves because God is with us. He is living and tabernacling within us to give us the strength to do what we cannot do on our own.
We talked about “tabernacle” as a noun being a place of temporary shelter or a tent. However, listen to Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples (tabernacles) built by hands.” Our God is too big to be contained within a building.
John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This is tabernacling as a verb. Tabernacled as a verb is the same word as dwelt. In the Old Testament the Israelites celebrated God being with them in the wilderness through the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. In the New Testament, Jesus came to earth for a period of 33 years tabernacling with the people. We talked about our having the privilege of the Holy Spirit tabernacling within us because we are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always with us, but our weakness gives Him the opportunity to reveal Himself and His power personally to us.
Tabernacleing in a tabernacle is temporary, even if the tabernacle is our bodies. However, we have the promise that the day will come when our life’s journey has encountered all of its changes and we will dwell forever with our God. In the NKJV Revelation 21;3,4 reads, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, or crying. There shall be no more pain, for former things have passed away.‘” That means no more weakness! But in the meantime, remember the Lord tabernacles in weakness.
Read Psalm 27:4-6 printed below for a final declaration.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shadow of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.