The things that used to construct the biblical Tabernacle represent the things that have gone into making each one of us. And, if we are willing to see ourselves as God sees us, we may get a very different image.
First, we have to understand that the Tabernacle wasn't meant to be understood as God's domicile or personal place of residence. It's specifically distinguished in the ancient Hebrew Texts of Exodus 25 that God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle so that He might dwell “among them” not “in it.” So the Tabernacle isn't understood to be a fortress that separates God from the daily lives of the people. Rather, it is more like the familiar pub, or coffee shop, or park bench, where two friends come together, that feels like home to both. Maybe that works well for most of us when we're talking about the Holy Temple, or even the local church or synagogue. But, remember, the image that is being cast respresents our own physical bodies.
So, God starts with making a shopping list: gold, silver, gems, fabrics, wood and metal. The first thing that He has to convey about the stuff that we're made of is that it's not the common material that you're likely to have buried in the back of your shed. These are things of value. These are things that are chosen by kings to design and decorate their familiar spaces. When God looks at you, the first thing that you need to understand is that He didn't buy your parts and pieces off the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. He made you from the some of the best stuff on earth.
When we finally see the creation that God intended, the monolith of God's Tabernacle erected singularly in the wilderness of life. We have to notice that it is layered . There are parts that no one sees and there are parts that everyone sees. The entire structure is mostly surrounded by a 7 ½ foot white curtain wall. There is one doorway. It has a 22 foot gap between the curtains on one side where anyone who is really looking can peer in to see what goes on in the outer courts.
That's what we have to show to everyone around us. We have a white washed exterior, that is pretty bland; but if someone really wants to see inside, it's not hard to come around to the front and peer in to see the blood and sacrifice of what we're really all about.
But there's more to you than that. And anyone can see that there is more.
There are four layers that cover the innermost parts of our being. Only a very select few ever get to know what is inside. All that the rest of the world really sees of it is a tough leather exterior, weathered by sun and sand. Beneath that is layer that is blood red, our commitments and our passions (some, on rare occasion may get a glimpse of that from the outside). Then there is tough woven fabric of goat's hair. But underneath is something amazing.
The walls inside are all covered with gold. There is light. There is the warm, inviting smell of baked bread. There is everything healthy, and vibrant and beautiful, inside of you, in that holy place that only your most intimate of companions will ever share. And, then, even beyond, even deeper, there is a quiet chamber where only the Presence of God meets you.
That's what God sees when He looks at you. Now, there is a lot of variation to each of our lives. The care, the honor, the things we allow in or keep out makes this sacred structure of our being something of value or something of contempt. But, it is what we are. The potential is staggering.