“And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Leviticus 26:11-12).
One point should be clear by now: whether in the old covenant, or new covenant, the Lord seeks a close, loving relationship with His people. In fact, the covenants basically help form (for lack of a better word) the “rules” for that relationship.
Relationship is crucial to the covenant, in whatever time or context. Yet for a relationship to exist, there needs to be interaction, communication, and contact, particularly for sinful, fallible, doubting humans. The Lord, of course, knowing this, took the initiative to be sure that He would manifest Himself to us in ways so that we — within the confines of fallen humanity — could relate to Him in a meaningful way.
Read Exodus 25:8, the Lord’s command to Israel to build a sanctuary. What reasons does the Lord give for wanting them to do this?
The answer to this question, of course, brings up another question, and that is Why? Why does the Lord want to dwell the in the midst of His people?
The truth, perhaps, could be found in the two verses for today, listed above. Notice, the Lord will “tabernacle” (or “dwell”) among them; He then says that He will not “abhor” them. He then says that He will “walk” among them and will be their God, and they will be His people (Leviticus 26:11-12). Look at the elements found in these texts. Again, the relational aspect comes through very clearly.
Take a few minutes: analyze Leviticus 26:11-12 and Exodus 25:8. Write down how the various elements all fit in with the notion that the Lord seeks a relationship with His people.
|Focus specifically on the words “my soul shall not abhor you.” What is it about the sanctuary itself that provides the means by which fallen, sinful people can be accepted by the Lord, and why is that so important for the process of forming a covenant?|