I’ve been going through the book of Exodus with the young adult group at Sylvania Church. We finished the book Sunday, June 7th. We record those if you are interested in hearing our discussions. Even though I didn’t address this specific point in class, I found the way the book ends very interesting.
Moses seems to recount a series of new beginnings at each stage of the building of the Tabernacle. In fact, the language echoes Genesis 1 and 2. The work is finished, it is presented, then the work is blessed. This repeats twice: once for the building of the materials, and again for the assembly of the Tabernacle.
However, we are left at the end of Exodus with a picture of the cloud of God’s presence lifting from the Tabernacle to signal to the people that it is time to go, to be on the move, wholly dependent on Him for direction and provision. When the cloud rests in the Tabernacle, it is time to stop and rest in the presence of God.
My thought was that Christ has ascended, lifted from us, bodily, to sit in victory at the right hand of the Father. This inaugurated the time for the Church to move, following Him, wholly dependent on Him for direction and provision. It does not end until He descends, bodily, to be present with us, bodily, again.
When we forget this and rest in being comfortable with the culture, however Christian-esque it may be for a season, we take a hard left when Christ is moving straight ahead. We depend on Him through what He has given us: the knowledge, understanding and wisdom gained from His Word, illuminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. The means of His presence is not a pillar of cloud in the air, but a book sitting on my desk, waiting to be opened, studied, and prayed over.
I have been encouraged recently by Tim Brister’s thoughts on Post-Christian society and the exciting time it is for the Church. This thought seemed to coincide with that idea. That is all. Carry on.