For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In ancient Israel when a man desired a woman in marriage, he would close the deal with her father around a covenantal glass of wine. This way of ‘closing a deal’ has travelled far and wide. In France, when people agree together towards a certain action, they serve everybody involved a glass of wine that each person with the other’s at the top before drinking.
The future husband then would go and ‘prepare a place’ for him and his bride (John 14:3). He would usually do so as an addition to the house of his own father, where he lived. He may engage the help of friends and experts, especially if he were not necessarily gifted in carpentry skills. This is exactly what is happening in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Book of Exodus. God who betrothed Israel is now engaging ‘friends’ to build a tabernacle that as He says, “I may dwell in their midst” (Exodus 25:8). The Hebrew of that text is very interesting. It says, :oosh’chenti betocham”, which carries the more literal translation of, ‘that I may dwell within them’.
God doesn’t want to live in a little ‘box’ somewhere in a building where we come and pay Him a friendly visit once or twice a week. As any husband would, He wants to live within the close intimacy of our hearts. There are two words in Hebrew for knowing someone., ‘Makir’, and yode’ah’. ‘Makir’ is a word that relates to a casual acquaintance, but ‘yoda’ah’ is the word used in ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived (Genesis 4:1).
From these verses, Jewish scholars developed the notion that each Jewish home is actually a small Temple, and each individual is also a miniature Temple. The apostolic writers were familiar with that notion. We read it in the apostolic Scriptures …For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16 quoting Leviticus 26:12)). This idea is erroneously interpreted as the body of believers replacing the Temple, but its concepts were actually an endorsement of the role of the temple in our lives: the sign of the Presence of God among us. The same applies to the Tabernacle which was the mobile Temple in the desert. God had His people built the Tabernacle which later became the Temple which Yeshua claimed was a ‘house of prayer’ (John 2:16). We also know that the Master was disgusted at the lack of reverence people had for the Temple.
The same ungodly hands that killed Messiah also destroyed the Temple. We are told that one Day Messiah returns to take vengeance on a world who tried to up-throne Him. On that Day He will rebuild the Temple.
On that Day, the Light of the world will have returned. All nations will flock once a year for the feast of Tabernacle to offer their gifts at the Temple (Zechariah 14:16). May it be soon, Abba, even in our days!