Access to God is available right now. 


For the week of May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan 5775
Torah: Bemidbar/Numbers 1:1 - 4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-22 (English: 1:10 - 2:20)



When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the veil of the screen and cover the ark of the testimony with it. Then they shall put on it a covering of goatskin and spread on top of that a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles. (Bemidbar/Numbers 4:5-6)

As the people of Israel journeyed through the wilderness in the years between leaving Egypt and entering the Promised Land, God directed them to construct a large, mobile facility as the exclusive place of sacrifice. In Hebrew this is called the Mishkan (English: Tabernacle). It was the God-assigned duty of the cohanim (English: priests) to receive animals and other items from the rest of the people to offer to God. The Mishkan had three sections: A large curtained area that contained a courtyard, the altar of sacrifice, large washing basin, and a two-room structure reserved for specially assigned cohanim with the second of the two rooms accessible only to the Cohen HaGadol (English: chief priest) once a year.

God commanded that various furnishings be constructed for use within the inner structure, including the Ark of the Covenant, the altar of incense, the golden lampstand, and the table of bread. It was necessary for the cohanim to attend to most of these on a daily basis. The design and care of these things no doubt indicate their great significance (for some brief suggestions as to the meaning of the Mishkan's furnishings, see my message The Gathered Community). But most people never saw them!

During the years in the wilderness, whenever it was time to move to a new location, the Mishkan was disassembled and carried by the Leviim (members of the tribe of Levi), which would be the only time the furnishings would be brought out among the people. Yet even then they couldn't see them, because God commanded them to be covered first.

We learn from the New Covenant book of Hebrews that the existence of the two-room structure was God's way to indicate not only the inaccessibility of these holy places, but the inaccessibility of God himself. Travelling with the sacred furnishings in their midst, but with covers on, would have only emphasized the people's distance from God.

There is so much of the reality of God that is consistently true from the beginning of creation until now. God himself has never changed. And people who have known him, whether it be Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, and so on, have truly known him. Yet with the coming of the Messiah, there are some major changes. At the top of the list is this issue of accessibility.

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, they lost the level of accessibility to God that they had originally enjoyed. The Bible is the story of regaining that accessibility, which doesn't occur until the coming of Yeshua and his death and resurrection, followed by the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh (English: the Holy Spirit).

The book of Hebrews spends a considerable amount of time explaining how Yeshua's sacrifice gives us full access to the actual heavenly inner sanctum of God of which the earthly Mishkan was a model. Paul expresses this accessibility slightly differently when he writes, "But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed" (2 Corinthians 3:16). However expressed, by putting our trust in Yeshua, we have unhindered access to the Master of the Universe. Now that we have full access to God through the Messiah, it is as if the Mishkan's furnishings are now uncovered, so that we can personally and powerfully experience God's presence, provision, and guidance.

Unless otherwise noted, scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Comments? E-mail:

Subscribe? To have TorahBytes e-mailed to
you weekly, enter your e-mail address and press Subscribe


[ More TorahBytes ]  [ TorahBytes Home ]