A Short Study of Exodus 40:18
“And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars.”
One year after the LORD God brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, — one year after He set His captive people free from the bondage, affliction and tyranny of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, — one year after the children of Israel crossed over the Red Sea and sang Jehovah’s praise in the fresh, sweet experience of Divine deliverance, the LORD God commanded Moses to set up the Tabernacle and to set in order the things to be set in order. — And on the first day of the first month of Israel’s first new year, “Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:33)
The Tabernacle and everything connected with it was typical of our Lord Jesus Christ and of God’s salvation in and by him. Everything we read about that physical Tabernacle in the Old Testament Scriptures refer to something spiritual, to something relating to the Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption and salvation in him. In the Book of Hebrews the Spirit of God tells us that all those things were “the shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5), “the patterns of things in the heavens” (Hebrews 9:23) and “the figures of the true” (Hebrews 9:24). The Tabernacle was God’s own picture to his people of “good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:1).
Until we see the spiritual realities portrayed in the Old Testament types, the laws, ceremonies, sacrifices, services and events recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures, those things are altogether meaningless. Whenever we read about these things, whenever we read the Word of God, we ought to pray with the psalmist of old, “Open thou mine eyes to behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). The law of God, especially as it speaks of the Tabernacle, is full of truly wondrous things.
The very purpose for the Tabernacle was wondrous. It was to be a sanctuary for God that the holy LORD God might dwell among men (Exodus 25:8). The triune Jehovah so loved His people, the people of His choice, whom He had redeemed and delivered out of the hands of Pharaoh, that He desired a place for Himself, that His presence might abide with them.
The Tabernacle typified the incarnate Christ, our blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus, Immanuel, in, with and by whom God dwells with us and we with Him, both now and forever (Hebrews 9:11). Imagine that! The Almighty desires to dwell with us; and in Christ He does! — “Ye are the temple of God!” O Spirit of God, make my heart truly a sanctuary for my God!