And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
How sweet it is when we finally finish a project or a work. All the details have been addressed. Everything has come together and the task is complete. We can stand back and enjoy that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. It’s almost glorious. Our efforts have paid off and now we can rest in the completion and enjoy the fruit of our labor.
It struck me today as I read this section how Moses and Aaron and all who had given their talents to make the tabernacle must have felt when they finally heard from Moses that the work was finished. The scripture even points out clearly that “Moses finished the work”. It was done. A deep sense of accomplishment was shared by all. Just that shared sense of accomplishment must have been so motivating; however, it wasn’t even the most amazing thing they experienced. This personal sense of accomplishment was soon over shadowed by the clear manifestation of God’s presence. You see, the amazing thing about the work that God initiates and directs is the glory that results. Not our glory in our work. His glory in our presence.
This would not be the last time God would make His glory known among His people as a result of His initiating and directing. His Son, Jesus the Messiah, became flesh and walked among us in step with Father God’s plan. He did the work of God here on planet earth during a specific time of history and then gave away His life. He was the Tabernacle of God among us perfectly fulfilling God’s will. But, the world would not receive Him and ironically had Him killed with deep suffering and humiliation, hanging Him on a cross. Few knew that Jesus’ life was not taken from Him. Rather, He gave it up as the sacrifice of love for all who would trust Him. In the end it was not the evil work of darkness that was completed. It was Jesus who shouted, “It is finished!” – for all the world to hear. The work of evil was defeated. Jesus’ work was done. Glory resulted.
Christ’s life was the picture of a life lived to glorify God. Christ’s death was the culmination of God’s plan and direction. Christ Himself said as He neared His exit from this earth via crucifixion that He would soon be glorified. Just as Moses’ completion of the cloth covered tabernacle revealed the manifest, glorious presence of Father God among His people, so did Jesus sacrifice in a way and magnitude that far exceeded the earthly tent. Jesus was eternally glorified on another day in history through His resurrection from the dead. His dead body of flesh was transformed into a glorified body by Father God and burst forth from His tomb. In doing so, He made available the daily presence of the glory of God to all who would believe in His name. Through the giving of His Spirit to those who believe He manifests this glory into individual lives. God’s presence now indwells those who have been marked by the seal of His Spirit. It is nothing short of remarkable. This same glory manifest at the completion of the tabernacle in the cloud and the fire now lives within those who are calling on the name of Jesus. As Paul wrote in Colossians, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
God’s glory now lives among us and within us daily seeking to guide and protect us. Our call is to submit and obey. How could we do otherwise in light of Who He is and what He has done?
It is finished.