We are taking a moment to look at the old covenant and the requirements for worship within it. The focus is on the Tent of Meetings.
When Moses was given the Law he was also given specific instructions for a place of worship. EVERY detail was specified by God and crafted to those exacting details. Even the rings holding the curtain were specified in the design.
I find it interesting that a people who wanted a physical god they could follow now had something visual that they could look to. God didn’t give them the Tent of Meetings and all it contained so they could worship it but a place to worship its Creator.
The Tent and later the Tabernacle specified exactly how and who could approach God. If it was not done EXACTLY as prescribed, death would result. Only the priests could enter the Holy places. The high priest was the only one to enter the Most Holy place and only once a year. The people were separated from God by regulations required because of sin.
All the rituals and rules didn’t truly cleanse the people. They only covered up the sin. The regulations were surface deep. They left the heart untouched. Yes, there were many who served God with their whole heart but the majority simply performed the rules. This first covenant wasn’t designed to reach the spirit, only the minds of the people. It focused on actions.
But this was only a temporary fix. There was a new and better covenant waiting in the wings. A covenant that would bring new spiritual life and touch the hearts of those who chose to follow it.
There lies another distinction; the first covenant was mandated by law while the second is by choice. As a Jew you were REQUIRED to follow the law. From the least to the greatest. There were even prescribed sacrifices for those who didn’t have enough money to purchase the required pieces for the regular sacrifice. Each and every Jew had to learn and abide by all the laws. There was no choice to follow God’s commands.
With the new covenant, those who follow it do so out of choice. Jesus forced NO ONE to believe in Him. He only pointed out the risks and benefits of doing so. Each person makes their own choice from there. And the benefits FAR outweigh any cost! We get to look a little closer at the new covenant next time. Let’s save some of the excitement until then.
Father God, thank You for BOTH covenants. The first one kept the people close enough to You so You could work the second covenant in. Without the regulations of the first covenant we might have wound up like in the days of Noah, where none were following You. You know exactly what we need and when we need it. I’m SO grateful I’m not living under the old promise! I wouldn’t make it with all the rules and regulations. I’m sure I would try but my personality tells me I would fall flat on my face in failure more often than not. I would not know what it is to be in a relationship with You either under the old promise.
Thank You that I can come to You personally each day and spend time with You. Nothing is more precious to me than our time together. Thank You for choosing me and letting me choose You!