God has a plan.
The pattern and presence of God.
With Peter Veysie
George Methodist church
17th May 2020
First and foremost before I get into my message I want to honour my
father who turns 90 today and has served the Lord since he was 18 as a
minister of the Methodist Church.Diana Rohrer is also celebrating her
birthday today and we want to send her so many blessings and thanks
for what she does as our church secretary.
How many of you have been to visit a cathedral or an old church? There
is a certain smell about it and it has a sense of quietness and holiness.
I can remember recently entering the Holy Sepulcher in Israel and
immediately being so consumed by it’s size and structure, the strong
smell of incense being burnt and the light of hundreds of candles lit to
remind people of a loved one or to pray for a situation. Men with long
robes and equally long beards parade around waiting their turn to
perform their liturgical acts and as we as a family moved into this rather
dark space, we were bound together by love and a need for prayer for
each other and our world.
I can just imagine what it must have been like during the time of Moses
when the the tabernacle and quite literally the Tent of Meeting stood in
the middle of the Israelite camp with a sense of God’s presence and his
pattern for worship. 12 tribes camped in a very specific order around
the tent and a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by night was a constant
reminder of the fact the the Lord was present with them,
tabernacled,tented amongst them. They had a very deep awareness of
the fact that His presence was them them and that He had a plan and
purpose for their lives.
At this time I am sure that it is sometimes difficult to see beyond the
deep challenges of the Carona virus and when it will end, however, we
need to know that in the middle of all of this is the Presence of the Lord
and as a neighbour friend of ours said to us on Thursday -“God has a
It’s interesting that the Lord had a plan even during the time of the
darkest moments of the lives of the Israelites right in the depth of the
desert and that plan was mapped out in the powerful pattern of the
temple and it’s furnishings. Each one symbolically declaring that God
had a plan and that one day Jesus would embody all that the temple
was as a living declaration of the temple and would call us to do the
The book of Hebrews gives us some help on our quest, reminding us in
chapter 8 that all the items God told Moses to make “serve as a copy
and shadow of the heavenly things.”
“…For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by
God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern
that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, the Messiah has
obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the
covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”
So today I want to take you on an adventure into the temple as we walk
through it and I show you in a rather basic but humble form the different
parts and places of the temple and how they represent Jesus,the
Church(that’s us and the fact that God has called us into a place now
not built with stone but rather on the heart of a deep love and desire to
see humanity transformed and changed going forward. A restoration of
the things that are important and an ability to see the Glory – Presence
of the Lord.
- The outer courts – as you come with me on this walk I want you to
first of all picture the beautiful outer curtained wall made of white
linen which would billow in the wind and the colourful curtain at the
entrance that we will now walk through. The sheer expanse and size
of it would be quite disappointing in some ways but also fascinating
that such a beautiful structure could be in the of the desert.
- The brazen altar – the place of sacrifice. The priests would accept
various forms and shapes of sacrifice for different sins and they had
specific instructions in the book of Leviticus as to how this would
need to happen. Leviticus is mainly written as instructions to the
Priests.This was at the entrance to the tent and as we think of the
fact that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the
world and that he was a once and for all sacrifice for all of
humankind, it is quite significant that we come to the feet of Jesus
to ask for forgiveness and that we lay that sin at his feet.
- The brazen laver – this was a place of cleansing and washing for the
priests. It is also powerful description of the cleansing and washing
and purification of our own hearts and hands. Jesus is the living
water enabling our souls never to thirst again. John 4.The waters of
baptism also remind us of the importance of dying to ourselves and
being raised to new life in Christ having been cleansed and washed
of our sins.
- The Holy place. This was in many respects the heart of the tabernacle
and the place where the priests would enter to offer up prayers for
the people and to intercede for them. Three powerful symbols would
- First of all the Menora made up of seven candle lights. The seven
lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by
the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by,
the light of God represented by the central lamp. The menorah also
symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light
representing the Sabbath. Exodus 25 . John 8 I am the light of the
world.As we know, seven is God’s number of completion, but
despite the plurality of lamps, it is made of one ‘piece’. Seven in
one, like a rainbow, or a week. We know that it is to represent the
presence of God among them, and in Revelation we also see the
lampstands representing the Spirit’s presence in the churches to
whom John writes the messages from Jesus. There are seven
churches listed, but one bride of Christ.The other aspect of the
seven branches design is that it resembles a tree. In Jewish
tradition, the menorah is reminiscent of the Tree of Life from the
creation story. We can see from the New Testament in the book of
Revelation that the tree is equated with eternal life.
- Moses consecrated the altar with the anointing oil when the
Tabernacle was dedicated (Exodus 40:9). Incense was burned daily
on this altar at the time of the morning and the evening sacrifices. …
The burning of the incense was symbolic of the prayer of the people
rising up to God (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4).The Holy Spirit
intercedes for us with groans (Romans ) and we are called to
worship and be in the presence of almighty God. We are to offer up
prayers to the Lord as an act of worship and to intercede for others
every day. A.C.T.S.Adoration Confession Thanks and Supplication
(praying for others) Jesus reaches out through us to the nation in
this difficult time and our prayers are critical.
- The twelve loaves of unleavened bread symbolizing the people of
Israel and ourselves as we are also reminded by this that He is
Jehovah Jireh our provider and he is the one that feeds us
Spiritually as the Bread of Life.
- Holy of holies : According to the Bible, the Holy of Holies was
covered by a veil,and no one was allowed to enter except the High
Priest, and even he would only enter once a year on Yom Kippur(the
Day of Atonement) to offer the blood of sacrifice and incense. The
Bible reports that in the wilderness, on the day that the tabernacle
was first raised up, the cloud of the Lord covered the tabernacle
(Exodus 40:33-40:34). There are other times that this was recorded,
and instructions were given that the Lord would appear in the cloud
upon the mercy seat (kapporet), and at that time the priests should
not enter into the tabernacle (Leviticus 16:2). According to the
Hebrew Bible, the Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant
with representation of Cherubim.At the completion of the dedication
of the Tabernacle, the Voice of God spoke to Moses “from between
the Cherubim” (Numbers 7:89).
And so what does this mean for us at this time. I want to say that it is
important to keep the Lord right at the centre of our camp. He needs to
be at the command Centre of our lives and he needs to guiding and
directing us. I believe that he is doing this as difficult as it might seem.
We need to again come before the Lord and confess to Him and offer up
to him our challenges,weaknesses and sis so that he can cleanse us
We need to ask him again to give us living water for our souls that may
be dry and weary right now and us to wash us and cleanse us of all that
we need cleansing of.
We need to offer up our worship and prayers to him and find ourselves
entering into his presence and offering up a sweet fragrance. Practicing
the presence of the Lord – Brother Lawrence.
We need to thank him every day for His provision. We have nothing
without him and as we are reminded of his provision he also calls us to
give to him as an offering for what he has given us.
We need to see him as the light of the world that shines into our dark