Thank you for joining our once a week bible study called COME AS A CHILD. Today we take up where we last left off in Exodus, Chapter 26.
So far in this study of the Exodus, we have seen the plan for three of the coverings for the wilderness tabernacle. God gave Moses the instructions, starting from the inside of the tabernacle and working from there toward the outside. The most important things were on the inside. The less important things were on the outside; yet everything was important when you looked at the tabernacle as a whole. Each piece supported the other pieces.
There is one more covering that we need to discuss. It would be the covering that the world would see from the outside when they first glimpsed at the wilderness tabernacle as they passed by.
The last covering, the one which topped all the other coverings of the tabernacle, was made of badger skins. No specific measurements for these skins are given in the scriptures.
“Badger skins” translates to Hebrew as “tachash.” This interpretation of the word may refer to a badger or a dugong or a sea cow. A dugong is a type of aquatic mammal that could be found swimming along the shores of the Red Sea during the days of the Exodus. Most of the sages believe this may be the creature the scriptures describe. This creature is almost extinct today, and it would be very rare to spot one.
With this last covering added to the others we can see a progression from a very beautiful inside to a very plain and ordinary outside. Actually, the outside might have been even downright unattractive. The fine white linen on the deepest inside of the tabernacle had the lovely blue and purple and scarlet threads woven artistically into its walls. It was decorated with cherubim and was noticeably beautiful to behold with the eyes.
The goat skin cloth that came next was attractive; but a lot less beautiful than the white linen covering.
The ram’s skin dyed red was next, and it was a lot less attractive than the goats skin coverings.
The badger skin covering that came last and showed on the outside was quite a contrast to the beautiful coverings of the inside. It wasn’t beautiful at all. It was actually the most unattractive part of the whole tabernacle.
One could not tell from looking at the ugly exterior that the interior was so beautiful. Someone passing by and looking at the outside from a distance might have thought this would be a very unattractive place to worship. They probably would not have even imagined it as a place of worship at all. They would not have realized all of the inner beauty that existed inside, because it would have been totally hidden from sight.
This is so typical of God’s Kingdom. The most beautiful things are the hidden things. You will not see them at first glance. They are the things you must learn to search for with all of your heart. God must lead you to them and God must reveal them to you. He will do that if you ask Him to. This is one reason it has been said that the kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field. One must truly be searching to find it and to discover its hidden beauty.
The deeper you look into the things of God the more beauty you begin to discover. One cannot stand on the outside; one must go inside to find the real beauty. It isn’t always evident; but you must hunger and thirst for the truth and search for it with all of your heart and soul. When you find it; you will be surprised at the magnificent beauty.
So we have discussed that each of these coverings represent Christ in some way, and true to form, the badger skins also represent Him. They represent the earthy, physical body of Christ as he lived as a man.
We are told that Jesus was not attractive in appearance. Neither were the badger skins.
Jesus appeared to be just a normal man with nothing especially attractive about him. There was no indication of his royalty as The Son of God when you looked upon Him. He appeared very humble in character. The badger skins on the outside of the tent that made up the tabernacle were just the same. They were ordinary and common and there was nothing exceptional about them that would make you think they covered a beautiful place or formed a habitat for the true worship of God, or provided a shelter for the place where God actually dwelled among the people.
This reminds me of one of my favorite old sayings; “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” No truer words were ever spoken. The outside of the tabernacle gave no clue to what went on in the inside of the tabernacle.
All we know specifically about the physical attributes of Jesus is that He had a beard. Almost all Israelite men had beards. This was not a distinguishing characteristic, and it would have actually made Him blend in with the crowd even more. We really have no idea what the rest of his appearance was like. A person looking upon him and judging by his outward physical appearance would never guess who he actually was; and they would never be able to grasp his deep inner beauty, or that He was the True Son of God. They would have to come to know Him and be in relationship with Him in order to see these things. They would have to look deeper into the eyes of Christ and listen to and comprehend his words and thoughts. This could be a lesson to all of us in dealing with people. Sometimes the most insignificant people on the outside turn out to be the ones with true character and the people of the most integrity and love. You can never discover these things without getting past the physical and coming closer to the spiritual side of relationships.
Some things never change.
Many people today are like those strangers passing through the dessert gazing upon the very place where God dwelled who passing right by it without even knowing the mysteries and beauty and treasures that were within the structure with the common outward appearance. They would be making all of their decisions based on what they saw with their eyes on the outside; the physical appearance. They would not be interested, and they would quickly pass on down the road. They would pass on by and miss the most important treasure they could ever discover and never even notice that they happened upon it. Some people get SO CLOSE; yet they never go inside.
When Jesus walked the earth people passed Him on the street every day. They considered him to be the common son of a carpenter. They put no importance on the fact that He existed among them. He ate and drank and lived and breathed and worked and played among strangers who never knew He was The Son of God. They could not see His heart. They did not come close enough to experience what He truly had to offer.
How many times have we all been guilty?
There is a little piece of God hidden inside of everyone that He created. Do we stop and take the time to find it in all of the people in our lives? Are we too busy criticizing and analyzing the outward appearance that we forget to look deeper into the inside?
We can’t point a finger at those who walked right past Jesus and never noticed Him. We do it ourselves and we do it every day.
It takes living in the kingdom of God for a long time for most people to develop enough inner beauty and strength and love to be able to look beyond the surface of things and find the real treasures that are hidden and lurking deep inside.
All of this reminds me of the beautiful parable that Jesus gave us about the pearl of great price. In that parable a man was searching diligently and kept searching until he found the treasure.
To find the beauty of the wilderness tabernacle, you would have to be searching diligently enough to stop and go inside in spite of the ordinary outward appearance.
To find the beauty of Christ, you simply have to look at His heart. It is beautiful beyond measure. Have you seen it?
You would have to be willing to go the extra steps to look beyond the ordinary and dig deep enough to find the extraordinary that is hiding inside to come into a relationship.
This is the truth of all worship. It was true of those entering the wilderness tabernacle, and it is true for all who seek the heart of Jesus. You must look beyond the surface and see the treasures within.
I pray that this happens to you this week. I pray that God reveals his glory and beauty and majesty to you because you have been willing to open your eyes wider and look beyond the surface and risk your heart in the process in order to find the real hidden treasures of The Kingdom of God.
I pray that your life is full of God’s greatness to the point that your joy is overflowing. All of this could be found in the wilderness tabernacle deep within the folds of the curtains. All of this can be found within the temporary tabernacle that you walk around in as well; if you simply allow God’s Holy Spirit to set up residence inside your heart and bless your life.
You will suddenly find yourself living inside out and upside down. That is how the INSEASON Lifestyle is lived!