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Practicing God’s Presence

Exodus 25:23 & 26 & 29-30
“You shall make a table of acacia wood. … And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. … And you shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly.”

As I read Exodus 25:23-30, I can’t help but notice how the centrality of this table in God’s tabernacle mirrors the centrality of a dining room table in our own homes. Think about it, friend: a table is the focal point for special gatherings, isn’t it? It brings guests together in harmony. It’s where we put our differences aside to join hands in prayer. It aromatizes our homes with God’s provision, from steaming, hot meals to seasonal candles. And I love that God doesn’t just decorate this tabernacle-table with fineries, but He orders that fresh bread always be furnished on it to symbolize His abiding presence there.

Friend, here’s an interesting thought for application: what if we constructed a dining room table for our own homes that followed this Exodus 25 blueprint? Wouldn’t that be a great way to actively practice the presence of God? I’ve been meaning to build a new farmhouse table for my home—I’ve got the wood for it stored in my garage—so I might actually go through with it. For my table, I’ll have to use North Carolina pine instead of acacia, and I definitely won’t be able to cover the wood in gold, but I can build four rings around the four legs and keep an aromatic candle burning at the center and set a fresh piece of bread on the table every few days. Maybe then I’ll better lead my family in a practice of the truth that our home is a tabernacle for holy God! Maybe then we’ll think twice before treating something as mundane as a morning bowl of cereal as a trivial matter, remembering the Scripture which says, “Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.”

Whatever the case, the commonwealth of Israel needed vivid, daily reminders that every facet of their lives are marked by God’s abiding presence, and so do we.