The first Passover occurred on “the fourteenth day” of the first month (Exodus 12:6). It was on that day that the Israelite slaves, still living in Egypt, slaughtered an innocent lamb and spread its blood on their door posts. When the destroyer saw the blood, he passed-over the home with its faithful occupants. Almost one year later, in “the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month” (Exodus 40:17), the work on the Tabernacle was complete.
While the Nation was still camped at the foot of Mount Sinai, the “Lord spoke to Moses: ‘You are to set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Put the ark of the testimony there and screen off the ark with the curtain. Then bring in the table and lay out its arrangement; also bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar for incense in front of the ark of the testimony. Put up the screen for the entrance to the tabernacle. Position the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. Place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Assemble the surrounding courtyard and hang the screen for the gate of the courtyard’ ” (Exodus 40:1–8).
It’s important to notice that “Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him ... Moses set up the tabernacle: He laid its bases, positioned its supports, inserted its crossbars, and set up its pillars. Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exodus 40:16–19). Moses and the Israelites obeyed God. They built everything according to His perfect plan and God blessed them for their obedience!
God still graciously blesses the obedience of His people!
In the days of King Solomon, God promised, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV). Jesus made a similar promise to His obedient followers (sheep like us). “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27–28). He promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
God graciously blessed Moses and the liberated slaves. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, “the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was unable to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud rested on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34–35).
Even though they were far from perfect, for the next four decades, God’s visible presence gloriously stayed with them, directing their movements. “The Israelites set out whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle throughout all the stages of their journey. If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey” (Exodus 40:36–38).
Here's a bright idea folks. Let’s faithfully acknowledge God’s glorious presence among us. Let’s trust the Lord to lead us. Like faithful sheep, let’s follow the Great and Gracious Shepherd!