“Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder” (Exodus 19:18–19).
A supremely significant summit with an eternally important agenda… What was Heaven’s message to the reluctant leader of the Hebrew slaves?
“You are to make the courtyard for the tabernacle. Make hangings for the south side of the courtyard out of finely spun linen, 150 feet long on that side including twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and silver bands for the posts. And so make hangings 150 feet long for the north side, including twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and silver bands for the posts. For the width of the courtyard, make hangings 75 feet long for the west side, including their ten posts and their ten bases. And for the width of the courtyard on the east side toward the sunrise, 75 feet, make hangings 22 ½ feet long for one side of the gate, including their three posts and their three bases. And make hangings 22 ½ feet long for the other side, including their three posts and their three bases. The gate of the courtyard is to have a 30-foot screen embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen. It is to have four posts and their four bases. All the posts around the courtyard are to be banded with silver and have silver hooks and bronze bases. The courtyard is to be 150 feet long, 75 feet wide at each end, and 7 ½ feet high, all of it made of finely spun linen. The bases of the posts are to be bronze” (Exodus 27:9–18 (CSB)
God had given Noah blueprints for the Ark, God’s instrument of salvation against the floodwaters. Now, on Mount Sinai, God delivered another set of blueprints. “Moses, here’s what My people must do. Make the courtyard for the tabernacle exactly 150 feet long and 75 feet wide with linen curtains 7 ½ feet tall.” God gave Moses the dimensions and directed him concerning the materials for every part.
Picture it… a perimeter of white linen, standing in stark contrast to the wilderness’s rock and sand surroundings. White linen, like the robes of a rich young bride, spoke of purity. At the still-future marriage supper, the Lamb of God will clothe His purified bride in “fine linen… bright and pure” (Revelation 19:8).
The Tabernacle wasn’t set up willy-nilly, this way or that way. At God’s instruction, it was always positioned with the gate on the east, toward the rising sun. Maybe that’s a reflection of the Garden of Eden, with its gate on the east (Genesis 3:24), and maybe it’s a foreshadowing of the glorious return of our King, coming from the east (Ezekiel 43:2; Matthew 24:27).
The fence kept everyone out. It was a boundary, a barrier. Only the priests could enter, and then, only through a single gate. Just like Noah’s Ark, the Tabernacle had only one entrance (Genesis 6:16; 7:16). In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door” (John 10:7, NKJV) and “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).