Friday, July 6, 2012

What Happened to the Tabernacle? Part 2


In yesterday's post, I introduced the question: What happened to the Tabernacle after the Temple was built?  You can read that post for the background to our discussion.

So what did happen to the Tabernacle? The answer is what you would expect, if you stop to think about it, and you can find it in 1 Kings 8:1-4. This passage refers to an event shortly after Solomon finished constructing the Temple ...

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. (1 Kgs. 8:1-4, ESV.)

So the answer is that the Tabernacle was brought up to the newly constructed Temple and stored there. The ark was placed in the Holy of Holies of the new temple. The holy vessels possibly were put to work in the new temple. And the Tabernacle itself was probably placed in one of the temple storerooms. It had served as the nation's place of worship for over 480 years and then was laid to rest inside the magnificent building that took its place as the nation's house of worship.

Where did it go after that? Your guess is as good as mine. The Temple stood for about 370 years, but all too often was overrun with pagan practices or fell into disrepair. Who knows if the Tabernacle was still there when the Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. or if it had been thrown out long before then by a careless temple worker or ungodly king. Like so many other objects in the biblical record, it just fades from the scene. 

But truth be told, it was really no longer important. What was truly important during the First Temple period was what is still important today: the God of the Tabernacle who is living, active, and more glorious and praiseworthy than we can possibly imagine. So let's end with an even more important question ... Are you worshiping, serving, and obeying the Living God who is eternal and whose glory never fades away?  Just as He forgave the sins of the Israelites when they made a sacrifice at the Tabernacle or Temple, He stands ready to forgive your sins if you trust and believe in the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross.

Photo courtesy of BiblePlaces.com.