THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE
Exodus 27. 9.
Verse 9. "And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle."
were written afore - the things which happened unto Israel, time, were
written for our learning," and "happened unto them for ensamples: and
they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world
are come" (1 Cor. 10. 11). Thus the children of Israel, redeemed out of
Egypt, are the types of the redeemed people of God. In the Scriptures
we have Israel presented to us, in their history, and in the Divine
arrangements respecting them, in various degrees of nearness to God.
First, we see them
in Egypt, groaning under the bondage of Pharaoh. This is typical of the
experience of the soul, under the first convictions of the Spirit,
feeling the evil of sin, its bitter bondage, and heavy guilt,
"labouring and heavy laden," from which deliverance is only obtained by
taking shelter under the blood of the Lamb. "Christ our Passover
sacrificed for us."
Secondly, we see
them IN THE WILDERNESS, having crossed the Red Sea, wherein all the
power of the oppressor has been overwhelmed. Typical of the soul
realising the triumph of the Cross. Principalities and powers spoilt
and made a show of; and death, and hell and the power of it, destroyed.
And the believer, no longer at home in the world, but become a pilgrim
a stranger here.
Thirdly, we see
them IN THE CAMP, occupying there - in the various positions assigned
them by God. Typical of believers in their different callings, ordinary
occupations, and their social relationships. OUTSIDE the camp the
sin-offering was consumed. OUTSIDE the camp the lepers and the defiled
were obliged to remain.
the camp the people of God were required to be a holy people to the
Lord their God, who walked up and clown in their midst - to be holy in
all manner of conversation, and in all the callings and relationships
Fourthly, we see
them assembled IN THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE. Here the people of God
are represented in their RELIGIOUS character. This is the especial
subject of our present consideration.
PRIESTS are seen entering daily through the door of the tent into the
first tabernacle, or holy place, accomplishing the service of God.
Typical of BELIEVERS in their PRIESTLY character and Church
association, engaged in the worship and service of God.
Sixthly, the HIGH
PRIEST is seen entering THROUGH THE VAIL into the Holy of Holies.
Typical of JESUS, the HIGH PRIEST of our profession, entered for us
into heaven itself; and of the BELIEVER in Him having boldness to enter
through the rent vail into the holiest of all (Hebrews x. 19-22).
Seventhly, we see
Israel IN THE LAND, having crossed the Jordan. Typical of believers as
in spirit raised up together, and made to sit together in Christ Jesus
in the heavenly places (Eph. 2. 6).
1, Egypt; 2, the
wilderness; 3, the camp; 4, the court; 5, the holy place; 6, the most
holy; 7, the land.
Divided by - 1, the
blood of the Paschal Lamb; 2, the Red Sea; 3, the sin-offering; 4, the
hanging of the court; 5, the door of the tent; 6, the vail; 7, the
This is the
Scriptural "Pilgrim's Progress," written "not in the words which man's
wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
But to return to
the court of the tabernacle. The children of Israel seen in this court
represent the people of God in their RELIGIOUS character. Not as
associated in Church fellowship - this is typified by the boards of the
tabernacle - but in their general religious aspect. Not only seeking to
maintain and to exhibit holiness in the assemblies of God's saints, and
in Church relationship, but also in the wider sphere of ordinary and
These curtains of
fine-twined linen formed a court around the tabernacle, and kept it
separate. As the table of shewbread has a border, so the tabernacle of
God has a court - a court with hangings of fine-twined linen all
around, marking separation to God in righteousness and true holiness.
Such is God's plan. As a TABLE without a BORDER is not according to
God's pattern so a TABERNACLE without a COURT is contrary to God's
order. There must be consistency without, as well as holiness and
fellowship within; separation from the world in daily life, as well as
in Church fellowship, and in the devotional exercises of the assembly.
The COURT contained the ALTAR of burnt offering and the LAVER, and had
the tabernacle, or dwelling-place of God in the midst. And the
Israelites collected there, and in the open space before it, represents
believers, realising atonement and acceptance through the sacrifice of
Jesus, sanctification in Christ Jesus, by the Holy Ghost, and walking
and acting in the presence of God.