Moses finished the work . . . and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:33-34)
What a day Exodus 40 records! No wonder Moses wrote it down in excited detail. This is what the Lord had commanded, what his redeemed people did, and above all (vv. 34-38) how the Lord kept his promise and came to live among them. Imagine their satisfaction when, as the tabernacle was finished in every detail, the Lord came with visible glory. We should read the chapter with equal excitement—a veritable Old Testament Pentecost! Where there is obedience in doing his work, and the precious blood is shed according to his will, and his priestly people draw near, the Lord presents himself in all his glory.
Was Moses taken by surprise when even he could not enter the tabernacle (v. 35)? It feels like it. Just think: all that effort to secure the dwelling place of God among them, the Lord actually fills the tent with his glory, and no one could come before him, not even Moses! But read on. Out of the tent—where Moses could not go—came a voice saying (literally), “when anyone brings near that which brings near to the Lord . . .” (Leviticus 1:1-2). There is a sacrifice that opens access to the very presence of the God of glory.
Thank you that we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 10:19)