Theology of the Tabernacle Part 1 -- By: John Vernon McGee

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:374 (Apr 1937)
Article: Theology of the Tabernacle Part 1
Author: John Vernon McGee

Theology of the Tabernacle
Part 1

John Vernon McGee


In any study of the Tabernacle, there is not much to say which has not already been said. “Of making many books there is no end” has definite application to treatments of the Tabernacle. Therefore the desire for novelty has not entered into the making of this thesis. The works of others have been drawn upon copiously. Most of the thesis is a restatement which constitutes a revision of previous works.

Wherein does this thesis differ from others, and what purpose prompts its appearance are questions which justify an adequate answer? The paramount purpose has been to reveal, very inadequately and briefly to be sure, that God wrote Systematic Theology in the very web and woof of the Tabernacle. All the great doctrines of the Christian faith are contained therein. The Tabernacle is the ABC’s of Salvation for babes in Christ. It was God’s purpose to do just this. The Tabernacle was Theology prewritten. The whole gamut of theology was run from Dan to Beersheba.

The treatment of this thesis is from the standpoint of the furniture. No time has been spent in hair-splitting interpretations of the meaning of the tent pins and bars and bolts. However, we firmly believe that there is meaning in the minutest thread, but the approach here has been from the furniture.

It is interesting to note that only one verse of Scripture records the creation of the Heavens and Earth (Gen 1:1) while fifteen chapters are devoted to the Tabernacle (Exodus 25–40), and a whole book (Leviticus) to the service of it. Evidently God meant to convey to our hearts more than arithmetic measurements of a lifeless structure whose sole interest at best lies in the realm of architecture. The Tabernacle tells the story of God’s bared arm in action, while creation tells out the account of His finger work. God’s finger

work (Psalm 19) does not require the space of God’s bared arm work. (Isaiah 52:10). The Tabernacle tells in picture book form the story of Salvation or the accomplishment of the bared arm of Jehovah. With that arm He built a dwelling place in the midst of sinner man. All is in anticipatory preparation for the day when “the Tabernacle of God is with men.” “He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people.”

Chapter I
In His Presence

The problem of establishing a dwelling place with man is of supreme importance with God. In the pages of Scripture it is of chief concern to Him. In Ge...

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