This Moses did; according to all that the LORD commanded him, so he did. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected.
The bane of twenty-first century worship is the consumeristic self. We tend to approach a worship service with what we want to get out of it. “I want a challenging, short, and pithy message by an entertaining communicator.” “I want the kind of music I like.” “I want drama.” “I want video.” “I want to dance.” “I want free donuts and really good coffee.” “I want the service to address everybody at once, from 9 to 90 with perfect applications and family challenges.” “I want all of that in less than an hour.”
But we ought to be worshiping God. And that means that maybe, just maybe, we ought to approach worship with what He wants and not what we want. This is the lesson we learn from Moses and the children of Israel as they built the tabernacle. God made it very clear what the tent of worship was to look like. And He asked for Israel to obey. And they did. The call was to obedience, not personal preference. And that was the heart of worship. I believe it still is.
The result of the worship of God in obedience for Israel was profound: God visibly made His presence known in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35). In fact, God was so powerfully known that no one, not even Moses, was able to enter the tabernacle for a while because God’s glory was so pervasive. Think about that. Moses had communed with God on the mountain to get the Law. He had asked God to show him His glory, and God let him glimpse the backside of His glory while covering Moses with His hand. Yet when the work of Israel’s hands was complete and the tabernacle was set up, God brought so much glory to that obedience that Moses dared not enter!
God blesses obedience in our worship. If we really want to see our worship services blessed by God, it will not come by a new musician, by better lighting, by moodier music, by really well roasted coffee and donuts or by a more dynamic speaker. It will come by our obedience to what God asks us to do in His word.