AudioEvangelism.com - God’s Glory Fills the Tabernacle God’s Glory Fills the Tabernacle
Now that everything for the tabernacle had been made, it was time to set it up. God instructed for that to be done on the first day of the new year. They had been gone from Egypt just under one year at this point (and it would be another 7 weeks before they departed Sinai (cf. Num. 10:11). "Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did" (Exo. 40:16).

Here is a detailed account of what was done:

"And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up. So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars. And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil; and he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tabernacle of meeting, across from the table, on the south side of the tabernacle; and he lit the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil; and he burned sweet incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle. And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing; and Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it. Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting, and when they came near the altar, they washed, as the LORD had commanded Moses. And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work" (40:17-33).

It would have been an exciting day to set-up the beautiful tabernacle they had constructed for Jehovah. However, the events of the closing verses of this book would have generated even more excitement:

"Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys" (40:34-38).

God showed His approval and His presence settled into the tabernacle only after they had obeyed Him in all ways.