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Paradise to Promiseland Book Review

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Essay title: Paradise to Promiseland Book Review

Part I

In Part two of From Paradise to the Promised Land, T.D. Alexander uses chapters fifteen and sixteen to describe the themes of God’s desire to be amongst His creation and His desire for them to be holy. The tabernacle, later replaced by the temple, plays a great part in this process because it was constructed to become the dwelling place of the Lord. No man was allowed permission to commune with God unless he repented of his sins by way of sacrifice. The Israelites had to become holy just as the Lord is holy. Exodus is generally divided into three parts and its final third is where the construction takes place.

Because the people of Moses lived in tents, this was the basic floor plan of the tabernacle. The Lord gave instruction as to how the Israelites were to build His “home” so that it may be set apart from the rest. The tabernacle was to depict a thought of royalty. It was covered in fine linens, silver, gold, bronze, yarn, and other fine materials. Interestingly enough, the instructions occur in order of importance rather than in the order of the actual fulfillment. The Israelites followed the Lord’s request down to the letter just as it was given unto Moses. “Exodus ends in a dramatic fashion by describing how God’s glory filled the tabernacle �on the first day of the first month in the second year’ (40:17) just in time for the people to celebrate the first anniversary of their deliverance from Egypt.”

In addition to setting the tabernacle apart through the perception of a form of royalty, the Israelites had to also maintain a holy atmosphere at all times. Moses constructed a courtyard that surrounded the tabernacle with only one entrance located on the eastern side. Everything contained within the courtyards was considered holy and only those made holy through sacrifice and repentance were allowed to enter. Alexander moves from Exodus to Leviticus as he enters the topic of holiness. Here is where the Lord stresses the importance of being made holy and the consequences of entering His presence without doing so. The courtyard was divided into three areas, each containing a different status of holiness. The Israelites could enter the courtyard, the priest could enter the �Holy Place,’ and the high priest was the only one allowed to enter the �Holy of Holies.’ Moses was considered holy and righteous so he was therefore the mediator between God and His people. Aaron and his sons were chosen as the priests of the tabernacle and were the prime example of how the Israelites were to be holy. He and his sons were set apart from the rest of the Israelites, consecrated as priests, and in charge of offering sacrifices on behalf of the people as a whole.

Although there were different levels of holiness, the Israelites were placed into one of two broad categories of being clean or unclean. The Lord would not allow anything in between. In Leviticus alone, the different variances of �holy’ appear 152 times, �clean’ 74 times, and �unclean’ 132 times, highlighting the importance of being completely pure within the presence of God. This is especially shown in the life of the priests. Aaron, the high priest, had it tougher than the rest. He had certain rules he had to follow in the subjects of marriage, diet, and behavior and was held higher at a higher standard the rest.

Not only was the tabernacle a place of royalty, and holiness but it was also a place of meeting. “This is highlighted in God’s comments in 29:43: �There…I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory’ (29:43).” This tent was designated as the �Tent of Meeting’ where only God resided in side and Moses, along with the rest of the Israelites, remained outside. This signified that the Lord was now able to dwell among His people, fulfilling the two themes.

Part II

I am in agreement with the reading and I believe it gives a great amount of specifics and details that create a clear understanding of the meaning of the passages. Alexander does a good job painting a mental picture of the tabernacle and creates a good definition of God’s standard of holiness. He uses charts to show how the instructions were listed when given by God and the actual fulfillment of these instructions. He also reduces any possible confusion by including scriptural references. He gives enough detail to reduce wandering of the imagination. In order to receive a full understanding of the importance and the process in making the tabernacle, the scripture references must be read. Alexander gives a good idea as to how great a deal the tabernacle is to the Lord but could have used some of the descriptive words located in the passages.

I understand Alexander’s need to

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