33 Then he [Moses] hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.
34 Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.
35 Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.
36 Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it.
37 But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted.
38 The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys. NLT
The tabernacle is being set up for the first time. God has given Moses all the plans for the tabernacle that are recorded in Exodus. They have been skillfully created with precise and lavish detail. At this moment of completion, though, the tabernacle is still only an elaborate tent…waiting for that “cloud” cover.
That cloud had first appeared behind the people of Israel as they fled, like a barrier of fog to confuse the Egyptian army. Then the cloud was ahead of them leading by day and night toward an unseen promise. Those are two very significant aspects of that cloud they would always remember. The cloud HAD protected their back as they fled from the enemy and the cloud was NOW actively leading them to freedom. That moment in time when Moses hangs that final curtain at the entrance, and that cloud settles “down over” the tabernacle foreshadowing something that would FOREVER change the history of their future, as well as ours.
Long before the cross, there was the Exodus where one final curtain and the “glory of the Lord” changed an elaborate tent into a tabernacle of promise. The place where God began to reveal His precise and lavish plan of restoration for living and walking among His people once again… Jesus!