And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
- Revelation 21:3
Under the old covenant, God would meet His people in the tabernacle, which is another word for tent. They set up the tabernacle, and the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. This ark contained the commandments of Moses, the rod of Aaron that budded, and some manna. The priests would go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement and represent the people. Later the tabernacle was replaced by the temple.
God was distant and was to be approached through the High Priest. Few people had a close relationship with God under the old covenant. Abraham was called "the friend of God," but most people didn't know Him that way.
But that all changed because of what Jesus did through His death and resurrection. We read in Revelation 21:3, "And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.' "
If I could have lived at any time in history, I would have chosen the first century. I would have liked to have been here when Jesus walked this planet. Certainly I would have liked to have been one of His disciples. At the very least, I would have liked to have been one of the multitude that was clamoring to get a glimpse of Jesus. I would have liked to have heard His voice with my ears. We all would have loved to have been there for that. But we weren't given that privilege.
One day, though, we will have it. We will be able to walk and talk with God-no appointment necessary.