9 “You should make the courtyard of the tabernacle. On the south side the courtyard should have drapes of fine twined linen a hundred cubits long for one side. 10 Its twenty pillars and their twenty bases should be of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets should be of silver. 11 And likewise for its length on the north side there should be hangings a hundred cubits long, its pillars twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets should be of silver. 12 And for the breadth of the courtyard on the west side there should be drapes for fifty cubits, with ten pillars and ten bases. 13 The breadth of the courtyard on the front to the east should be fifty cubits. 14 The drapes for the one side of the gate should be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases. 15 On the other side the drapes should be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases. 16 For the gate of the courtyard there should be a screen twenty cubits long, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework. It should have four pillars and with them four bases. 17 All the pillars around the courtyard should be filleted with silver. Their hooks should be of silver, and their bases of bronze. 18 The length of the courtyard should be a hundred cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height five cubits, with drapes of fine twined linen and bases of bronze. 19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for every use, and all its pegs and all the pegs of the courtyard, should be of bronze.
why have a courtyard?
The tabernacle courtyard was a set of boundaries. Some people are not comfortable with boundaries. They want to be free to think and act outside the box. But worship cannot be entirely free, because our present relationship with God is still defined by our ancestral rebellion. Our natural inertia leans toward sin, even when it comes to worship.
The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives since Pentecost does not change that. For that reason, the apostles had to put some kind of structure to worship services, because God’s people are inclined to worship according to the flesh.
Jesus is going to change that. In the new Jerusalem, there will be no temple, and no boundaries to worship, because our relationship with God then will not require those things. In the mean time, might I suggest that we keep others in mind when we display our love for him. Others will have come to him from different directions, and will not share our tastes in music, dress, and worship styles. It is not being considerate to force them to adopt our ways. In fact, each of us will change throughout our lives. Freedom to worship as I please is not an inalienable kingdom right.
The LORD gave himself up for us. We should seek to display that kind of grace towards each other when coming together to worship Him.
LORD, may our expressions of personal freedom in worship be controlled by your Holy Spirit, and express our mutual consideration of each other, as well as our united love for you.