9 And he made the courtyard. On the south side the hangings of the courtyard were made of fine twined linen, a hundred cubits long; 10 their twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 11 And on the north side there were hangings a hundred cubits long, their twenty pillars, their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 12 And on the west side were hangings fifty cubits long, their ten pillars, and their ten bases; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 13 And on the front to the east, fifty cubits long. 14 The hangings for one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases. 15 And also for the other side. On both sides of the gate of the courtyard were hangings fifteen cubits long, with their three pillars and their three bases. 16 All the hangings around the courtyard were of fine twined linen. 17 And the bases for the pillars were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. The plating of their capitals was also of silver, and all the pillars of the courtyard were banded with silver. 18 And the screen for the gate of the courtyard was embroidered with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It was twenty cubits long and five cubits high in its breadth, just like the hangings of the court. 19 And their pillars were four in number. Their four bases were of bronze, their hooks of silver, and the plating of their capitals and their bands of silver. 20 And all the pegs for the tabernacle and for the court all around were of bronze.
distance to holiness
The courtyard was quite large compared to the size of the sacred places within it. To me, it speaks of the distance to holiness. That is a distance I feel regularly. Even though I have been in the LORD for over 40 years, I still feel most of the time – like Paul in Romans 7 – that I am not doing what I want to do.
I am comforted in my failure to live up to God’s righteousness by the picture of the tabernacle in my mind’s eye. It speaks of God’s presence among an unfaithful and disobedient people. The Holy Spirit within us can make us miserable, because he reminds us how far we have to go. But he also reminds us how far Jesus went. He went all the way. His death on the cross reconciled us to God. So, even though we are not yet what we will be, we can never again be what we were.
Thank you, LORD, for your presence within, and your provision of the atoning death of Christ.