In the Beginning God — Part 8
“Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:18-21
In the Garden of Eden before the fall of Adam food was in plentiful supply and required no extraordinary labor from Adam to acquire it. He and Eve freely ate of the fruit of all but one tree in the Garden. After the fall, unto this day and beyond, man works and provides for his food by arduous labor, by the sweat of his brow, laboring in the heat of the day. Created from the dust of the earth to the dust he would return in death. [Gen 2:7; Gen 3:19]
Their nakedness was a cause for shame, but not so much because being naked made them embarrassed or that they felt awkward but because they realized they no longer shared in the glory they knew in being created and communing together in the image and the presence of God. In the beginning they were clothed in the light of God’s glory and had no need of other clothing.
So, being found naked they sought to cover themselves with leaves. But God, instead, made tunics of skins to cloth them. Those tunics were made from animals who had to be sacrificed to provide them. So, from the beginning blood had to be shed to cover Adam’s sin.
That act of blood sacrifice was the first of many that would be made on account of sin, because without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. [Hebrews 9:22]
So, from the beginning God was setting in motion a pattern of blood sacrifices to remind man of the wages of sin and to mirror what would ultimately find fulfillment in Jesus Christ’s blood shed on the cross once for all mankind. [Hebrews: 7-26-27; 9:12; 10:10]
Now through salvation found only in Jesus Christ, with faith in His work of salvation and our confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, the glory of God comes to dwell in each of us. [2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:22]
After the fall the Glory of God was manifest among men occasionally in special moments, but the Glory of God first came to dwell with men in the tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness. Later when David brought the Ark up from the house of Abinadab to the City of David (Jerusalem), the Glory of God dwelt there in the Tabernacle of David because that was the place where the Ark of God, the Ark of the Presence (also known as the Ark of the Covenant) dwelt among the people. Wherever the Ark dwelt there was also the Glory of God present to protect, to defend and to prosper His people.
However, the presence of the Ark did not guarantee success for Israel in battle merely because of its presence with them. One of the saddest stories in the history of Israel is told of Eli the priest. Eli, the priest, was devout and an old man and the time of the Ark coming to rest inShiloh. He had two sons Hophni and Phinehas. These men were corrupt and did not follow the ways of the Lord but caused Israel to sin. [1 Samuel 2:12]
During the days of Israel’s rebellion the army of the Philistines came against them. The people sent for the Ark that was in the Tabernacle at Shiloh. The sons of Eli carried the Ark with them into battle against the Philistines, thinking it would assure the victory but the Philistines slaughtered 30,000 of the Israel’s army and the rest fled to their tents. They also captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it back to their camp. [1 Samuel 4]
Now one soldier, a Benjamite came from the front lines of the battle back to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dirt on his head and there was
“…Eli sitting on a seat by the wayside “watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the sound of this tumult mean?” And the man came quickly and told Eli. Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were so dim that he could not see. Then the man said to Eli, “I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.” And he said, “What happened, my son?” So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.” Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.” 1 Sam. 4:13-18
Now Eli’s daughter in law the wife of Phinehas was pregnant and when she heard that her husband was dead, she immediately went into labor. The child lived and she named him Ichabod, because today the glory has departed from Israel. Ichabod means, the Glory has departed. The Glory that was manifested in the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud that led and kept Israel in the wilderness, the Glory that abided in the Ark in the Tabernacle, the Glory that had led them to victory over all the nations they went into possess was now departed.
The Glory departed because Israel was in open rebellion and wonton sin against God’s Word. They thought they could ignore the commandments of God in their lives but use the Ark as a kind of good luck charm to guarantee them victory over their enemies just by having it present with them. God’s glory does not manifest in those who have not yielded their hearts to Him in submission to His rule and authority in their lives. The power of God does not work through us just because we carry our Bible around or wear crosses around our necks. If our hearts are not “pure” towards Him, He has no place to manifest His presence. He does not display His glory in the midst of sin.
The Glory of God on the Ark was for Israel the presence of God with them. And that Glory served them well as long as they were obedient and true to His Word, to His Laws and Commandments. But that Glory departed from them ultimately when the last Temple was destroyed and from that day until Jesus was born, the Glory of God did not manifest itself on the earth.
That Glory came to dwell once again among men when Jesus was born and lived on the earth, He was the Tabernacle of God, preaching and proclaiming the Word of God and salvation to all who would believe. After His resurrection and with the coming of the Holy Spirit the Tabernacle of God is now in the hearts of every believer and therein is God’s glory abiding with His Church in every born-again child of the living God. The Church now is the new Tabernacle of David. [Acts 15:16]
Our bodies are now the Tabernacle (the Temple) of the Holy Spirit, Who is the Glory of God with us. [Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19]
The glory departed from Adam through disobedience and he sought leaves to cover himself.
That Glory has now been restored and made available to everyone who will believe and receive Him, through obedience in the second Adam, Jesus Christ. And the Glory He was given has now been given to us to be His ambassadors, His priests, His kings, His servants, His ministers on the earth. [John 17:22]
Through Jesus’ once and for all atoning sacrifice of His blood for our sins we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. In Him we have been restored to the Glory of God and are being transformed to look like and reflect the Glory of God that Adam had with God from the beginning.