"If you build it, he will come." This is, perhaps, the most famous line from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. But what you may not know is that the author of the film script had lifted this directly from Exodus. Not the exact wording, of course, but the concept.
"If you build it, I will come." That was God’s message to the Israelites about the sanctuary. No other god in history had promised to dwell among a group of people. No other god in history had approached people in a personal way with an offer of a personal relationship. The God of the Israelites was different.
I wonder what it must have been like as the architects and craftsmen studied the plans laid out by the Lord and, slowly but surely, handcrafted all the items as they had been described. They labored to make everything just right. Did they wonder what would happen when they were done? Like all the sacrifices they’d made to the gods in Egypt (who never bothered to show up, much less come through for the people), did they wonder if it would all be in vain?
But then, we read verses 34 and 35: "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." The Israelites built it, and God actually showed up! And He showed up in a major way. The tabernacle was so full of His glory that Moses couldn’t even squeeze himself in.
God always keeps His promises! We can take His Word to the bank. He promised to dwell among the people if they would make Him a dwelling place. They did. And He did.