Have you ever wanted to meet someone, but when you get your calendars out to arrange it, it’s almost impossible to find a time that suits both of you? You want to meet, they want to meet, but your different lifestyles, obligations, and schedules make it almost impossible.
We see a similar conflict in the Tabernacle. The different pieces of Tabernacle furniture said to the Israelites, “God wants to meet with you.” But when they started walking towards the Tabernacle to enter the front door, what’s the first thing they saw? Blocking their way was a big metal altar with flames leaping out of it (Exodus 27:1-8). God wanted to meet with them, they wanted to meet with God, but there was a big obstacle in the way. Why did God design it in this way? What message was he communicating to Israel and to us?