Signposts on the Way


O Lord, You are a holy God. Prepare my heart to meet with You in the glory of Your presence.


Read: HEBREWS 9:1–10

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lamp stand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.



The regulations for setting up the tabernacle, and worshipping within it, take up many chapters of the Old Testament. Our passage contains a brief summary of what went on. But this isn’t a history lesson. That’s why the author is keen to get on and make his point!

According to Hebrews, worship in the earthly tabernacle was only a signpost to a greater reality. Tabernacle worship had real limitations. Access into the most holy place was restricted to the high priest, who could only go in once a year on the Day of Atonement (see Lev. 16). And the sacrifices of the tabernacle could only achieve a temporary and external cleanliness.

The worship of the tabernacle was in fact only a signpost. Through its very limitations the Holy Spirit points us on to a better and surer way of coming into God’s presence.



Take advantage today of your privilege to enter the Most Holy Place of God’s presence. Take a few moments to worship.



Lord Jesus, You are worthy of my praise. Be high and lifted up in my life today.


Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider