Tabernacle: The Coverings Of The Tent
The tent of the tabernacle had four coverings. The innermost covering was of fine linen with intricate designs woven into it, symbolizing, the beauty of the righteousness of Christ. The second covering was made of goats' skins symbolizing Christ as the scapegoat who took our sins far away. The third covering was made of rams skins dyed red symbolizing Jesus as the sacrifice Who shed His blood for us. The outermost covering was always covered with the desert sand.
So the most beautiful covering was visible only inside the tent.
Remember Who first made coats of skin to cover man? It was God. He made them for Adam and Eve in the Garden. They only had His covering on the outside. But this tabernacle is a picture of what God ultimately had in mind: The true beauty of a Christian must be inward first, which will show forth outwardly. Psalms 45:13 says that “the princess is all glorious within, her robes are interwoven with gold”. In other words, there should be more sacrifice in a Christian's inner life than other people can see on the outside, In the world however, things are quite the opposite. People are beautiful on the outside but filthy in their hearts. A tabernacle in which all the glory is on the outside is not the tabernacle of God but a Babylonian tabernacle.
The badgers skins on the outside symbolize “the reproach of Christ.” Outwardly, the Church will always be misunderstood and dishonored. Jesus was despised and rejected by the world. Only those who wanted godliness came to Him. It must be the same with the Church. Today most of what we characterize as being misunderstood, dishonored, rejected, etc, is not because of Godliness. Quite the opposite. It is because of scandals amongst the leadership in the Church. It because of the hypocrisy that is sometimes found amongst the people of God.
People should be drawn not only by our church buildings, but also by the godliness of our life and our fellowship.
Those who belong to Jesus will go to Him “outside the camp of this world” and “inside the veil” to fellowship with God. (Hebrews 13:13, and 10:19,20). The vast majority of Christians however, live inside the camp of the world and outside the veil! To go outside the camp means to be rejected by the world. If Jesus was misunderstood and called the prince of devils by people in His day, how much more we the members of His family will be called by worse names (Matthew 10:25). The reason why many Christians are popular with the world, (unlike Jesus). Is because they have sought to please men and are diplomatic and compromising.
As a young Christian, I was often drawn to certain “christian speakers” who had much charisma. But when I got close to them, I found that they were proud and haughty. Many of them lost their temper easily. Their children were ungodly and they lorded over their people. There was no glory inside. The glory was all on the outside. That, I have seen now, is one the clearest marks of a Babylonian christian. The true tent of God is the very opposite of this. The glory inside is greater than what you see on the outside.