Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Heavenly Shadow

Last night I saw my very first lunar eclipse. Did you catch it? How cool was that! Conditions were perfect - no bad weather, no clouds and a pretty good vantage point. What made it even a little better were the binoculars my dad gave me when I was a teenager. I can't for the life of me remember what prompted that gift, but they sure came in handy last night. (And I was frankly a little surprised that I knew exactly where they were. Hmm.) Anway, I've never seen the moon so clearly before.

I used to love the class trips to the planetarium when I was a kid and always thought planetary "stuff" in general was interesting though I admittedly don't know a whole lot. I'm pretty sure I can name all the planets and can almost always find the big dipper and occassionally the little dipper. Beyond that, I'm rusty to say the least.

But as the earth cast its' shadow over the moon last night, I couldn't help but think of another "shadow" I've been learning about the last several months. My Bible study group has been doing a study by Beth Moore called The Tabernacle, A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place. It's about the Old Testament tabernacle. You know, the one that the Israelites carried with them everywhere they went? In Exodus, we're studying all the details that God gave to Moses concerning the construction of the tabernacle and everything that was to go in it. So many details. God was rather specific and quite serious about how this was to be done. Learning why has been amazing. I highly recommend it.

But I digress. So what in the world does any of that have to do with a lunar exclipse? Well, it's the shadow. The book of Hebrews 8:5 says that the priests served at a sanctuary "that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven." As exquisite as the tabernacle was, it was only a shadow of something that exists in heaven. As I watched the earth's shadow overtake the moon last night, I imagined if someone on some other planet or something wanted to know what the earth looked like, someone else might have said "well there, there's its' shadow; it kind of looks like that." And they'd be right, wouldn't they? The earth is big...and round. But how much they would be missing! There's a seemingly unending world of technicolored details that you can't see from looking only at the earth's shadow.

When you look at how the tabernacle and all its' furnishings were made - with all that gold and brass and beautiful stones and the carvings and the details... What a sight it must have been to behold. But if that was only the shadow, how absolutely awstruck will we be to see what it was patterned after?

I can only imagine. For now...

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