Question: Are God’s four great attributes of wisdom, power, justice and love shown in the Tabernacle, and if so, where are they shown?
Answer: God’s four great attributes of wisdom, power, justice and love are shown in the Tabernacle. Beyond the vail, in the Most Holy, there was one piece of furniture called the Ark of the Covenant or Ark of the Testimony. It was a rectangular box made of wood overlaid with gold, having a lid or cover of pure gold called the Propitiatory or Mercy Seat. Upon it (and of the same piece) were two cherubs of gold. Upon the Propitiatory a supernatural light, called the Shekinah appeared, shining out between the cherubim. This was the only light in the Most Holy.
The word Shekinah is a non-Biblical Hebrew word meaning that which dwells, and is used to designate the glory, as the representation of God, dwelling between the cherubim (1 Samuel 4: 4). The light which that glorious Shekinah radiated represents God’s wisdom (Psalm 80: 1). Note also that the Voice of God which spoke to Moses came out of the Shekinah (Numbers 7: 89). The things uttered by the Voice also represent God’s wisdom – when God’s wisdom expresses itself to our Lord in speech, as true wisdom.
The Propitiatory or Mercy Seat types Divine justice. This is apparent from the fact that the propitiating (or satisfying) blood was sprinkled upon it (Leviticus 16: 14). In the antitype God’s justice was His attribute that was given propitiation by Christ’s Ransom merit (Hebrews 9: 23-28).
The two cherubim overshadowing the Mercy Seat are mentioned also as being on the two ends of the Ark’s lid (Exodus 25: 18). These represent God’s attributes of power and love. The symbolism of their eyes being directed to the blood-sprinkled mercy seat and of their wings outstretched suggests this, because as soon as – and only as soon as – Divine power and love recognize Divine justice as satisfied with it can and do they fly to deliver the pertinent reconciled one.
The Chest of the Ark – Type and Antitype
The chest part of the Ark, underneath the lid, represents the Christ. It teaches, among other things, Jesus’ subordination to God in all things, more particularly as to getting information, arrangements and works for executing God’s Plan. It proves God to be the Source of the Plan, its arrangements and works, as it also proves Jesus to be His Executive. It suggests that neither the Father nor the Son do or say anything contrary to God’s character.
Our Lord’s loyalty in His office work is implied also in the symbol of Moses’ always coming loyally to God for direction and performing His will learned in hearing the Voice. As in the type Moses was greatly honored in the prerogative of his office, privileging him to enter the presence of God on every needed occasion; so in the antitype is our Lord highly honored in the pertinent antitypical prerogative. Surely the Father has highly honored and exalted His Son in this feature of His office, as the Truth Receiver and Dispenser for God’s Plan and people.
These facts should give us very great confidence in our Lord as God’s Executive leading us on to heavenly Canaan, God’s Kingdom. In God’s and Moses’ conversing together in matters of their personal interests and God’s purposes for Israel, etc., what a remarkable type we have of the communion and co-operation of the Father and Son in all their personal interests and in the matter of God’s Plan and people.