UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with

this lesson is written by The Mailbox Club International

presents "Light from the Old Testament"


UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with

The Mailbox Club presents

Light from the Old Testament

Lesson 7 (Part 3)

The Courtyard

The Tabernacle was the dwelling place of Jehovah—the God of Israel. It stood in the center of the tents of the twelve tribes of Israel. The courtyard surrounding the Tabernacle was enclosed by a "fence" of white linen curtains, standing about eight feet, nine inches high. No one could see over or under these curtains. (If you haven't already done so, you may wish to open a larger version of this diagram here.)

Tabernacle courtyard

The courtyard was rectangular in shape being about 175 feet long and about 87½ feet wide. The "fence" of white linen was held up by 60 pillars, set into 60 brass sockets which were buried in the sand for a foundation. Each pillar was made secure by cords fastened to brass tent pegs. The pillars were all connected to each other by a silver connecting bar.

Upon the connecting bar of silver hung a curtain of fine-twined white linen. There was only one place of entrance into the courtyard—the "door" of colored curtains on the east side. The one gate or "door" of entrance represents the Lord Jesus. He said, "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." (John 10:9)

In the courtyard with its one door, God is giving us a picture of salvation. Those outside the courtyard are lost; those inside are saved. To be inside the courtyard, in the family of God, is most blessed. It is no wonder that David said,

"A day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalm 84:10

The whole purpose of the Tabernacle was to show sinful men how they could approach the holy God and have fellowship with Him.

What is the first thing the sinner meets as he turns toward God? He meets the curtains of white linen, a type of the righteousness which man must have to approach God.

As a man stands before the white curtain of linen, he is faced with the fact that he is a sinner. He does not have the righteousness which God requires. The Bible says,

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…" Isaiah 64:6

Apart from Christ, our very best righeousnesses are as "filthy rags." This is the emblem chosen by the Spirit of God to describe the best of human righteousness, in contrast with what God requires—"fine linen, clean and white."

He meets the curtains of white linen (graphic copyrighted by New Tribes Mission; used by permission)

God uses this picture of the courtyard with its fine linen, clean and white, to show man his sins and the desperate wickedness of his heart which shuts him out from a holy God.

Shuts him out? No! God has provided a way for sinful man to approach Him. He may enter by the one gate on the east side—the God-provided way! That one way is by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said,

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6


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