by Judson Cornwall
©1977 by Fleming H. Revell Company
reviewed by CharityTatro

The tabernacle which God provided to the Israelites in the wilderness was a testimony of Jesus Christ. In Let Us Draw Near, Judson Cornwall lays open the building of the tabernacle with its specific instructions and commands to show us how every detail pointed to the coming Messiah. If you have ever been confused by the book of Exodus or gotten lost in the seemingly endless sacrifices, laws, and regulations given to the people of Israel, this book will help show you the simplicity and purity of God’s plan to draw His chosen ones. Cornwall uses a creative on-going dialogue to show us Moses, after he received the plans on Mount Sinai, Bezaleel, overseeing the building and artistry involved in the construction, Aaron and the priesthood learning the purpose of their ministry. And woven throughout the entire experience is the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Cornwall devotes a chapter to each of the 7 pieces of furniture found in the tabernacle. He writes “each piece offers a progressive revelation of God and His nature. The material out of which it is constructed, the dimensions, and its usage all make God more meaningful and understandable. Additionally, as the priest ministers at each station he will find himself being changed ‘from faith to faith’ and ‘from glory to glory.’ God has chosen this method to reveal Himself and to change His man.”(page 9) God desired to make all of Israel a kingdom of priests and a holy nation but when they could not bear hearing His voice He set His tabernacle among them and gave them all free access to the outer court of His dwelling place. Furthermore, He made a way for His appointed priests to come into the inner court and even into the holy of holies, both to minister unto God and receive from Him. As believer-priests we can also draw near to God. The truths of the brazen altar, the laver, the candlestick, the table of show bread, the altar of incense, the ark of the covenant, and the mercy seat each have a spiritual significance for Christians today. As I read Cornwall’s detailed description of each piece of furniture it encouraged me to seek the Lord to have these things built and continuously increasing in my life. I don’t want to become satisfied at the table of show bread, a forshadow of fellowship, or even at the altar of incense, a forshadow of worship. I don’t want to settle for knowing a portion of God’s character but I desire the fullness of who He is. I want to enter into the holy of holies. The author of Hebrews writes “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”(Hebrews 4:14-16)

Cornwall’s insight into the tabernacle reveals the truth that Jesus Christ is our righteousness. In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The only way we can draw near to God is through the cross of Christ yet so often we try to make our own way just as the children of Israel did. Cornwall writes “Amazingly, the human heart quickly contents itself with something short of God, and devises elaborate substitutes for Him. God’s simple route of approach is replaced by man’s complex rites of religion. Repentance is replaced by penance, cleansing is replaced by ceremony, substitutional sacrifice is replaced by institutional service, and coming to church replaces coming to God. Whether it is man’s innate fear of approaching God, or religon’s ingrained reluctance to allow man the freedom to attain such an intimate relationship with God is debatable, but the result is the same: man and God are separated.” This is so true of our human nature. Haven’t we seen it happen time and again throughout history from the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the church today? Yet in 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 it is said of us— “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’” As the “temple of the living God” we need to have the articles that God ordained to be in His temple restored to our lives. Paul continues by writing “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

We need the ministry of the cross and the water of the word to cleanse us from sin and wash us clean. We need the spirit and fire of God, true fellowship, and pure worship to bring us into a right relationship with Him. And we need both His judgment and His mercy in order to come before God and intimately know Him. There is only one way we can do this... Jesus is the way! Therefore come boldly!

Let us draw near!