Journey to Hope – Into the Throne Room

Based on a talk from 20th March 2022

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. (Exodus 13:21)

We are continuing our series “Journey into Hope” and today’s theme is “Into the Throne Room”.

What is the Throne Room?

Quite simply, the Throne room is heaven. Moses, Isaiah, Daniel and Micaiah and all described seeing the LORD on his throne. In Isaiah 66 the LORD says, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is my footstool.

In Revelation 4:2 John describes his encounter with heaven. “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.”

We’re going to look at the history and structure of Biblical worship to help us understand how worship allows us access to the Throne Room. Jesus is written into every part of the Tabernacle. It all points to Him. Worship is all about Jesus!

Plan of the Tabernacle

The Flow of Worship

  1. Enter (Entrance/Jesus)- First, we enter, we make a decision and a conscious effort to come to worship, and we come through Jesus. Psalm 100:4 says,

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

    and his courts with praise;

    give thanks to him and praise his name.

Praise and thanksgiving are not worship in itself but bring us into the place of worship.

  1. Sacrifice and Confess (Bronze Altar/the Cross) – We need to confess and repent to be able to come before God. In Old Testament times that meant offering animal sacrifice. There is a cost involved in repentance. We should not take repentance lightly. We no longer sacrifice because Jesus has become the sacrifice for us, but we still need to repent.
  1. Cleansing and forgiveness (Bronze Laver/receiving forgiveness) We need to acknowledge and receive forgiveness. This is where we are washed clean. We leave those sins and failings behind. It should feel like when you step out of a bath or shower. There should be a lightness in our spirit.

This is also why the font was traditionally placed near the entrance to a church, signifying our need to be cleansed before entering into the worship space.

  1. Worship – We are now able to worship. If we are harbouring pride, fears, disappointments, bitterness, resentments, rebellion and the like we are unable to enter fully into worship.  When we worship we can
    • expect to hear from God in revelation (Lampstand/Jesus being light)
    • to receive from Him (Showbread/Jesus as bread/receive communion)
    • intercede for others (Altar of Incense/Jesus as intercessor)
  1. Encounter- Finally we reach encounter with God.  The veil in the temple was torn in two at the moment that Jesus died. His sacrifice for our sin and inadequacy opened the way for us to encounter God face to face.

As Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be” says,

“Bold I approach the Eternal Throne

And claim the crown through Christ my own.”

Worship is our gateway into encountering God. Worship should not be the end. It is a means to step into the very presence of God; to enter His Throne Room.

Moses ecountering God

Read Exodus 33:7-23

Moses has previously encountered God several times in supernatural ways, going back to his first encounter with the Burning Bush.

This passage follows on from Moses on Mount Sinai where God had given him the ten commandments and detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle. However, while Moses was away the people had built themselves a golden calf to worship instead of God.

Now Moses goes to the tent of meeting to talk to God. He pleads with the LORD for His presence to remain with them. From my reading the “tent of meeting” mentioned in this passage is a more temporary structure which Moses used while the tabernacle was being built.

Verse 11 states, “The LORD would speak to Moses, face to face, as a man speaks to a friend.”

Moses shares his concerns about leading the people and the LORD promises that His presence will go with them, saying, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and know you by name.” (v18)

How incredible, to have God speak to you so directly and clearly: to have God say that He is pleased with you and knows you by name.

Moses, however, wants more! He is bold enough to say to God in verse 18, “Now show me your glory.”

And what is more, God agrees. Although Moses had this intimate relationship with God, His glory was still too much for Moses to withstand. Moses is placed by God into in the cleft of a rock and the LORD covers Moses’ face with His hand as He passes by.

We should have awe and wonder when we come into the LORD’s presence. We should be brought to our knees by His glory and holiness. However, we can come into His presence, and we can ask Him to reveal more of Himself to us.

The reading from Matthew’s Gospel, which we looked at in part one was one verse. Matthew 27:51 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open.

When Jesus died the curtain in the Temple was ripped from top to bottom. This signified that there is no longer any obstacle to anyone entering the Holy of Holies: the throne room of God. There is nothing, but our own selves, to prevent us from entering God’s presence, just as Moses did. If we seek this, we can enter God’s Throne Room whenever we come into God’s presence in worship.

Finally let us consider what happened when Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to meet with God. Verse 10 states; “Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they all stood and worshiped.”

When we come together in worship, “in Spirit and in truth”, and in the manifest presence of God, the community around us will notice. They will find themselves drawn to worship too. This is what revival is.

And to conclude, how do we know we can enter God’s throne room? We know Jesus, the Great High Priest!

As Hebrews 4:14 and 16 says;

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. . . Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Barbara Norburn

Living thoughts

Please consider the following questions. As you ponder on them why not write down your thoughts and share your reflections with others.

Digging into God’s word

  • Re-read the teaching on worship in the Tabernacle, and the account of Moses encountering God in Exodus 33.
  • What are the implications for how you worship as an individual, and how we worship together?

Prayer response

Jesus, the hope of all who trust you; the power of all who serve you; the wisdom of all who follow you; the one who unites all who worship you. Grant us your light as we enter into Lent.

Fill us with strength and boldness according to your promises, that we might reach our needy nation, with your love, as we prepare for Easter.  We humbly acknowledge our weakness and failure, but our eyes are fixed on you.  Fulfil your purposes and plans that your name may be honoured in our land. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Father, thank you that in a world of despair, you are our Hope.  In a world of darkness, you are our Light.  In a world of sorrow, you are our joy.

Help us to share the Hope of our hearts with one another.  Enable us to give Hope to others through Your work amongst us.  Use us to transform our nation and to spread Your Hope to everyone in this nation.

May our land flourish by the preaching of Your word and the praising of Your name. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Holy God, our only hope is in You. We thank you for the past, trust you for today and believe in you for the future; that all Your promises will come to pass so we can rest forever in Your love. Amen

Adapted from Jane Holloway, World Prayer Centre