Friday, September 27, 2013

Our Tent

"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" 2 Corinthians 5:1
This picture of Larry in a tent was taken at Fort Garland in Colorado some years ago.  It's meant to help visualize the idea of our human body being the tent-home that houses our spirit and soul.

I think it's interesting to compare our bodies to a tent for several reasons:  a tent is a movable dwelling, able to travel from place to place pretty much like a human body is able to do; a tent depends on a series of poles to hold it up, sort of like the bones do in our bodies; a tent is somewhat fragile and easily knocked over and crushed; and when the people who dwell inside the tent no longer live there, the tent is empty of the soul and spirit of those who once lived within its skin.

Peter wrote, "Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me." 1 Peter 1:13-14.

Our bodies are marvelous creations of God and as the Psalmist says, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made..."  Nevertheless, when a person takes the last breath on this earth and the spirit enters heaven (or, sadly, elsewhere), that body becomes an empty shell -- sort of like an empty tent.

Lest you think our bodies are meaningless to God once our spirit is gone, I don't believe that's true.  I've always been impressed by the loving, gentle way God handled Mose's body when he died alone up on the mountain.  Scripture tells us that the Lord "buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is" Deuteronomy 33:6.  Why would the Lord bother to bury Mose's body if he did not want to honor it and protect it until the day of resurrection?

God created these wonderful bodies not only to house our spirits on earth, but to be reunited with that spirit in the day of resurrection and made fully whole and perfected at that time.  Someday, we'll no longer be housed in a temporary tent, but rather "a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

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