Revelation 21:9-27 reads like something straight out of the back half of Exodus. If you’re not familiar with the latter half of the Exodus account, Moses is recounting the instructions he received from God pertaining to Israel’s new building project—the tabernacle.
If you were to revisit Exodus 25-28, you’d read some very specific instructions about construction dimensions and materials. You’d also read about the particular gems, stones, and precious metals that Israel was to use in construction of the tabernacle, its furnishings, and the garments to be worn by the priests on duty.
Why all of this detail about the tabernacle? Because the tabernacle was where God’s presence dwelt among his people, and God’s dwelling place is deserving of only the best.
Fast-forward to Revelation 21:9-27. More precious metals. More detailed designs. More specific dimensions. Why is John’s vision of this new city so particular? John provides the answer in verse 22:
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.“
In the New Jerusalem there is no tabernacle. There is no temple. There is only God, dwelling in all of his glory among his people—and God’s dwelling place is deserving of only the best.
Be encouraged by this today—for all of the brokenness and decay that surrounds us on a daily basis, we will one day reside in an eternal home of such splendor that the heart of man cannot even fathom it (1 Corinthians 2:9). But even better than that, we will be forever reunited with the one we lost in a garden long ago: ”Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3)