“So there were eight boards and their sockets—sixteen sockets of silver—two sockets under each of the boards.”
The Tabernacle was designed in Heaven, and serves as a picture of the work of salvation. Each article is pregnant with symbolism and serves to illustrate various aspects of salvation and sanctification. The roof of the Tabernacle was supported by wooden walls overlaid with gold, and the walls were held in place by silver sockets or foundation stones. Two interesting facts about these silver blocks are worth our attention.
First, it interests me how the blocks were obtained. Earlier in Exodus, we read of a tax of half a shekel placed upon every person. No matter what a person’s socio-economic condition, they were all required to bring the same amount. This redemption money, as it is often called, serves as a picture of what is required of us in the process of salvation. No person was required to pay for, or build, the Tabernacle on their own, that would be accomplished by a work of the Spirit of God, but each person was required to invest their half shekel. In the same way, the work of salvation was accomplished by Jesus upon the cross. He paid a price much too high for any man to pay. All that is required of us is simple faith. When we choose to trust in the work of Jesus on the cross, we in turn, receive the fullness of salvation. The silver sockets then are a picture of the importance of faith.
Second, I am intrigued by the fact that, as important as these blocks were, they would go unseen. Once the Tabernacle was erected, the silver blocks were completely hidden. However, the proof that they were there, would be evident to all. In the same way, faith, although invisible, can be clearly seen. James spoke of a faith that works (James 2:20-24), and Paul referred to faith that was heard around the world (Romans 1:8). While we cannot see faith, we can certainly see the evidences that faith has upon the person who exercises it. Since faith puts us into relationship with God, a person who has truly believed, will see their life being transformed. Old habits, actions, thoughts, and speech will begin to be replaced with new ones. It is not so much that a person is trying to conform to a new standard to live by, as they are being transformed by the work of God from within.
Just as the Tabernacle was held up by unseen silver sockets, so our lives will be put on display to the world around us as we trust in Christ, and grow in relationship with him.