In God in Our Midst, Daniel Hyde aims to illustrate how the tabernacle is one of the most critical linkages between Old Testament Israelites and New Testament Christians. The author laments that the Old Testament as a whole has been preached sparingly in our churches today despite the fact that God’s Word is made up of both Old and New Testaments. As such, preachers and their congregations suffer tremendously by leaving the rich treasures of the Old Testament untouched. Thus, the book’s purpose is to show readers how God’s commands to Moses on the construction of the tabernacle has significant implications to New Testament Christians who have been called to build up and become the dwelling place of God through Christ. Moreover, the tabernacle narratives are not simply historical recordings of religious architecture but the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan for the entire creation including those who put their faith in Him throughout the generations. Hyde focuses on the tabernacle as the foreshadowing of Christ who is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan to dwell with His people forever. In each chapter, Hyde explains the construction and theological significance of a particular aspect of the tabernacle may it be the bronze alter, the golden lampstand, and the Ark of the Covenant. Furthermore, the author devotes a fair portion of the book to highlight how God’s design for the tabernacle is also relevant to our lives today.
For example, Hyde suggests that similar to the priests who had to be cleansed daily at the bronze washbasin before ministering in the presence of God, we also need to be cleansed by the blood of Christ as we progress in our sanctification. As a whole, Hyde engages in a balanced treatment of the symbolic significance of the Exodus passages by basing his arguments on the book of Hebrews while also interacting with historic catechisms and treatises. However, there are some instances where the author’s inferences are somewhat strained such as suggesting that the rim around the table of the Presence as being illustrative of how God keeps His saints from falling away. However, there is much to appreciate in how the author constantly goes back to Scripture as the basis by which we see Christ as the consummation of what the tabernacle signifies.
I gladly recommend this book as many of us would likely agree that our understanding of the Old Testament is fairly weak. If we intend to worship God in spirit and truth, we must have a good grasp of the entire counsel of God. I greatly appreciate Hyde’s passion for God’s Word and Christ-centered focus when interpreting Scripture. To emphasize this concern, the book includes an appendix with suggestions on how preachers can teach the Pentateuch effectively. Moreover, the author urges both unbelieving and believing readers alike to come to Christ as the only One who can allow us to dwell with and enjoy God forever. Instead of relegating the Old Testament to ancient history, let us dig deep into God’s written Word as a whole with renewed reverence and obedience.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Reformation Trust.