At Mount Sinai, God invites Israel into a covenant relationship. He calls them to be a kingdom of priests and send the blessings of Yahweh out to the nations. But Israel immediately fails to hold up their end of the agreement.
As the Israelites approach Mount Sinai, God’s presence covers the mountain in a dark cloud. Moses climbs the mountain as a representative for the people to receive God’s law and a plan for God’s own dwelling space, the tabernacle.
Filled with symbolic Eden imagery, the tabernacle becomes the place where God’s space overlaps with humanity’s space. Immediately after this, Israel breaks the covenant, and Moses intercedes for them by asking God to remember his promise to Abraham.
God relents and re-establishes the covenant. The tabernacle is completed and God’s glory fills it. However, Moses is unable to enter this space. How will God's people be in his presence when they continually fail to live by the covenant?