Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle. But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land. Joshua 18:1-2 NLT
The chapter begins with Joshua transferring the tabernacle from Gilgal to Shiloh which means “peace” or “rest.” The tabernacle is where the Ark of the Covenant and other holy items were housed. It also serves as a place where they experience the presence of God and was instituted when they were in the wilderness after they left Egypt. Shiloh was geographically located to all the people of Israel and will serve as the center for worship for hundreds of years not until David conquered Jerusalem which became the next place where the tabernacle was located. The choice of the place where the tabernacle will be located is not based on Joshua’s decision but on God’s directions. “You must seek the Lord your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored. There you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings” (Deuteronomy 12:5-6). They were commanded that their worship of God should express exaltation and honor of the name of God. Worship should be the expression of gratefulness to God’s faithfulness. The Israelites will not be in the position where they were if not for God. The tabernacle was placed in their midst to be a constant reminder that their lives should manifest God’s glory. “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns” (Psalm 46:5 NASB). It is the place where they will be constantly reminded of God’s testimony of greatness that should be proclaimed to all the nations surrounding Israel. All their actions surrounding the place of worship were based on the first covenant bounded by regulations. “The first covenant had regulations for divine worship and the earthly sanctuary” (Hebrews 9:1 NASB). But the coming of Christ ushered in a new covenant where the presence of God is no longer bounded by a physical structure but in the lives of those that trusted Him as their Lord and Savior. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things having come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by hands, that is, not of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11 NASB). Because of what Christ had accomplished, “let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him... Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise” (Hebrews 10:22-23). True worship is manifested by how we live the life God gave us.