“He made two golden rings for it under its moldings on its two sides — on opposite sides — as holders for poles with which to carry it.” (Exodus 37:27)
It wasn’t permanent. That’s what stands out here. As you read through the description of the articles that were part of the tabernacle worship in Exodus, you will notice that they all included these golden rings, “as holders for poles with which to carry it.” Everything in the tabernacle was made to be MOVED. Which is a good reminder to us.
Everything about the tabernacle was temporary. This is signified something important: not only that all these things were going to be moved often in the wilderness (and that they were holy, and not to be touched, as David would be reminded to his hurt later). But it also emphasized the fact that it was ALL TEMPORARY. It was all to be moved. Nothing here was permanent. Which is yet another Old Testament foreshadowing of Christ. All of these Old Testament rituals and their furnishings were temporary; all to be replaced by Him.
It also reminds us that the material things of this world are all the same way: just temporary. All those things that so many people basically “sell their souls” for, will soon be gone. And yes, that even includes the “religious” buildings and furnishings, which unfortunately have become the focus of worship for so many. Matthew 24 says that when the disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Jesus — evidently out of pride or veneration — His response to them was: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” There were no “golden rings” in its sides, but the message was the same: yes this is pretty, but it’s temporary. It’s not what we are all about.
That’s a word we need to hear, whenever we’re tempted to give too much attention to buildings and other material aspects of the practice of our faith. The Kingdom of God is not about buildings, or carpet or furnishings or anthing else material. It’s about the faith and love and righteousness and and spiritual growth and relationships of the people in them. Everything else is only temporary. We may as well picture it all with rings built in its sides.