In furnishing the Tabernacle and Tent, the work commenced with the furniture of the Holy of Holies. The Ark was first constructed because it was to be the very center, and in itself the foundations of the government of God in righteousness. Then followed the mercy seat, attesting the provision made in the economy of God for approach to Him by sinful man. Long after, a Hebrew singer expressed the significance of this as he sang:
Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalms 85:9-10).
After the furniture of the Holy of Holies that of the Holy Place was made. First the table of communion, consequent on the propitiation manifested between the cherubim; then the lampstand, indicating the testimony the communing people were to bear to the outside world. Following this, the altar of incense, at which the people brought into communion and bearing testimony were to offer their sacrifices of praise. Finally, the anointing oil, the perpetual symbol of the truth that fitness for all approach and service comes by the way of divine provision.
the Second Week after Epiphany