According to Wikipedia, a tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and temporary shelters.
I boldned the words, temporary shelter, because in our study of 2 Corinthians 5 today, Paul tells us that the body we live in is a temporary shelter.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down- when we die and leave these bodies-we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.”
Wow, I long for this day when the temporary tent that I live in is transformed by God. I have faced medical issues, sickness, tiredness, and daily battles with how I look compared to others and worldly standards. It is so refreshing to read these words and know that this is temporary. I will never be satisfied with the body I have here on earth.
In verse 2, we read,
“We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.”
Different translations use the word “groan” instead of “long”. Do you ever find yourself groaning? As I get older, I hear certain sounds or groans come from my mouth and usually question where that came from. Groan is a word expressing the emotion of pain. (yes, sometimes I feel pain as I get up when I have sat too long:) But, Paul is talking about something here beyond the ordinary groaning we do. This is a groaning of wanting to occupy that other body, the eternal body God has prepared for those who walk by faith!
But what does life look like while we are dwelling in these “tents”?? It means hearing, believing and doing as God directs. It means not living according to what you see in the temporary world. We have to make it our priority to please God.
Verse 9 states,
“So our aim is to please him always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body.”
Here is a poem that pretty much sums up what Paul is saying about living in our tent:
This Old Tent
by Steve Coyle
When I looked upon the days gone past,
I’d thought this tent was built to last.
For I’d stood it on some rocky ground
where stormy winds couldn’t beat it down.
And with my pride and my own hand,
I put my tent on shifting sand
where pegs pulled loose and my tent did shake,
but I was young and I could take
the unstable world that I was in
I’d just up and move again.
So for many years I went this route,
shifting this old tent about.
Till one cold day when my mind grew clear,
this tent had an end and it might draw near.
So with much fear (such a heavy load)
I looked for the One who made this abode.
Yes, the Tentmaker, He’d surely know
where one such rotting tent should go
to have this canvas revitalized,
to have these poles and pegs re‐sized.
I went to Him on bended knees
begging Him, ‘Oh tentmaker please!
Restore this tent I thought would last,
this canvas house that went so fast.’
He looked at me through loving eyes
and merely pointed to the skies.
‘Please don’t grieve over some old tent,
old canvas walls that have been spent.
For this mansion that’s been built by Me
will last you for eternity.’”
Compliments of Joni and Friends PO Box 3333 Agoura Hills, CA 91376 www.joniandfriends.org
Because of Christ we have a Hope! Verses 17-21 assure us that regardless of what you have done you can receive these blessings and have this hope because of who Jesus Christ is, and what He did on the cross for you and me.