Exodus 26:33 (HCSB)
33 Hang the veil under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony there behind the veil, so the veil will make a separation for you between the holy place and the most holy place.
We read in this passage the instructions from God to construct the tabernacle. Just like the previous passages concerning the construction of the lampstand and table, I imagine there are reasons for the specificity of the dimensions and materials, but scripture seems to be silent on them.
Instead, other than the continuing theme of man following the instruction of God, and the use of precious materials to demonstrate the great value of God, I think there is an overarching theme to the tabernacle.
With the ark, God demonstrated His intention to be among His people. With the tabernacle, God reinforces the fact that a separation continues to exist between man and God. Spatially the ark may be physically among man, but spiritually there is still distance between God and man.
We see the tabernacle as the housing of the Holy Place, a place where God’s presence is manifested. It is separated from the outside by the curtains, both of linen and of goat hair, and animal skins. Further, there is the Most Holy Place, further separated by another curtain, where the ark, with the mercy seat upon it, dwells. Notice that the veil for the Most holy Place is to have cherubim embroidered into it (Exodus 26:31), while the screen to the Holy Place does not (Exodus 26:36). The Most Holy Place, the place where God will dwell, seems to be an earthly representation of heaven, of which we most certainly remain separated from until the return of Jesus.
Lord, thank You for coming to dwell among Your people. In the old covenant it was via the ark, placed in the tabernacle. Today it is via Christ, and Your Spirit dwelling within us. But You are always here, pursuing us, and fellowshipping with us, as long as we do not force You out. I pray all men would invite You, come to You, and surrender to You as their only Savior. Amen.