Imagine this: in the middle of the wilderness, there’s a camp of hundreds of thousands if not a couple of million escaped slaves. In their camp, there’s an enclosure, and in the middle of that, there’s a room in a tent, lined with gold and rich fabrics and furnished with wood and gold. The only light was from a large oil lamp made from one piece of hammered gold.
But past that room, there was one more room: the Holy of Holies. In that room there was no light other than the glory of God.
This room is where Moses went in to meet with God:
7:89Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.
That ‘place of atonement’ was also called the mercy seat. God had planned it this way. Moses was the only person in history who could enter that room at any time and meet with God:
Exodus 25:22 I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover [the mercy seat] between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.
Aaron and the High Priests that came after him could enter the Holy of Holies only once a year, and then it was to offer the annual sacrifice for the people’s sins.