God chose the Israelites out of pure grace alone. They didn’t deserve it any more than any other group of people. They were all sinners as the incident with the golden calf clearly pointed out. He chooses a mediator, Moses, a man who had killed another to lead his people out of Egypt. Once out of Egypt, God continues to lead His people in a cloud or by fire through the desert to the Promised Land with Moses as the communicator with the people.
God orders the people to build Him a tabernacle to exact specifications, which takes up one-third of Exodus. Every detail reveals God’s character and the rituals described means God must be taken seriously. We will continue to see this in the next three books of the Bible (the rest of our study).
The furnishings are sparse compared to most temples to gods of that day. Each had a purpose in approaching God and nothing extra. The tabernacle was not a gathering place–it served one purpose only namely to worship God.
And so God moves in in only five verses at the end of Exodus. He cannot be experienced directly; yet, He is near, visible over the tabernacle, guiding and protecting His people, for no other reason than He wants to be near them–and us.