_ Exodus 39:32, “Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses; so they did.”
The Tabernacle was finished because the Israelites “did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.” After they repented of making the golden calf, they gave willingly from their heart to build according to God’s command. Moses received the exact building design and it was carried out by those God filled with wisdom and knowledge by His Spirit. (Ex. 35:30-35)
Previous to this when they made the gold calf and the altar before it, they had a feast to “Yahweh” and “brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play (in music and dance)” (Ex. 32:6). They felt like they were “having church;” they felt they were worshiping God in a way that would please Him, but their worship was rooted in pride. They worshiped in a way that seemed right to them instead of making it their highest priority to hear God’s word first. Solomon beautifully expresses this principle in Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. 2) Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.”
Exodus 40:33-34 says “…So Moses finished the work. 34) Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” This was God’s desire, to dwell with His people. This wasn’t just an event or experience, but the people had drawn near to God and God drew near to them.
_ In Exodus 36:5 it says “…they spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do." This is a good problem to have! Of course this was referring to natural offerings, but the principle has significance for spiritual things also. If everyone would give their lives with a willing heart as an offering, there would be enough. There would be enough to show the glory of Jesus to the world! He has put His nature and Spirit within us; when we give ourselves willingly, God's glory will be seen.
Here is a list of the items in the Tabernacle and what it can represent in Jesus Christ’s life.
_Before we go into today’s reading, let’s recap a little from yesterday. Exodus 32:4-5 says, “(Aaron) …made a molded calf. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!" 5) So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD (Yahweh)." The people had the name right, but their image of Him was all wrong. People do the same thing today; Jesus said many would come in His name and deceive many. We can say we serve Jesus Christ, but not serve Jesus Christ. We can say we have “accepted” Jesus Christ, but we have not really accepted all what He has said. What a shame it is how often people proclaim the right name but change His image.
Moses was a man of intersession and prayer; I’m sure this was the greatest strength of his leadership.
After the LORD said to Moses in Exodus 32:10, “let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation," Moses pleaded with the LORD to spare the people and the LORD relented (Ex. 32:14)
Then the LORD says in Exodus 33:2-3, “I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 3) Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."
Moses was unwilling to have the physical promise without the LORD being amongst them. Through persistent prayer Moses found manifested grace for his nation. In Exodus 33:13-14 Moses says, “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people." 14) And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Through prayer, the nation escaped judgment and saw God’s glory come to abide with them. It’s through prayer we see God’s judgment stayed and His glory manifested.
_ Exodus 31:12-17 records how serious God is about the Sabbath; which is a “rest.” When you read about the run-in’s Jesus had with Pharisees about the Sabbath you see His seriousness about it wasn’t for hypocritical religious reasons like many people still think today.
Mark 2:23-28 says, “Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24) And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25) But He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26) how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?" 27) And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
Righteousness doesn’t come through the Law (Gal. 2:21), but we should follow the principles God gives for our good. So, what is the meaning of the Sabbath principle we’re to follow? The bible says God made the world in 6 days and He rested on the 7th. Since God made man on the 6th day our life began when God basically said, “I’m resting now because My works are done.”
Hebrews 4:1-4 & 9-10 expresses this thought; it says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2) For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3) For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,' " although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4) For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS"… 9) There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10) For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
How do we enter His rest, His Sabbath? We recognize God’s works are finished so we cease from our works to walk in what He has already done; we trust Him and stop striving in our own strength and wisdom. It doesn’t do much good to not work on the 7th day of the week but strive in our self the rest of the week. Of course it’s good to physically rest one day a week, but the Sabbath principle deals with the heart.
Do you have any comments on this? Ask any questions you have on this topic.
_ Exodus 28:29 says, "So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the LORD continually.”
Sometimes when people sense to pray for another they say, “You were on my heart.” Here we see how Aaron the Priest literally bears the names of Israel before the LORD on his heart. This shows us how our High Priest Jesus Christ bears our names on His heart before the Father. Hebrews 12:24 says that Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant and His blood speaks better things than Abel’s. We see through the Old Covenant High Priest how Jesus Christ carries our names before the Father with His own blood as a continual reminder to Him that our debt of sin has been paid. What a wonderful mediator we have!
Exodus 29:44-46 says, “So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests. 45) I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. 46) And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.” The LORD is very interested in dwelling among His people in a “tent.” He came to us in Jesus and now He desires to dwell amongst us in our very own heart and spirit.
_ Hebrews 8:1-5 talks about the Tabernacle and how it foreshadowed the reality (the substance) of Christ. It says, “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2) a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3) For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4) For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5) who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "SEE THAT YOU MAKE ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."
First and foremost, the Tabernacle is a “shadow” to reveal Christ to us; who He is and what He accomplished for us. Because we are part of the “body of Christ,” it also reveals how we are to function and grow in Christ.
As you read through all the different details of the Tabernacle, don’t forget the purpose God ordained it. He reveals it is Exodus 25:8, “let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” God desires a sanctuary (meaning: “a holy place”) that He may dwell among His people.” Jesus is the perfect Tabernacle of the Father. Jesus is God who put on flesh; He perfectly showed us the Father and paid for our redemption. Now, we must learn to abide in Christ by learning to abide in love and abide in His Word. The body of Christ is called to be His Holy Place, His Tabernacle that He can dwell in.
My desire for everyone who reads these chapters is that they don’t hear a building plan for a Tabernacle (a tent), but they see a beautiful foreshadow of Jesus Christ and our life in Him.
_ Although a few things may be a little difficult to understand at first as you we read through the God’s Law (Exodus through Deuteronomy), it is clear to see how “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law,” (Romans 13:10) and how “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (Galatians 5:14)
Exodus 23:29-30 says, “I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30) Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.” The LORD does not want to give us more than we call handle… more than we can occupy. It would not be wise for Israel to take on more land than they could handle. Often people want God to give them things that they don’t have the character to occupy; the “beasts of that field” would be too much for them.
_ Exodus 19:10-11 says, “Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
This is one of the main messages of God’s Word… that we would be made ready for Him to draw near. Paul the Apostle quotes from a few Old Testament passages in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 and says, “what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE." 17 Therefore "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU." 18 "I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY."
Don’t’ be afraid to live a life of fear?
Exodus 20:18-21 says, “Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." 20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.”
Of course is sounds paradoxical, but we must choose not to be afraid to fear God. To fear God means we choose to walk in His higher ways and choose to believe His higher thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). When we fear God, we must believe the reward is greater than the difficulties of choosing to tremble at His Word. Proverbs 1:28-31 speaks of the judgment of those who loved their present lives instead of choosing to fear the LORD. It says, “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.”
_ Chapter 16
Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “He (God) humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
A generation died in the wilderness, but the younger generation became strong in the wilderness. They did not store up their food; they had to get rid of it at the end of everyday expecting God to provide the next morning. When they were commanded to rest, they did so knowing God would take care of them. It was all about trust; they learned man does not live by their effort and what they can do, but by trusting what God says. Their souls’ were formed in the wilderness to trust God. When they saw the giants in the Promised Land, they walked by faith and not by sight because they had been conditioned in the wilderness.
Jethro gives his son-in-law Moses advice and then says these words in Exodus 18:23, “If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure..." Notice the words, “and God so commands you.” Jethro gave Moses advice, but he didn’t want him to implement it unless it was God’s will that he do so. We all get advice in life; no matter how good that advice sounds, we better make sure that it is what God commands.
_ Hebrews 3:7-13 says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, 8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, 9 WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED ME, TRIED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS. 10 THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.' 11 SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.' " 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "TODAY," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
The writer of Hebrews exhorts the people not harden their hearts as the Israelites did. First he quotes from Psalm 95; then in verse 12 he exposes the root of the problem, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” We will see time and again how Israel feels good when all looks good, but as soon as things look bad they begin to fear and they usually blame Moses for their problems.
Exodus 14:10-12 says, “…When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?”
Then after Egypt’s defeat, 14:31 says “Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORDand His servant Moses.”
It says they believed the LORD and Moses, but how long would that last without a heart change?
As they praised the LORD, they believed their enemies of the Promised Land would be immobilized with fear. Exodus 15:14-16 says, "The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. 15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab, Trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. 16 Fear and dread will fall on them; By the greatness of Your arm They will be as still as a stone, Till Your people pass over, O LORD, Till the people pass over Whom You have purchased.” This was indeed the case; look at what Rahab the harlet would say 40 years later in Joshua 2:9 "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.” How sad that the LORD had given them the victory, but their unbelief kept them wandering in the wilderness.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan