Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Exodus 28-29

Please forgive my lateness today.  Here with go with our focus on THE WORD.  I pray before we being that God will speak something special to you today about this Word.  There are a LOT of details here … but ask the Lord to SHOW YOU what HE wants you to see from this… ask HIM to reveal HIMSELF to you in only a way that He can today in this reading.

Click here for the reading  don’t forget that you can always LISTEN to this (which often helps me greatly).

WHY did God set up the priesthood?  WHY is all this detail given to how the garments are made, the colors used, the placement of jewels, the turban, the ephod, the breastplate…. Etc???

God ORIGINALLY intended that his CHOSEN people would ALL be a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.  However, the people’s sin prevented this from happening. A sinful person was not allowed to approach a perfect God.  Then God appointed priests from the tribe of LEVI and set up the system of sacrifices to help the people approach HIM.  God promised to forgive the people’s sin if they would offer certain sacrifices administered by the priests on their behalf.

Today we learn of the many provisions of how God made this possible back in Exodus and then TODAY we are most blessed that we can come DIRECTLY before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and call out to our God as ABBA FATHER because Jesus Christ became the final… ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy the blessed relationship.  However, in reading the old testament doesn’t it make it clearer and clearer the GREATNESS of what Jesus Christ did for us?

The rituals of the sacrifices and clothing gave a centralized, standardized from of worship preventing people from coming up with their own ways” of worship.  This also SEPARATED the Hebrews from all the other people around them.  Their differences showed that they were worshiping the ONE TRUE GOD and NO other gods.

Chapter 28 – A picture speaks a 1000 words.  Here is a picture from my bible study last year which shows the total attire of for the tabernacle priests.  I think it makes a little more sense when we can see it.

Tabernaclehighpriesttb022804700

 

 

A closer picture of the Ephod and Breastplate

ephod

 

God tells Moses to have Aaron, his brother, brought to him along with his sons so they can serve HIM as priests.  Aaron (and Moses) came from the tribe of Levi and the descendants of Levi are called LEVItes.  The priesthood for generations will come from the LEVItes.  And can you guess what the book of LEVIticus might be speaking of at this point??  YEP.. you got it…. The entire book of LEVIticus is dedicated to to the proper way to worship God.  And in today’s read we are witnessing the beginning of the proper worship and direction for this group of people.  🙂

God was so detailed was giving his instructions and he tells them why each piece was designed the way it was.  The use of gold, onyx, fine linen, blue, purple, scarlet yarn, and other precious gemstones reveals to me just how precious OUR worship of God is to be … how we today are to enter with reverence and honor to Him .. not with a casual disrespect for ALL HE is.

I love verse 3 that states: “Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given WISDOM in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as a priest.”  God was preparing people before he shared this with Moses.  He was preparing certain people with certain gifts to accomplish the ultimate goal of worshiping HIM.  We each have skills, talents, gifts, that the Lord gives us .. so we may use them according to HIS purposes and to HIS glory.  AWWWWWEEEEESOMMMMEEEE. (can you hear me singing that little phrase??) 🙂

Is there any significance in the colors used?  It would be a great mistake to assign mystical/spiritual meaning to “just” colors used in the Bible and/or begin to “worship” the colors themselves.  However, there is some significance in the colors used.  I have inserted a quote about the use of colors from: http://www.gotquestions.org/colors-Bible.html#ixzz2MDbNMNg9

“Purple blue, or hyacinth, points to heaven, and was the symbol of revelation. Among the Hebrews it was the Jehovah color, the symbol of the revealed God (Exodus 24:10; Ezekiel1:26). Blue and purple, along with scarlet and gold, were colors of the priestly garments and fixtures in the tabernacle as describe in Exodus, chapters 35 through 39. Purple, the dress of kings, was associated with royalty and majesty (Judges 8:26;Esther 8:15;Daniel 5:7,16,29).”

Verse 29 states “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Pace, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.” 

Verse 30 discusses the Urim and Thummim.   They were used by the priest to make decisions.  According to the Life Application Bible, these names mean “Curses” and “Perfections” and refer to the nature of God whose will they revealed.  They were kept in a pouch and taken out or shaken to get either a yes or no decision.  I have provided a picture of what these would have looked like.  HOWEVER, it does not MEAN that we as Christians are to go out and look for these stones to provide us with answers.  This Word was written specifically for the OT priests.  We are to ASK Jesus and keep on asking, SEEK Jesus and keep on seeking, and KNOCK on HIS door and keep on knocking for our answers (Matt 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10).

Here is a picture of the Urim and Thummim

UrimThummim_Trans

 

Some basic facts:

  • Who: Aaron, Moses’ Brother, Becomes the High Priest (sons will follow)
  • What: High Priest is the Only Priest that will enter the Most Holy Place once a year
  • Where: Inside the Tabernacle, a portable sanctuary where the Lord will dwell
  • When: Now, and then when the Temple replaces the Tabernacle
  • Why: An orderly sacrificial system for atonement is set in place to foreshadow the Christ to come

The priests were to wear these garments into the tabernacle.  The priests were our representatives.  Jesus is now OUR High Priest.  Each stone has the name of one of the tribes of Israel on it,12 in all. This is a memorial before the Lord, to remember the burden they carried for them.

Chapter 29 Consecration of the Priests. —  God appointed a priesthood.  If this interests you, click here to see the geneology.  LOOK for the Green triangles.  You will see they start with Aaron, the first priest, and follow ONLY the Levites (at least through the Old Testament, by the time Jesus will come the corruption is incredible and the Romans will appoint a high priest..rut row).  So Chapter 29 holds the instructions that will take place for the beginning process of the Priesthood.  We start with Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (28:1)

The Lord was setting His people apart from all others, as we are today in fact.  How we approach the Lord here is symbolic in today’s world BUT He always intended the principles to remain.  Cleansing, sacrifice, offerings, are all part of our relationship with the Lord.

And take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated.  (Exodus 29:21)

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  (Heb 9:22)

 It takes the blood of the sacrifice to consecrate us.  No where does it say “the deeds” “The acts” “the kindness” ” I am a good person” is what made the priests, priest!!.  Our salvation is ONLY given to us by God through the Blood that consecrates us. WE EACH, INDIVIDUALLY must come before the LORD, confess our sin, believe that HE, (and ONLY HE) is Lord, died for us, and rose from the dead, and tell HIM we need and want HIM in our hearts.  NO one else can do this on our behalf …. NOTHING else will bring us into this relationship with HIM.  NOTHING.  BUT ONCE WE CHOOSE HIM …… NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM HIS LOVE.  satan wants us to believe that our sin is so bad it can not be forgive….. JESUS tells us differently.  JESUS wants to have a personal relationship with us.  Have you CHOSEN HIM for your life?   Look in 29:14…this little bitty sentence….5 words….

“It is a Sin offering”!!!!

LOTS of material … we will unpack more of it as we go along!

We end this reading with instruction that the people are to come and worship, and make an offering for their sin, and sacrifice, be set apart, cleanse…. and then the Lord uses a profound word. THEN

Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might DWELL among them. I am the LORD their God.

Today we end day 39 of our reading together, and we end with this scripture: “I MIGHT DWELL AMONG THEM AND AM THE LORD THEIR GOD” ??  Tomorrow will be day FORTY in our reading together.   40 is such a significant number in the Bible, God uses 40 as such a “preparation of the heart”…It rained for 40 days on Noah, Moses goes up the Mountain for 40 days (twice!), David prepared for Goliath for 40 days, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, people will change after 40 days in the Promised land.  When we go to bed tonight we will wake up on day 40…I know God has changed my heart in this 40 days too, and I pray you can say the same thing. 🙂

Final thought for today is verse 28:36

  “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban.”

Jesus is our High Priest…Holy to the Lord.  In Revelation it says on Jesus..”Lord of Lord and King of Kings”

WE are to be a priesthood.  SO when He sees us HE sees a plate on our forehead that says “Holy to the Lord.”

ALL Praise be to our LORD AND KING!!

Sharing HIS love,

Exodus 25-27

A peak at the details of the tabernacle

Click here for today’s reading

Today we are reading about the instructions to build the TABERNACLE …. Boy… those are some VERY detailed instructions, right?  Let’s first look at the definition of TABERNACLE – the BLB indicates that this comes from the Hebrew word of mishkan which means dwelling place. This tabernacle was intended to be mobile as the people moved towards the Promised Land.  (Later we will see where Solomon built the temple which was designed to be a “permanent” dwelling place, but we’ll see how the permanence goes when we get into that far.) AND then we will see where this tabernacle is a foreshadow and blueprint of the Christ to come dwell in us.   🙂

Don’t you think it is TOTALLY awesome that GOD WANTED to be with HIS people?  HE WANTED to dwell among them/us.   I believe this reality makes it abundantly clear as to why the LORD CHOOSE to reveal Himself to Moses AND the Hebrews in such a miraculous way.  After witnessing the thunder and lightning flashes, hearing the very loud trumpet sound, watching the thick cloud of smoke ascend from the mountain as God descended down on it, and feeling the violent quaking of the mountain ….. You KNOW there was fear and trembling (Exodus 19:14-16)!!  God wanted HIS people to have a healthy fear for the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever present God.  Don’t you think that would be one heck of a deterrent to giving in to sin??   (At least for a little while!)  God also chose to reveal himself so HE could reveal the LAW and the design of the tabernacle.  These instructions were the ONLY way HIS people would know how to live righteously and worship reverently.

As I prepared to read these chapters, I was afraid I would get totally lost just reading the details.  However, God so lovingly pointed things out to me.  We WILL read about the construction of the tabernacle SEVERAL times, and you will probably feel as if you are having “deja vu!!”  So… just ask God to point out to you what HE would like you to see.

Chapter 25 – God said to Moses to tell the Israelites in verse 1:  “…to bring an offering.  You are to receive the offering for ME from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”  The Hebrews who desired from their heart to give were to bring the BEST things (remember how God told the Israelites to take the gold, silver, and clothing from the Egyptians in Exodus 12:33-36?  Well.. NOW you KNOW why… for the tabernacle.)  I have to thank my mentor from my on line bible study last year for these picture… Thanks Trish!!  This first picture is an overview of what the tabernacle would have looked like.


tabernacle


The ARK is the SAME thing they were looking for in the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark”….. pssttt…. Spielberg is an awesome movie director… but he “ain’t” got nothing our ONE TRUE GOD’s story  🙂

In verse 21 God tells Moses to place the “Ark of the Testimony” in the ark and cover it with the atonement cover (MERCY SEAT).  Did you see that there are TWO CHERUBIM on the Mercy Seat for the ark where God would dwell between HIS powerful angels?  (Ringing any bells…. Yep you got it…. 2 CHERUBIM guard the Garden of Eden and we will eat from the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem.)   It will be here in the Most Holy Place that God will meet with the High Priests ONCE A YEAR and he will “commune with thee from above the MERCY SEAT, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” KJV  We will read in Numbers 17:1-11 where there will be FOUR items in the ark – the two stone tablets of the 10 commandments, the pot of manna (to show generations to come God’s provision) and Aaron’s staff.   The picture below depicts what the ark would have looked like with the mercy seat on top of it.

ark

MERCY SEAT – God was seated here, and from this place He dispensed mercy to man when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there.  If you think about this MERCY SEAT being in the MOST HOLY PLACE where ONLY the HIGH PRIEST could go ONCE A YEAR,  it meant that God’s people were concealed from the condemning judgment of the law.  Mercy Seat comes from the Hebrew word “kapporeth” meaning place of atonement, “a golden plate of propitiation on which the High Priest sprinkled the seat 7 times on the Day of Atonement symbolically reconciling Jehovah and His chosen people,” from the BLB.  Hebrews 9 is a great chapter to read about Jesus being our final atonement, the ultimate sacrifice.

Verse 30 – the “bread of the Presence” is to be placed on the special table which will be before him at all times in the Holy Place.   The NIV describes this as “bread of the Presence”.  The KJV calls it the “showbread.”  It is interesting to me that the WORD Presence is capitalized here.  I KNOW that means something but I could only guess, so I’ll simply say I noticed it was capitalized. 🙂  The bread would be twelve small loaves, one to represent each tribe of Israel, as well as the entire spiritual Israel.   These were set out in the holy tabernacle before Jehovah every week.  They were renewed every Sabbath (Lev 24:5-9), and those that were removed to give place to the new ones were to be eaten by the priests IN the holy place (see Matt 12:3-4).  The picture below is what the table for the “showbread” would have looked like.

table_of_showbread

Chapter 26 – Notice that there are different areas for different purposes with in the tabernacle, EACH piece of furniture, each curtain, each table, each pole, each lamp had a purpose.  In verse 33 it states: “The curtain will SEPARATE THE HOLY PLACE FROM THE MOST HOLY PLACE.”  The ARK of the COVENANT (details given in Exodus 25:10-22) was to go into the MOST HOLY PLACE.  The MOST HOLY PLACE was where God would dwell among HIS people.  HOWEVER, ONLY a HIGH PRIEST could enter the MOST HOLY PLACE.  AND the HIGH PRIEST could ONLY enter the MOST HOLY PLACE ONCE a YEAR.. on the day of ATONEMENT (Lev 16)!!  I know I have said this previously but this is SUCH AN IMPORTANT POINT.  Other priests could enter the Holy Place to maintain it (to commune with God, to tend to the altar of incense, the lampstand, and the table with the bread of the Presence) as the Lord directed them.

Below is a picture of the lampstand….. remind you of anything?????

lampstand2

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the curtain/THE VEIL in the temple (which replaced the tabernacle) TORE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Mark 15:38 — “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

Matthew 27:51-52 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.”

 

THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST GAVE US  FREE, TOTAL, COMPLETE, ALL THE TIME access to God, no physical High Priest to stand in the gap ONCE A YEAR… because JESUS is our HIGH PRIEST who tore the veil.  You may have heard people say the “veil was torn permanently and completely.  When Jesus Christ died for our sins He FOREVER fulfilled the sacrificial requirements and ushered us into the presence of God.    At this point I return to the definition of TABERNACLE because NOW, the HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS within our hearts!!  WE are the TABERNACLE with God dwelling within us.  WOW!!!!!  I SHOUT a HUGE PRAISE OF THANKSGIVING TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. 

Chapter 27 – The altar of burnt offering would be the first thing that the Israelites saw as they entered the courtyard.  Sacrifices were constantly made in this place which served to remind the Israelites that the ONLY way to come before God was with a sacrifice.  A sacrifice was the ONLY way their sin could be taken away.

This next picture is what the altar of burnt offering would have looked like

1280px-Timna_Tabernacle_Altar_of_Burnt_Offerings

Verse 20 states: “COMMAND” the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lights could continually burn!!    I find this an interesting contrast in the use of the word command in this verse to the use of “from everyone whose heart prompts them to give” in Exodus 25:2.

I’d love to hear from you about anything that may have touched you today, or if there were any “light bulb” moments in your reading.

Sharing HIS love,

Jewish Calendar

THE JEWISH CALENDAR

The Old Testament is mentioning months that things happened or are to happen so all you detail folks out there might find this interesting.

The Jews used two kinds of calendars:
SACRED Calendar — from which festivals were computed
Civil Calendar — official calendar of kings, childbirth, contracts
NAMES OF MONTHS CORRESPONDS WITH NO. OF DAYS MONTH IN SACRED YEAR MONTH IN CIVIL YEAR
NISAN/ABIB Mar-Apr 30 days 1st 7th
IYYAR/ZIV Apr-May 29 2nd 8th
SIVAN May-June 30 3rd 9th
TAMMUZ June-July 29 4th 10th
AB July-Aug 30 5th 11th
*ELUL Aug-Sept 29 6th 12th
TISHRI/ETHANIM Sept-Oct 30 7th 1st
MAR-HESHVAN/BUL Oct-Nov 29 or 30 8th 2nd
CHISLEV or Keslev Nov-Dec 29 or 30 9th 3rd
TEBETH Dec-Jan 29 10th 4th
SHEBAT Jan-Feb 30 11th 5th
ADAR Feb-Mar 29 or 30 12th 6th
The Jewish day was from sunset to sunset, in 8 equal parts:
FIRST WATCH…..………………………………………………………………………….SUNSET TO 9PM
SECOND WATCH………………………………………………………………………..9PM TO MIDNIGHT
THIRD WATCH …………………………………………………………………………..MIDNIGHT TO 3AM
FOURTH WATCH…………………………………………………………………………3AM TO SUNRISE
FIRST HOUR………………………………………………………………………………..SUNRISE TO 9AM
THIRD HOUR……………………………………………………………………………….9AM TO NOON
SIXTH HOUR………………………………………………………………………………..NOON TO 3PM
NINTH HOUR………………………………………………………………………………3PM TO SUNSET
*Hebrew months were alternately 30 and 29 days long  Their year, shorter than ours, had 354 days.  Therefore, about every three years (7 times in 19 years) an extra 29 day month VEADAR, was added between ADAR and NISAN.
Jewish Calendar information from 2 sources:

  • Life Application Bible page 147. 
  • Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts pg 48.