Here we are at the END of our 3rd book of the Bible. Exciting right?? I KNOW!! 🙂
Chapter 39 – The people who were willing, continued using the gifts/talents God had given them to complete the Ephod, the Breastplate, and other Priestly Garments. They made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, “Holy to the LORD.” The Priests were dressed in their garments. The work on the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, was COMPLETED. Moses inspected every aspect of all the work. Moses saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. MOSES BLESSED THEM!!
Chapter 40 – The Tabernacle is set up on the first day of the first month (Nisan/Abib), in their second year in the desert. Everything was placed inside according to the Lord’s instructions. Moses anointed the priests. The Testimony (the 10 Commandments) was placed in the Ark, the atonement cover/mercy seat was placed on the ark. The shielding curtain was hung to shield the Ark with the 10 Commandments in the Most Holy Place. Once everything was completely set up, “THEN the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” Moses could NOT enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it and the glory of the Lord filed the Tabernacle.
In ALL their travels the Israelites knew to STAY in the place they were as long as the pillar of cloud did not lift. But if the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, then they would pack up and move on.
The Book ends with a nearness of God. The God of the universe is in community with His people. He Dwells with the people, “Tabernacles” with them! We no longer need a Tabernacle or a residence for God to dwell, because if you are a Christian then God resides in you. We are the Tabernacle, the temple and the church, a body of Believers. We no longer require a priest to intercede on our behalf. When Jesus died He became the High Priest, and we became a priesthood.
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
We began our read in Exodus in gloom and end with the glory of the Lord filling The Tabernacle!!!
The song I am including today is an old song that I can still hear one of my previous pastors singing in my head…. whenever I heard him sing this song… the Presence of the Holy Spirit descended upon our church in a way that we all knew we WERE standing on Holy Ground!! Unfortunately I don’t have a recording of his voice…. but this is still an awesome song. It is “Holy Ground” by Bill and Gloria Gaither
Have an AWESOME Monday!!
Sharing HIS love,
Need a praise song for today?? Try this one: “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech with Hillsong … this will get your praise rolling 🙂 Or if you need a little slower one here is “Here I am to Worship” by Chris Tomlin Go ahead… and PICK your praise to HIM 🙂
How are you doing out there?? Am I losing you? Do you think the details are overwhelming?? If so, just remember when you read that ALL the details are an indication of how much our praise, prayer, and worship mean to our God … our daily… continual… relationship with HIM. Of course God cannot be in the presence of ANY sin because that is NOT part of WHO HE is, it is NOT part of HIS character. He is so HOLY, so PURE, and so loving and he LOVES each of us so much that HE wants to be sure when we come before HIM we are cleansed, redeemed, (ONLY by and through Jesus Christ TODAY), reverent, humble, and coming with our whole heart.
I KNOW, I know, life is BUSY. We all have things to do, places to be, people to love on, but as Moses said in yesterday’s read…. (My personal paraphrase) “I don’t want to go ANY where LORD if YOUR Presence is not there.” HOW do we remain in HIS Presence?? The first and most crucial step is to have asked Jesus to be our Lord and Savior (if you have never done this click on the blue block at the top of this page that says “WHAT IF” and it will tell you how you can make this happen.) The next steps are to spend time with HIM daily, moment by moment; sing songs of praise to HIM; memorize a scripture and meditate (let it roll over and over in your mind (all day… just ONE scripture) all day long, pray to HIM; DO something for someone in need (this way you become HIS feet and hands in a hurting world; BE involved in a solid Bible based church; SPEAK to HIM… remember HE calls YOU HIS FRIEND John 15:14-17 (NIV) says: “You are my FRIENDS if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” And Psalm 22:3 states: ”But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” According to the BLB the definition of Israel includes “the name of the descendants and the nation of the descendants of Jacob.” After reading the BLB definition it would appear that God INHABITS the PRAISES of HIS PEOPLE and through HIS grace and by HIS son Jesus Christ WE are HIS people. SO PRAISE HIM…. While you are in your car, while you are cooking, while you are in the shower, ….. just everywhere you go. Just KNOW that everything in the Tabernacle has to do with Jesus…. a foreshadow…. every detail. I wish I could understand it all myself… but I know I understand more this year that I did last year 🙂 EVEN the placement of the items in the Tabernacle make the shape of a cross!!
LOOK at the chart and picture of the Tabernacle below. See that ALL Tabernacle items represent a part of Jesus. WE NOW have DIRECT access to the Father because when Jesus died on the Cross…that veil was torn and we as believers became the priesthood that can go into the Most Holy Place. Does that make sense to you? If not, feel free to send me an email so I can try to explain it differently.
This chart was put together by my mentor, Trish, from last year’s Bible study and thought it might help you as well 🙂
|Israelites Communed with God Through the Tabernacle||Christians Commune with God Through Jesus|
|Brazen Alter for Sacrifices||Christ’s Sacrifice|
|Laver of Brass for washing||Cleansing through confession|
|Lampstand||Enlightened by the Holy Spirit|
|Table of Showbread||Fed by the Living Word|
|Alter of Incense||Prayer, Communion, Intercession|
|Through the Veil into the Most Holy Place||Entering God’s Presence BOLDLY through Christ|
|Priests and the Garments||Service to God and Others|
Chapter 36 – Moses has come down off the mountain for a SECOND time with the INSTRUCTIONS of HOW to build the Tabernacle. Yes… you have read them before and we will read them AGAIN when the building begins. JUST hang in there and see what special thing(s) God has for you amidst the details 🙂 Bezelel (means “in the shadow/protection of God”) of the tribe of Judah made the ark, carved the wood, put it together, dipped it in gold, and made the mercy seat/atonement cover, and the Cherubim out of hammered gold.
Another picture of the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat on top…. doesn’t it just give you chills looking at this knowing that God was sitting between the two Cherubim??
Oholiah (in the BLB it uses the name Aholiab meaning “Father’s tent”) used his skills of weaving the fabrics, embroidering, and in Chapter 38:21 it tells us he was a crafts man and designer and embroider. ALL people came to use their talents in building the tabernacle. Verse 2 states all who were “WILLING” came to do the work. Chapter 35 God uses the word “WILLING” FIVE times and restates it in verse 2 of Chapter 36. He wanted ONLY those who were WILLING to give to give. He wanted it to be from their hearts. And did you notice that by verse SIX they had MORE than enough to build the tabernacle and the Moses had to ask everyone to stop giving!!! POWERFUL statement about how much we can accomplish when EVERY one who is WILLING does their part.
Chapter 37 – This gives more detail of the items for the Tabernacle. I actually drew my own temple out so I could understand it better. (But I am a detailed person and come from a family of builders, craftsmen, and seamstresses.) This site is a re-post in case you wish to revisit the dimensions and details of the Tabernacle. http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_wmn_AWH_Tabernacle.pdf
Here is another picture from last year’s Bible Study that I found helpful and hope you do as well.
Look at the SHAPE of the way the furniture was laid out in the Tabernacle … remind you of anything??
Chapter 38 – A couple of things stood out to me here. First God did not instruct Moses to build the temple himself. God used Moses to be the leader to motivate those willing, who had the gifts necessary to further God’s will. Moses laid out the design given by the Lord. Ithamar, son of Aaron, was the director … the project manager … to make sure the work was being done according to the proper specifications. And we have already touched on Oholiah and Bezalel’s gifts plus they were to teach others how to do things as well. SPEAKS loudly of how effective we can be when we all work together for one purpose. … working in our specific gifts that God has given us… not working in competition or comparing one to another… but truly together.
Thought you might want to know in today’s US weights and measures, how much gold, silver, and bronze it took to build the move-able Tabernacle as detailed beginning in verse 24. The total amount of gold was a little over ONE TON; the total amount of silver was a little over 3 ¾ TONS; and about 2 ½ TONS of bronze. That’s a LOT of gold, silver, and bronze that ALL came for the Egyptians (see Exodus12:35-36).
Our God is such an awesome God and each time I read the OT I am reminded of how deeply we are loved by a GOD who KNOWS we are sinners yet loved us before we CHOSE JESUS .. HE loved us so much HE sent HIS son to live, be brutally crucified, and RISE again so that WE…. as sinners could come before HIS throne and have a PERSONAL relationship with HIM everyday.. all day if we like. We don’t have to worry about all the details in the Tabernacle or have a HIGH Priest ATONE for our sins ONCE A YEAR because JESUS CHRIST did it all for us on the cross.
Did anything stand out to you today? Was there anything that for the first time you understood? What was your favorite scripture? Tell tell…..
Sharing HIS love,
Yesterday we ended our reading with Moses coming off of the mountain after 40 days with God, only to find the Israelites worshiping a golden calf that his brother, Aaron, made. The Lord was not pleased with the people and asked Moses to ask who was for HIM to which the Levites stepped forward. HE then asked the Levites to kill their brothers and sons who were against HIM. They obeyed and the Lord struck all the people with a plague. …. Ummmmmmm…. A big example of CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES!!
Today was special to me on so many levels but mostly because of the close, tender, loving relationship between God and Moses. He sent Jesus so EACH of us could have that SAME closeness with HIM today … if we CHOOSE.
Chapter 33—The Word opens today with God telling Moses to take the Israelites and LEAVE the place they were in. HE told them to go up to the land HE had promised their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He would send an angel before them to drive out the people currently in the land. BUT (verse 3) …. HE would NOT go with them because they were a “stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” OH MY HEAVENS!!
The Israelites were not happy campers at this news; and removed their jewelry as the Lord commanded them. This “ban on ornaments” was a temporary sign of repentance and mourning. What did Moses do?? HE PRAYED!! He went into the Tent of Meeting which was outside the camp so he could speak directly to God. The people knew he was with God because of the pillar of cloud that descended and stayed at the entrance. Moses prayed and humbly reminded God these were HIS people. I can’t help notice how very tenacious and persistent Moses was when he prayed to God. The Lord tells Moses in verse 14 “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” God heard Moses and answered his prayer.
Moses continued his prayer with God and tells HIM “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send me up from here.” This is something I often pray to God… because I do not want to go ANY where that the Presence of the Lord is not. Been there… done that… and it definitely did not work…. Don’t want to repeat it. …. So I pray this prayer.
Re-read verses 12-23… THIS is such a beautiful prayer. The interaction between Moses and God is absolutely breath taking. God LOVEd Him, not because he was perfect or without sin but because he was faithful. Moses wanted to know the presence of God experientially so he asked God to show him HIS glory. God protected Moses but allowed him to see HIM passing. WE are SO blessed that once we know Christ, HE promises to show himself to those who believe (John 14:21 – “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”) 🙂
Chapter 34 – God tells Moses to chisel out two stone tables so HE can WRITE ON THEM as HE did the first ones. Moses heads up the mountain to be with God and God came down in the cloud and stood there with Moses. Verses 5-7 tells us beautifully of God’s character. Moses bowed down immediately and worshiped. Moses repeated his prayer from Chapter 33. I love this exchange between God and Moses in verses 8-14:
Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.” Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
God tells Moses to warn the people to NOT make any treaties with those who lived in the Promised Land… NOT to make cast idols…. BREAK down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and cut down their Asherah poles, do NOT worship any other gods. What is an Asherah pole??? Asherah poles were wooden poles that stood by Baal’s altar (Judges 6:25). Asherah was the goddess who was the consort (wife) of Baal. She represented good luck in agriculture and fertility.
God in HIS wisdom also tells Moses to tell the people what they needed to do … OBEY HIM, celebrating certain festivals TO HIM, redeeming all their firstborn sons TO HIM, observing the Sabbath, not eating yeast, etc. This spoke to me today because when we try to change behaviors God is dealing with us on; it is not only critical that we repent and stop our poor behaviors but it is equally important to put something good in the place of the bad behaviors. If we are stopping a behavior it is important to have an action plan so when we are tempted to give in that we have something planned to go in its place … such as listening to worship music and singing along, reading the prayer of Moses out loud, praying out loud to God, taking a walk, doing your favorite exercise…. Etc.
Moses came down the mountain and his face was RADIANT!!! It was so radiant that not only do the people notice but he has to put a veil over his face!! Do you know people today who “just glow” because they have such a close relationship with God? If you tell them that they “glow” they look at you funny (Moses did not know his face was radiant.) The time we spend alone with God may not result in us lighting up a room but if does often have an effect on our life that others notice.
Chapter 35 – The construction of the tabernacle begins. Moses assembled the whole Israelite community. As they begin the preparation did you notice that God ONLY wanted the gifts and offerings from those who were willing and WANTED to give from their HEARTS? The Word in this chapter points out once again that God has given each of us different talents and abilities to use for HIM. Look at all the different gifts/talents/abilities HE gave to make the tabernacle (embroiderers, talented weavers, gold, silver, and bronze smiths, engravers, tent makers, skilled wood crafters, skilled builders, bakers, olive oil makers, people knowledgeable in incense, spices, and herbs, shepherds, farmers, and so much more). He does this with each of us today. 🙂 Do you know God wants your heart to be given freely to HIM? Do you know the gift or talent the Lord has given you to further HIS Kingdom and how are you using it?
I’d love to hear what touched you today, any questions you may have, or if God is showing you special things in HIS Word today.
Sharing HIS love,