Scripture reading for January 28th: Exodus 25-27
God gave Moses specific instructions as to how His tabernacle was to be constructed. He told him numbers, lengths, weights and the type of materials for each part. God left nothing to chance when it came to His first dwelling with His people on earth. It was a mobile dwelling because God was moving with the Israelites and leading them as they journeyed. Four times in our reading today God re-emphasized the need to make everything after the pattern shown on the mountain. (Exodus 25:9,40; 26:30; 27:9) (He knew that men need clear instructions–they won’t ask!)
God’s dwelling place was a special representation of heavenly reality. The ark was a chest of acacia wood about 4 feet long, coated with pure gold. Two gold cherubim were to be beaten out for each end. God’s glory would reside between these cherubim. The box was to have two rings on each side where poles of acacia wood would be used to transport it. It was to be carried by priests who were consecrated for this job. The tablets of Testimony, the ten commands, were to be placed inside of this box. Later a jar of manna was placed there as well as Aaron’s rod that had budded and sprouted in God’s presence. (Hebrews 9:1-5)
The ark of the Covenant reminds believers today of Jesus Christ, God dwelling with us. John 1:14-15 tells us that Jesus came and “pitched his tent” (tabernacled) among us. We beheld His glory! Jesus kept the law of God, the tablets of Testimony. He was the only man who has ever lived who fully obeyed the Law and was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15-16) He was the living bread (manna) come down from heaven, that if any man eat of this bread, he would never die! (John 6:47-50) He was the one chosen by God to have all authority in heaven and on earth! (Aaron’s rod!) (Matthew 28:18) He was worshiped by angels at his birth, and now is in the presence of holy angels in heaven. (Revelation 4:12) This awesome object lesson opens our understanding of heavenly reality! Thank God for this ancient object lesson!
Scripture reading for April 23rd: 2nd Chronicles 1-5
“The temple that I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build a temple for Him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain Him? Who then am I to build a temple for Him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before Him?” (2nd Chronicles 2:5-6)
King Solomon realized that God was so great that no one was really able to build a temple that could contain Him. He realized that he was really a nobody and needed sacrifices to come before Him who was so great and mighty. Solomon was humbled and knew he needed grace and God’s help to do this job. So he set out to build with thousands of helpers and invited other nations to send their skilled workers as well. He had lots of money and materials, and the best help would be none too good for God.
Solomon began building the temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah–on the threshing floor of Araunah that his father David had purchased to make an altar and stop the plague. (2nd Chronicles 3:1) This was also the very site where Abraham had come to sacrifice Isaac nearly a thousand years earlier. There, God had provided a lamb in place of Isaac, and Abraham named God Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. David was a descendant of Abraham as was Solomon and now they were using this very site to construct a dwelling place for God in the midst of His people! What an amazing God we serve!
Everything was made according to the pattern that God had given King David to write down for his son Solomon. The inside was overlaid with fine gold. A pair of beautiful cherubim were sculpted by the craftsmen of fine gold. There were beautiful woven curtains of blue and purple yarn and more cherubim were embroidered on the curtains as well. (2nd Chronicles 3:10-14) The cherubim represented the heavenly creatures near the throne of God that cried “holy” holy” holy” day and night! The blue and purple speak of heaven and royalty. Gold represents the highest value and preciousness of God Himself.
The crowning glory of the temple of the Lord was God’s presence in glory that filled the building as the priests worshiped. “He is good; His love endures forever.” (2nd Chronicles 5:13-14)