Scripture reading for January 28: Exodus 25-27
Do you like to follow directions? Men are particularly prone to trying to put something together from trial and error. We like the adventure and take pride in being able to do complex projects from our memories or experience. We often feel that instructions are unnecessary. This attitude usually gets us into trouble and we either get lost or end up with left over parts from the project!
Moses was given a pattern for the Tabernacle. God gave him specific instructions as to how this “dwelling place” was to be constructed. He told them numbers, lengths, weights and the type of materials for each part. God left nothing to chance when it came to His first dwelling here with His people on earth. It was a mobile dwelling because God was moving with the Israelites and leading them as they journeyed. He moved in the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. Four times in our reading today God re-emphasizes the need to make everything after the pattern shown on the mountain. (Exodus 25:9,40; 26:30; 27:9) It may be that God knew Moses was a typical man!
The instructions for this Tabernacle starts with the Ark of the Covenant! Everything begins with God at the center! God’s dwelling place was a special representation of a heavenly reality. It was a chest of acacia wood about 4 feet long. It was to be coated with pure gold. Two gold cherubim were to be beaten out for each end and they were to face the lid of this box. The box was to have two rings on each side where poles of acacia wood would be used to transport it. Everything was coated with pure gold. 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)
This ark of the Covenant represents 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 is an awesome object lesson meant to teach the Israelites of that day and us today about Jesus and his glory.
We who are saved and in relationship with Jesus have his glory in our earthen “tents”. (2 Corinthians 4:7) We are being transformed by that glory into God’s image! (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) The Spirit is God with us! We are made holy by the blood of Jesus Christ and desire to keep his law in obedience with grace.(Hebrews 8:10-11) We receive authority to pray and witness in His name! (Luke 10:19-20) We are destined for the gold streets of Glory and to see the face of Jesus! Thank him today for his perfect plans!