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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

January 24, 2018

Exodus  25:1-30

  1. From chapter 25 to the end of the Book of Exodus, the tabernacle will be the principle subject. God gave the commandments to show the people that they desperately needed Him. He set a boundary around the mountain to show the people that their sin separated them from God. God will now give the details for the Tabernacle to show the people how to fellowship with God. God wanted to be with His people, so He made a way to be with them. His plan was to send Jesus to take away our sin and make us holy. God would send Jesus when the time was just right (Galatians 4:4-5). In the meantime, God really wanted His people, the Israelites, to understand His holiness and His desire to be with them. God told them to build a special place called a Tabernacle as a way for them to see these two things. Although the Israelites didn’t know it at the time, every part of the Tabernacle was a symbol for Jesus (Hebrews 8:5, 9:11). It is our mission to not only see the physical tabernacle, but to see how this tabernacle points to Jesus.

  2. Verses 1-6. God asked the people to give an offering of gold, silver, bronze; blue, purple, and red yard; fine linen; goat hair; ram skins; cowhides; acacia wood; olive oil; stone and gems. This sounds like a very interesting offering, doesn’t it? God said they could give these things only if they wanted to. God loves a cheerful giver! - 2 Corinthians 9:7. Notice that the Lord only ask those to give who were prompted in their hearts to give. The items that the Israelites had in their possession were from the Exodus. They were using their Exodus reparations to make a tent for the Lord.

  3. Verses 8-9. God told Moses the exact plans, down to the inch, for how He wanted the Tabernacle to be built. The word Tabernacle means “tent,” “place of dwelling,” or “sanctuary.” The Tabernacle would be set up in the middle of the camp with each of the 12 tribes of Israel surrounding it. As the people were traveled through the desert, they would pack up the Tabernacle, carry it with them, and then set it up when God told them to stop traveling. Of course, God did not need a house for Himself. The Tabernacle would be a sign for the Israelites that God was with them.

  4. Verses 10-22. The first thing God wants made is the Ark. The Ark of the Covenant was a sacred chest built by the Israelites, under exact specifications given to them by God. It included a pledge by God that he would dwell among his people and give them guidance from the mercy seat on the top of the Ark. Made of acacia wood, the Ark was covered inside and out with pure gold and measured two and a half cubits long by a cubit and a half wide by a cubit and a half high (45" x 27" x 27"). Near its four feet were gold rings, through which wooden poles, also covered with gold, were inserted, for carrying the Ark. Special care was taken on the lid: solid gold with two hammered gold cherubim, or angels, on it, facing each other, with their wings overshadowing the lid. God told Moses to place the tablets of the Ten Commandments inside the Ark. Later, a pot of manna and Aaron's staff were added. During the Jews' wanderings in the desert, the Ark was kept in the tabernacle tent and was carried by priests of the Levite tribe as the people moved from place to place. It was the most important piece of furniture in the wilderness tabernacle. When the Jews entered Canaan, the Ark was usually kept in a tent, until Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem and installed the Ark there with a solemn ceremony. Once a year the high priest made atonement for the people of Israel by sprinkling the mercy seat on top of the Ark with the blood of sacrificed bulls and goats. The term “mercy seat” is associated with the Hebrew word for “atonement.” The lid of the Ark was called a seat because the Lord was enthroned there between the two cherubim. The Ark of the Covenant stands alone as the most holy of all the items in the Tabernacle. It was the Ark that represented the very Presence of God. The Ark was a box that contained the 10 commandments. The Ten Commandments were also placed in the Ark. This showed that the moral Law of God would forever stand before the presence of God. It also represented that the Law would be kept in Christ. He would fully obey all the commands of God for His people. The Ark itself had no top lid but was covered with the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat was called “the propitiatory” and was the place the blood was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement. The pure gold speaks about God’s person, God's nature and character and God's purpose. The gold speaks about divinity while the wood speaks about humanity. We could say the Ark speaks to us about humanity clothed with Divinity. The Mercy Seat was made of pure gold and contained no wood. This reveals that mercy is wholly from God. The symbolism of the Ark reached its grand climax on the Day of Atonement. When the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the mercy seat and glory of God appeared, this was a picture of the heavenly glory of God. The angels stand before His throne and praise Him day and night. It was also a picture of the restored presence of God through the resurrection of Christ. When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb seeking the body of Jesus, she found two angels-one at the head, and the other at the feet--where the body of Jesus had been. The presence of God has been restored to the believer in the resurrection of Christ.

  5. Verses 23-30. The table is made of acacia wood, overlaid w/gold. It is not large. 3’ X 1.5’ X 2’3” high. Not imposing, but most magnificent. On the 4 corners of the table are rings of gold where the poles run through making it transportable. The table is the place of sustenance, provision, and supply. It’s about salvation, security, and satisfaction. The table made of acacia, the incorruptible wood, harder than oak, taken from the earth, but not susceptible to the earth. Just like Jesus in His holy humanity. He had an earthly body but it never saw corruption, for He never knew sin. The gold speaks of His deity with Him all the while. The table has a crown/molding all around it to hold the items on the table. This molding is so things don’t fall off during transport. The table is about fellowship and communion. God always calls his people to his table so that they might eat the bread of life and be saved. The bread of the Presence (also called the showbread or shewbread in some translations) was special bread always present on a table in the tabernacle (and later in the temple). This bread was 1) made of fine flour, 2) baked in 12 loaves, 3) arranged in two piles of six loaves each on a table of pure gold, 4) covered with frankincense, and 5) served as a memorial food offering to the Lord. The bread could only be eaten by Aaron and his sons in a holy place and was set out every Sabbath day (Leviticus 24:8-9). Symbolic of the tribes of Israel. They would pour the sweet fragrance of frankincense upon that bread. They would eat that bread. Then they would eat the bread that had been so placed there on the previous Sabbath day.

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