18 November 2014

BSF 2014-2015: Exodus 25-31

This week we see a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ in the details about the Tabernacle, the place where God came to dwell with His people.

Through Moses, God gives instructions for the Israelites to build the Tabernacle. He told them to build everything exactly as God instructed. Why? Because Everything in the Tabernacle pointed to Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment of everything foreshadowed in the Tabernacle.

God tells Moses to collect offerings from the people. These offerings are not to be forced or demanded. These are gifts given from an overflow of hearts that are grateful to God. The gifts are to be gold, silver, fabrics and jewels. This wealth was provided by God through the Egyptians, when the Israelites left Egypt. The Israelites brought so many items that they were told to stop (Exodus 36:3-7)!

God instructs the Israelites to make six furnishings for the Tabernacle:

  • The Ark of the Covenant – The ark was located in the Most Holy Place, the place where God dwelt. The Ten Commandments, a jar of manna and Aaron’s staff were inside the ark. The Atonement Cover (or the Mercy Seat) was on top of the ark. Once a year, blood from the sacrificial lamb was sprinkled on the Atonement Cover. The Atonement Cover pointed to Jesus’ death and the shedding of His blood as the atonement for our sins.
  • The Table of the Bread of the Presence – The table was located in the Holy Place. Twelve loaves of bread (representing the twelve tribes of Israel) were baked weekly and placed on the table. The table pointed to Jesus as the Bread of life.
  • The Lampstand – The Lampstand was located in the Holy Place. Seven lamps on the lampstand lit up the dark Holy Place so the priests could work. The lampstand burned all of the time and pointed to Jesus as the Light of the world.
  • The Altar of Burnt Offerings – Sin offerings were placed here. This altar pointed to Jesus as the perfect sacrifice.
  • The Altar of Incense – This altar represented the prayers of believers.
  • The Basin – This basin was for the priests to wash their hands and feet before approaching God.

Today God dwells in believers with the Holy Spirit.

Then God calls Aaron and his sons to be priests. Some of the garments for the priests include an ephod and a breastpiece. The ephod had two onyx stones (six of the tribes of Israel were included on each stone). These stones remind the priests they’re carrying the burdens of the people. The breastpiece had 12 stones (one tribe on each stone). The stones remind the priests they’re carrying the people in their hearts.

The priests were consecrated and set apart for God. They represented God’s people before God. The priests pointed to Jesus as the Great High Priest.

Finally, God gave His Spirit to skilled workers so they could accomplish what He called them to do – build the Tabernacle and its furnishings.

Things to Think About

  • Do I ask God to make me holy because He is holy? What do I eat, drink, wear? What do I watch on TV? What do I read? What do I post on social media? How do I spend my time and my money? These are areas where I can live out God’s holiness in my life.
  • Because the Holy Spirit is in us, believers are God’s temple. We reflect Him. What area of my life doesn’t reflect God?
  • The most important part of the Christian life is what God sees – the inside of my heart.
  • Am I allowing God to use my skills and tasks to do mighty things for Him?