Monday, June 5, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Exodus 37-40

Because the Tabernacle was a constant reminder to Israel of God’s physical presence among His people, the LORD gave precise details of its design and furnishings.

The design of the Tabernacle and its furnishings continues in Exodus 37, including the construction and precise dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant that represented God’s heavenly throne in the midst of His people (37:1-9; note – Psalm 80:1; 99:1).   “Staves” (i.e. rods) slid into rings served as the means of transporting the Ark  when Israel moved during her sojourn in the wilderness (37:3-5).  The gold that overlaid the entirety of the Ark, including the “mercy seat” upon which two cherubim faced with their wings outstretched toward one another (37:7-9), reflected the purity and holiness of God’s throne of judgment.

Itemized in Exodus 37:10-28 are other furnishings employed in the tabernacle including a table overlaid with gold, and dishes, bowls, spoons, an elaborate candlestick and “altar of incense” (37:25-29) all of pure gold.  Exodus 38:1-20 gives the design of an “altar of burnt offering” and the vessels of brass used in offering sacrifices (38:1-8). The outer court of the Tabernacle, including its construction, curtains, and rings on which they were to hang is given in exacting detail (38:9-20).

Exodus 38:21-31 might appear as unimportant details to my readers; however, we find there the names of men who used their talents and skills for the LORD; “Bezaleel the son of Uri” a carpenter (38:22) and Aholiab, son of Ahisamach” an “engraver…and an embroiderer” (38:23).  The enormous sacrifice of the people reflected in the vast amount of gold, silver and brass they gave for the furnishings of the Tabernacle is also recorded.

We find the stunning colors of the “holy garments” worn by the high priest (39:1-2) and his breastplate embedded with twelve precious jewels, each engraved with the names of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (39:8-14).  The bindings of the breastplate worn by the high priest is given in detail as well as other articles of clothing worn by the high priest (39:15-31).  Fastened to a turban worn by the high priest was a plate of gold engraved with the words, “Holiness to the LORD” (39:30-31).

The LORD directed Moses to oversee the erection of the Tabernacle, its implements, and dedicate the high priest, his sons and the garments worn by them in the priests’ office in Exodus 40.  Insuring all was done “as the LORD had commanded” (39:43), Moses dedicated the work (40:33) and the outward manifestation of God’s approval was “a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (40:34)!

The erection of the Tabernacle, designed and constructed in every detail “as the LORD commanded” was important; however, the preparation of those who ministered before the LORD was no less important.  Moses, Aaron and his sons were to ceremonially wash their hands and feet “when they came near unto the altar” to serve as intercessors for God’s people (40:30-32).

Reminding us worshipping the LORD is not to be treated in some loosey-goosey, half-hearted manner, thirteen times we read, “as the LORD commanded Moses” in Exodus 39 and Exodus 40.

Lesson – Our God is holy and the lives of those who serve and worship Him should reflect His character!

1 Peter 1:15-16 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith