The Tabernacle: The Lord Was In The Midst (Exodus 25-27)

Daily reading assignment: Exodus 25-27

Having given the people His Law and Commandments, the LORD instructed Moses to collect materials necessary to construct the Tabernacle (a sanctuary transported during Israel’s sojourn).  The people were instructed to freely offer gold, silver, and bronze which were used in constructing the Tabernacle, Altar, and forming instruments and utensils to be employed in worship and offering sacrifices.

In his Bible Exposition Commentary on the Pentateuch known as the “Be Series”, Warren Wiersbe makes the following observations.

“Several different kinds of materials were needed: precious metals (gold, silver), bronze, fabrics (yarn, fine linen, and goat’s hair), wood, skins, olive oil, spices, and precious stones. It’s been estimated that a ton of gold was used in the tabernacle as well as over three tons of silver. Where did all this wealth come from? For one thing, the Jews had “spoiled” the Egyptians before leaving the land (12:35-36), and no doubt there were also spoils from the victory over Amalek (17:8-16). God saw to it that they had everything they needed to build the tabernacle just as He had designed it.”  [Warren Wiersbe; The Bible Exposition Commentary – Pentateuch]

While the Tabernacle served as the outward visible symbol of God’s presence in the midst of Israel (Exodus 25:8), the “Ark” was the central place of worship within the Tabernacle and its precise dimensions are recorded in Exodus 25:10.  The “Ark” is designated with various names in the scriptures, among them The Ark of the Covenant, The Ark of the LORD, The Ark of God, and The Ark of the Testimony.

The construction of the Ark and its appearance is described in Exodus 25:10-22.   It was to be overlaid with pure gold with rings and “staves” or rods (25:12-15) employed to transport the Ark. On top of the Ark, described as the Mercy Seat, two cherubim were to face one another with wings outstretched,  and the space between them representative of the throne of God (25:17-22).

In addition to a table and implements of gold used in the Tabernacle (25:23-30), a golden lampstand with seven lamps was to be made (25:31-40).

Ten curtains were to be employed within the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-6) and eleven curtains of goats’ hair (26:7-14) used for an outward covering of the boards used in the construction of the Tabernacle (26:15-30).

A beautiful veil (Exodus 26:31) served as a means of partitioning the interior of the Tabernacle; the innermost area beyond the veil described as “the holy place and the most holy” (26:33) where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. The veil represented the divide between man and the Mercy Seat, a representation of the presence of the LORD (26:34).

Exodus 27 describes and gives the dimensions for the Altar of Burnt Offerings (27:1-8) and the outer court of the Tabernacle and its vessels (27:9-19).  Pure olive oil was to burn in the lamps giving light in the Tabernacle “from evening to morning” (27:20-21). The perpetual light of the lamps serving as a lasting testimony of the LORD’s presence.

As it was the duty of priests to make sure the oil in the lamps never ceased, so it is the duty of all believers to remember the Word of God is a perpetual “lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith