Scripture reading – Exodus 24-25
Exodus 24 – The Covenant was Established, and Sealed with the Blood of Sacrifices
The LORD, having given His Law and Commandments (Exodus 20-23), summoned Moses, Aaron his brother, Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, and “seventy of the elders of Israel…to worship” (24:1). Moses was invited to come near the LORD; however, the others were instructed to “not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him” (24:2).
Moses told the people all the LORD had set forth in his covenant, “and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do” (24:3).
After writing, and memorializing “all the words of the LORD,” Moses built an altar, with twelve pillars representing the “twelve tribes of Israel” (24:4). Upon the altar he “offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord” (24:5), sealing the Covenant with a testimony of blood (24:6-9).
God then gave “Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,” a marvelous vision of Himself, and “they saw God, and did eat and drink” (24:10-11) that which had been sacrificed unto the LORD upon the altar.
The LORD then commanded Moses, “Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them” (24:12). Moses, with Joshua accompanying him as his servant, “went up into the mount of God” (24:13). Departing, Moses instructed the elders of the people to bring to Aaron and Hur, any matters that might arise in his absence (24:14)
Ascending the mount, Moses and Joshua disappeared into the cloud that covered it. Six days passed, as the “glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai” (24:16a), but on the seventh day, the LORD “called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud” (24:16b). Imagine the wonder of the “children of Israel,” as they gazed toward the mount, and saw “the glory of the Lord…like [a] devouring fire on the top of the mount” (24:17). Moses was “in the mount forty days and forty nights” (24:18).
Exodus 25 – Instructions Concerning the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant
With the Covenant established, and sealed with sacrificial offerings, the Lord instructed Moses: “2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering” (25:2). Gold, silver, and bronze were necessary for decorating the tabernacle, and fashioning instruments that would be used in worship and offering sacrifices.
The tabernacle was to be constructed with materials that were freely given by the people: “6Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense were required, as were “onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate” for the high priest (25:4-7).
One might ask, when did former slaves of Egypt acquire gold, silver, and precious stones? The answer to that question is found in Exodus 12:35-36, where we read: “35And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed [requested; demanded] of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (12:35-36).
Why were the Tabernacle and Ark important? They would serve Israel as an outward symbol of God’s presence in the midst of His people (Exodus 25:8). The construction and appearance of the Ark, including its precise dimensions are recorded (25:10-11), as well as the means by which it would be transported–rings and “staves” or rods (25:12-15). The Ark was to be overlaid with gold, and upon its top, described as the Mercy Seat, were placed two cherubim facing one another. The space between the cherubim represented the presence, and throne of God (25:17-22). In the Scriptures, the “Ark” is designated with various names, among them The Ark of the Covenant, The Ark of the LORD, The Ark of God, and The Ark of the Testimony.
I conclude asking you to notice the spirit of giving God required of His people: “2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering” (25:2). Every man (every head of a home and family), was commanded to give an offering to the LORD, not out of coercion, or strong arm demands, but “willingly with his heart” (25:2).
Did you know that same spirit of giving is commanded of 21st century believers, and comes with a promise?
2 Corinthians 9:6–7 – “6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith