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Scripture reading – Exodus 24-25
The Covenant Established and Sealed with the Blood of Sacrifices (24:1-8)
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).
When Moses told the people all the LORD had outlined in his covenant, “all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do” (24:3). Then Moses wrote and memorialized “all the words of the LORD” and 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). After the people affirmed their commitment to God’s covenant (24:7), it was sealed with a sprinkling of blood (24:8).
Israel’s Leaders Imparted a Vision of God (24:9-11)
God then gave “Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,” a glorious vision of Himself (24:10). We read, “they saw the God of Israel,” which I believe was a vision of His heavenly glory (24:10), for no mortal man can see God and live (Exodus 33:20). And so, the nobles of Israel “saw God, and did eat and drink” (24:11) a portion of that which had been sacrificed unto the LORD upon the altar.
A Divine Summons (24:12-18)
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). As he departed, 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 mountain, Moses and Joshua disappeared into the cloud that covered the mount. Six days passed, as the “glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai” (24:16a). 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 – An Earthly Sanctuary for the LORD
Materials for the Tabernacle (25:1-9)
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 offerings.
Notice that the tabernacle would be constructed with materials the people freely gave (25:3-7). Gold, and silver, and brass” (25:3), along with dyed linens (25:4) and various tanned skins of animals (25:5). There was also “oil 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). The sanctuary’s construction (which was to be a holy place) and its vessels were to be according to the pattern and design of the LORD (25:8-9).
Instructions Concerning the Ark of the Covenant (25:10-22)
The construction and appearance of the Ark, essentially a chest made of shittim wood, was about 36 inches long and 18 inches tall and wide, and overlaid with gold (25:10-11). When Israel moved from one location to another, the Ark would be transported using rings and “staves” or rods (25:12-15).
Upon the top of the Ark was a cover of gold described as the Mercy Seat, where two cherubim faced one another. The space between the cherubim represented God’s presence and throne (25:17-22). The “Ark” was designated in the Scriptures by various names: The Ark of the Covenant, The Ark of the LORD, The Ark of God, and The Ark of the Testimony.
Also, to be fashioned and placed within the Tabernacle was a table, implements of gold (25:23-30), and a golden lampstand with seven lamps (25:31-40). Together,
the Tabernacle and Ark served Israel as an outward symbol of God’s presence among His people (25:8).
Where did former slaves of Egypt acquire gold, silver, and precious stones?
The answer to that question was stated in Exodus 12:35-36, where we read: “35And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed [requested] 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).
In conclusion, I invite you to notice the spirit of giving God required of His people. The LORD commanded Moses, “Speak 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 the 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 © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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