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Scripture reading – Exodus 36

The Commencement of the Work on the Tabernacle (36:1-2)

Exodus 36 recorded the start of work on the Tabernacle, whose design was from the LORD and patterned like the one in Heaven. Two familiar names arise, Bezaleel and Aholiab, whom the LORD chose (31:2-6; 35:30-35) to lead the work on His sanctuary. With those men were others who were “wise hearted,” indicating they were attentive, skilled artisans (36:1a). They were men “in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded” (36:1b).

Moses summoned the most gifted men in Israel to work on the LORD’s sanctuary. One trait was most prominent: each man’s heart had “stirred him up to come unto the work to do it” (36:2). God not only chose skilled workers, but He also required only those whose hearts were willing and stirred up to labor in the ministry.

Imagine: The People Gave Too Much! (36:3-7)

The people’s investment in the work on the Tabernacle was inspiring. Every morning Moses received “free offerings” from the children of Israel “for the work of the service of the sanctuary” (36:3). In fact, so much was given that the workers urged Moses to command the people to bring no more offerings! (36:4-7)

The Decorative and Architectural Components of the Tabernacle (36:8-34)

Exodus 36 recorded the development and materials used in constructing the Tabernacle (36:8-38). The Tabernacle had a wood frame (36:20-34). The interior boards were overlaid with gold, and beautiful, embroidered curtains with taches of gold covered the interior walls (36:8-13). The exterior of the Tabernacle was covered with “curtains of goats hair” (36:14-18), and over them was laid “a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above that” (36:19).

The Innermost Room of the Tabernacle: The Holy of Holies (36:35-38)

The interior of the Tabernacle was divided by “a vail [veil] of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims” (36:35-36). Beyond the veil was the “most holy place” where the Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat was located. Finally, the door to the entrance of the Tabernacle was a curtain “of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needlework” (36:37).

Closing thoughts:

As we conclude today’s devotion, consider the veil that partitioned the Tabernacle’s outer court, where priests served, from the inner court that was the holy of holies. Once a year, the high priest entered the holy place, only to sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat as an offering to God for his and the nation’s sins (Hebrews 9:7). Why the partition? Because it reminded the people that sin separated them from God, who is holy, and without sin.

What is the lesson for believers?

We cannot approach God’s presence through any merit of our own. We come to the LORD solely through the blood of Jesus Christ, our High Priest. The author of Hebrews wrote, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). So, Christ is our sacrifice who “was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

The priests offered sacrifices daily for the people’s sins, and annually the high priest entered the holy place and sprinkled blood on the mercy seat for his sin and the nation’s sins. Finally, however, Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever [dying on the cross], sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).

Christ’s suffering and death satisfied God’s demand for a perfect sacrifice for man’s sins. His resurrection sealed His victory over sin and death. He “sat down on the right hand of God” because His work of redemption was complete, and there was no more need for sacrifices. Jesus Christ is both our Redeemer and Mediator before the throne of God.

Is Christ your Savior?

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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