Exodus 23 -- 25
The Israelites' were commanded: You shall serve the Lord your God (Exodus 23:25). This was followed by 14 blessings which God promised the Israelites for their obedience, including the assurance: I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and you shall drive them out before you (23:31), and then a warning concerning the Canaanites: You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods (23:32). The people responded, saying: All the words which the Lord has said we will do (24:3). The Israelites were to follow the Lord's leading as to when to move and where to camp by following the taking up or staying of God's presence (40:34-38). This visible presence of God took the form of a pillar of cloud by day (and) a pillar of fire by night (13:21-22).
God alone determines what is acceptable worship to Him. Thus, He gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle where He would receive their worship. It was a portable tent, appropriate for their wilderness journey, and was erected wherever God led the Israelites to camp.
The Tabernacle had a threefold purpose. It provided a way for man to obtain a right relationship with God and a place for man to serve the Lord. But, most importantly, it was a place for God to dwell among His people.
The Lord provided minute details concerning its furniture. Within the second room, which was called the Holy of Holies, was to be the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark contained the Testimony, the Ten Commandments (25: 21; 31:18). It was the place where God had promised: I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the Mercy Seat (25:22). In outward appearance, covered with rams' skins . . . and a covering above of badgers' skins (26:14), the Tabernacle was unattractive, like Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied: There is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2). But, also like Jesus, nothing could be more inspiring from within, for it was the only place on earth where God said He would meet with His people.
The court of the Tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure and had only one entrance (Exodus 27:16-18). Again we see Jesus portrayed, for there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5). The white linen wall of separation was symbolic of the holiness of God and excluded all Gentiles from the Tabernacle, including the mixed multitude who were probably Egyptians who had intermarried with the Jews (Exodus 12:38). Consequently, they could not so much as look over the curtain fence to observe what was going on inside the courtyard, or they would be put to death (Numbers 1:51). This linen curtain illustrates that sin has separated all mankind from the Holy Presence of God and shows the necessity of a covenant relationship with God.
The sacrifices and the Tabernacle furniture all illustrate the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Access to God can only be obtained through our Lord Jesus Christ who said: I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9).
23:2 decline after many = yield to the evil majority; 23:8 gift = bribe; 23:13 be circumspect = take heed, be cautious; 23:31 sea of the Philistines = Mediterranean Sea; 25:10 cubit = about 18 inches; 25:37 over against it = on the opposite wall.
Government Official: Sen. Conrad Burns (MT) · BPM Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for the American Center for Law and Justice · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Clarence and Linda Rathbone · Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (17 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India · Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil · Christianity suppressed · 67% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Roman Catholic; 7% Muslim; .75% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God in humility (Psalms 9:12).
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