Read Exodus 23 -- 25
In Today's Reading:
Laws instituted; three feasts which must be kept; angel promised for a guide; instructions for Tabernacle furnishings
The Israelites were commanded: Serve the LORD your God (Exodus 23:25). This was followed by 14 blessings which God promised them for their obedience, including the assurance: I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and you shall drive them out (23:31). A warning concerning the Canaanites followed: You shall make no covenant (agreement) with them, nor with their gods (23:32). The people responded, saying: All the words which the LORD has said will we do (24:3).
God alone determines what is acceptable conduct as well as worship to Him Thus, He gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle where He would accept the worship of His people that was according to His Word.
The Tabernacle provided a way for man to maintain a right relationship with the Lord and to worship Him. But most importantly, it was a place for God to dwell among His people. In outward appearance, covered with rams' skins (26:14), it was unattractive, like Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2). But, like Jesus, nothing could be more inspiring from within, for it was the only place on earth where God met with His people. The court of the Tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure with only one entrance through which man could approach the Holy Creator (Exodus 26:36; 27:16-18).
The white linen wall of separation was symbolic of the holiness of God and it excluded all Gentiles. Consequently, they could not so much as look over the curtain fence to observe what was going on inside the courtyard or come near it, or they would be put to death (Numbers 1:51). This linen curtain illustrates that sin has separated sinful man from the holy Presence of God.
The Bible says: The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. . . . Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. Our Lord Jesus declared: I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 1:17,29; 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.
As the Ark of the Testimony (Covenant). The wood demonstrates His humanity; the gold overlay represented His deity; only through His blood sprinkled on it could one receive forgiveness; God dwelt above the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12).
Government Officials: Sen. Conrad Burns (MT) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ) · Country: Malaysia (21 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Malay and English · All Christian witness to Muslims is illegal · 49% Muslim; 39% Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese religions; 4% Roman Catholic; 4% animism, magic, and some headhunting; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray at all times (Psalm 55:17).
Optional Reading: Matthew 25
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6