January 30, 2006

Read Exodus 38

In Today's Reading:

Brazen Altar for burnt offering; Tabernacle courtyard; priest's garments

At Mount Sinai, the Tabernacle was completed according to all the instructions the Lord commanded Moses: Thus was all the work of the Tabernacle . . . finished. . . . and all his furniture . . .The Ark of the Testimony . . . and the Mercy Seat (Exodus 39:32-35). The Ark of the Testimony (25:22) is also called the Ark of the Covenant (Numbers 10:33). It contained the Ten Commandments, and later Moses wrote the Book of the Law and had it placed inside the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31: 9,26). This was the Covenant between God and His people Israel. The Ark was a wooden chest overlaid with gold, both inside and out. The Ark was a type of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, who alone can atone for sin. The wood represented His human nature, as foretold by Isaiah: He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53:2). The gold represented His divine nature, for He is both fully God and fully man. The Ark was made from the wood of the acacia tree which grew in the deserts, symbols of the barren world system.

The "lid" of the Ark was made of pure gold and was called the Mercy Seat. It covered the Law that had been placed in the Ark. Everyone is a sinner; but Christ, the perfect, sinless Son of God, became our High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God (Hebrews 4:14). His perfect atonement for our sins provided us with the mercy and salvation represented by the Mercy Seat.

The Ark was behind the veil inside the Holy of Holies. Without the Presence of the Lord above the Ark, all the services of the Tabernacle would have been meaningless.

On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled the blood of an innocent goat on the Mercy Seat, then in front of it seven times (Leviticus 16:14) The number seven is symbolic of the perfect salvation and forgiveness of sins which would later be made possible through Jesus Christ.

As you prayerfully read the Word of God daily and worship the Lord, His indwelling presence will bring meaning to your life. The Law provides the "knowledge" of sin, but it cannot provide the "forgiveness" of sin (Galatians 2:16; 3:11). The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Jesus is the One in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Golden Altar and its incense — representing prayers going up to heaven (Exodus 39:38; also Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). Christ prayed for us. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word (John 17:20).

Word Studies:

38:17 chapiters of silver = tops of silver; 38:18 answerable = corresponding to; 39:2 ephod = high priest's outer garment; 39:3 wires = fine strings, threads; 39:13 ouches = settings for a brooch worn as jewelry; 39:15 wreathen = twisted, braided.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by M. Ora Anderson · Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Government Officials: Gov. John Baldacci (ME), Vice President Dick Cheney, and Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) · Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa · Major languages: English and African languages · The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics · 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for boldness in telling others about the Lord (Psalm 119:46).

Optional Reading: Mark 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:16