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Bible Pathway - Jan. 30, 2011

Read Exodus 38

Highlights: Altar of Burnt Offering; the Tabernacle courtyard; all priests' 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 (Ex. 39:32-35). The Ark of the Testimony (25:22) is also called the Ark of the Covenant (Num. 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 (Deut. 31: 9-26). This was the Covenant between God and 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 (Is. 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. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 4:23)., but Christ, the sinless Son of God offered Himself as the only acceptable substitute and thus provided a perfect atonement for our sins. His perfect atonement is represented by the Mercy Seat. Jesus also became our High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God (Heb. 4:14).

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 (Lev. 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 (Gal. 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 (Col. 1:14).

Thought for Today:

Abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thess. 5:22).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Golden Altar and its incense — representing prayers going up to heaven (Ex. 39:38; also Rev. 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:

39:2 ephod high priest's outer garment, apron; 39:15 wreathen work braided cords; 39:20 curious intricately woven; 39:39 laver large basin used for washing before entering the Tabernacle; foot stand, base.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Gov. John Baldacci (ME) and Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) • Country: Somalia (7 million) on the Horn of Africa • Major languages: Somali and Arabic • Islam is officially favored and all other religions are opposed • 99.8% Muslim; .1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith and the Lord will answer (Mark 11:24).

Optional Reading: Mark 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Hosea 5:6

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