Exodus 38 -- 39
After leaving Egypt, the Israelites soon reached Mount Sinai. It was there that the Tabernacle was completed according to the instructions as the Lord commanded Moses: All the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of the congregation was finished. . . . And they brought the Tabernacle to Moses . . . and all its furniture . . . the Ark of the Testimony . . . and the Mercy Seat (Exodus 39:32-35). The Ark of the Testimony (25:22) was also called the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord (Numbers 10:33) because it contained the covenant between God and His people Israel. It 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.
The "lid" of the Ark was made of pure gold and was called the Mercy Seat. However, it was not a seat to be sat upon; rather it covered the Law that had been placed in the Ark. All men are sinners, but Christ, the perfect sinless Son of God became our High Priest, by His perfect atonement for our sins, providing us with 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. You can be sure that, as you prayerfully read the Word of God daily and worship the Lord, His indwelling Presence will bring His blessing and meaning to your life.
The priests, on behalf of the worshipers, were allowed to enter the first room of the Tabernacle, called the Holy Place. But only the High Priest, symbolic of Christ, could enter into the Holy of Holies, and then only once each year, on the Day of Atonement.
In this small room were two cherubims of gold . . . on the Mercy Seat . . . One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side. . . . And the cherubims spread out their wings . . . over the Mercy Seat . . . their faces . . . looking down to the Mercy Seat (Exodus 37:7-9).
On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest sprinkled the blood of an innocent goat on the Mercy Seat and in front of it seven times (Leviticus 16:14). The number seven is symbolic of the perfect and complete salvation and forgiveness of sins made possible by Jesus Christ. It was only after the blood was sprinkled, making atonement, that God would say: I will meet with you, and I will commune with you (Exodus 25:22).
The Law provides the "knowledge" of sin, but not 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 said: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
38:17 chapiters of silver = tops with silver; 38:18 answerable = just the same as; 39:2 ephod = high priest's garment; 39:3 wires = fine strings; 39:13 ouches = settings for a broach worn as jewelry; 39:15 wreathen = twisted.
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