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Bible Pathways 1/30/2004

January 30

Read Exodus 38 -- 39

In Today's Reading:

Brazen Altar of burnt offering; Tabernacle courtyard; high priest's garments

At Mount Sinai, the Tabernacle was completed according to the instructions the Lord commanded Moses: Thus was all the work of the Tabernacle . . . finished. . . . and all its furniture . . .The Ark of the Testimony . . . and the Mercy Seat (Exodus 39:32-35). The Ark of the Testimony (25:22) — also known as the Ark of the Covenant (Numbers 10:33) — 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 that grew in the desert, that which a symbol of the world system of things.

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. By His perfect atonement for our sins, He provides repentant sinners with mercy and salvation, represented by the Mercy Seat.

The Ark was inside the Most Holy Place, behind the veil. 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 and complete salvation and forgiveness of sins which would be made possible by Jesus Christ.

The Law provides the "knowledge" of sin, but not the "forgiveness" of sin (Galatians 2:16; 3:11). You can be sure that, as you prayerfully read the Word of God daily and seek to please Him above all else, His indwelling presence will bring meaning to your life.

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).

Word Studies:

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 brooch worn as jewelry; 39:15 wreathen = twisted.

Christ Revealed:

Through the golden Altar of Incense and its incense — representing prayers going up to heaven (Exodus 39:38). We see Christ praying for us. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word (John 17:20).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Gov. John Baldacci (ME), Vice President Dick Cheney, Gov. Frank O'Bannon (IN), and Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) · Country: Mauritius (1 million) 500 miles east of Madagascar · Major languages: English and Creole · Limited religious freedom · 50% Hindu; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His love (Psalm 63:3).

Optional Reading: Mark 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6

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