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Bible Pathways - Jan. 25, 2009


January 25

Exodus 23

Highlights In Today's Reading:

You may be surprised to know that almost all the laws in the United States of America that are beneficial to “mankind” come from the Bible God gave.

As a reminder of the Israelites' covenant relationship with God, they were commanded: Mine Angel shall go before thee. . . . Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works. . . . And ye shall serve the Lord your God (23:23-25). God alone determines what worship of Him is acceptable; thus He gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle after the pattern of the one in Heaven (Heb. 8:5). It was a portable tent, appropriate for their wilderness journey.

The parts of the Tabernacle and its furnishings all foreshadowed the coming Messiah. God said to Moses: Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the Tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof (Ex. 25:8-9). The Tabernacle had a threefold purpose — to provide: a way for the Israelites to obtain a right relationship with God; a place for them to serve Him; and a place for God to dwell.

The Israelites were to follow the Lord's leading as to when to move and when to camp by following His visible presence in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (13:21-22; 14:19-20,24; 19:9; 24:15-18; 33:9-10).

Like Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied: There is no beauty that we should desire Him (Is. 53:2), in outward appearance, the Tabernacle was unattractive. It was covered with rams' skins . . . and a covering above of badgers' skins (26:14).

The white linen wall of separation was symbolic of the holiness of God and excluded all Gentiles from the Tabernacle. We cannot approach God on our own terms, but obediently as prescribed by God. This linen curtain illustrates that sin has separated all mankind from the Holy Presence of God and it is a reminder that there is none righteous, no, not one (Rom. 3:10).

There was only one door through which the worshiper could enter to present his sacrifice (Ex. 26:36). This was the place where God and His people met. All had access to Him. Again we see Jesus portrayed, for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5).

The Tabernacle and all its furniture were eventually destroyed since Christ fulfilled all they represented. Today, access to God can be obtained only through our Lord Jesus Christ who proclaimed: I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9).

Thought for Today:

Isn't it amazing that such a Holy God would make a way for us as sinful people to have access to His presence?

Christ Revealed:

As the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony). The wood demonstrated His humanity; the gold overlay represented His deity. Only through His blood sprinkled on the Ark could one receive forgiveness. God dwelt above the Mercy Seat (Ex. 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He (Jesus) entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).

Word Studies:

23:2 decline after many =b> don't side with the majority to pervert justice; 23:5 forbear =efuse to help someone; 23:8 gift =b> bribe; 23:13 be circumspect =b> pay strict attention; 23:23 cut them off =tterly destroy; 23:31 bounds =oundaries; sea of the Philistines =b> Mediterranean Sea; the river =he Euphrates River; 24:11 laid not his hand =id not strike down; 25:22 commune =peak.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Gov. Chet Culver (IA) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ) • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Call unto the Lord and He will give you strength to overcome (Jer. 33:3).

Optional Reading: Matthew 25

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3-4

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