In Today's Scripture Reading:
Laws instituted; three feasts which must be kept; the Angel of the Lord promised for a guide; instructions for Tabernacle furnishings
The Israelites were commanded: Serve the LORD your God (Exodus 23:25). This was followed by 14 blessings which God promised them for their obedience. Included was the assurance: I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out (23:31). Then came a warning concerning the Canaanites: Thou shalt make no covenant (agreement) with them, nor with their gods (23:32). All of the people responded, saying: All the words which the LORD hath said will we do (24:3).
God alone determines what is acceptable conduct as well as acceptable worship to Him. Therefore, He gave Moses detailed instructions for building and furnishing the Tabernacle where He would accept the worship of His people.
The Tabernacle provided a way for the Israelites to maintain a right relationship with God and a place for them to worship Him. But, most importantly, it was a place for the invisible presence of God to dwell among His people. In outward appearance, covered with rams' skins (26:14), the exterior of the Tabernacle was unattractive, like Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2).
The court of the Tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure with only one entrance through which mankind could approach God (Exodus 26:36; 27:16-18). This illustrates what our Lord Jesus declared: I am The Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9). Its white linen wall of separation was symbolic of the holiness of God and excluded all Gentiles (those without a covenant relationship with God). Consequently, they could not so much as look over the curtain fence to observe what was going on inside the courtyard or even come near it, or they would be put to death (Numbers 1:51). This linen curtain illustrates that sin has separated the natural man from the Holy Presence of God.
As the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony). The wood demonstrates 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 (Exodus 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12).
23:2 decline after many =b> yield to the evil majority; 23:8 gift =b> bribe; 23:13 be circumspect =b> take heed, be cautious; 23:31 sea of the Philistines =b> Mediterranean Sea; 25:10 cubit =b> about 18 inches; 25:37 over against it =b> on the opposite wall.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Hal Eaton and Mrs. R.L. Harris The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by E.L. Gersiek Staff: Clarence Rathbone Government Officials: Sen. Conrad Burns (MT) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ) Country: Colombia (39 million) in northwestern South America Major language: Spanish New government has declared religious freedom 96% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian tribal religions Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His wonderful blessings (Psalm 150:2).
Optional Reading: Matthew 25
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 118:18