The Tabernacle of Moses ~ Study 2
Tabernacle of Moses – 2
Oh, the desire God has to be with us. See the progression… in Genesis, He first walked with Adam in the garden (3:8), He walked with Enoch (5:22-24) and Noah (6:9), and the Patriarchs (17:1 ~ 24:40 ~ 48:15) He was with Moses and the Israelites as He led them out of captivity… now He is to ‘dwell’ among them (Ex. 25:8, 29:44-46). But we can not stop there… that was not enough… ‘Jesus’ … John 1:14 ‘The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…’, then in Ephesians 3:17 ‘Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith’.
Last week, we began an intimate journey into and through the Tabernacle. We considered the call to enter into God’s presence. When the Lord gave Moses the instructions, He began from the inside out. Chapter 25 of Exodus covers the furniture within the Holy of Holies, then the Holy Place. Yet, we will go all the way out and make our beginning outside the courtyard. Standing there, glance back in… through the gate we see the altar for sacrificing (we think Jesus!), further we see the water basin for cleansing (we think Jesus!). Further still in the Holy Place, the lamp, the bread and the incense (we think Jesus!). Then the veil…( we THANK JESUS! Ripped that hummer from top to bottom ! ) beyond that …the ark, the presence of God. Sense the intensity!
Let’s go back out and consider what it took to build this magnificent structure. God’s dwelling place. As we consider this dwelling place, please keep in mind the current dwelling place for God:
1 Cor. 3:16 ‘ Don’t you know that you yourselves
are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you’
(see also 1 Cor. 3:19, 2 Cor. 6:16)
The Lord was very specific in His instructions, ‘see that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ (Ex. 25:40, Heb. 8:5) Not only does the Lord have a pattern, a blueprint, a plan for building the Tabernacle, but also for the structure of the church, ministry and our personal lives… and we are to follow that to the ‘T’. (smile)
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, and plans to give you hope and a future’.
He is specific in the required materials as well….
God had Moses ‘speak to the children of Israel’, having them bring an offering, not to Moses, but to God Himself… (Ex. 25:1-8) ‘tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive the offering for Me from each man whose heart prompts him to give’. Amazing isn’t it, God did not ‘demand’ that everyone participate, but they came on their own accord, their hearts would lead them. Exciting note: the folks got so involved and caught the vision, they brought so much that Moses eventually had to tell them, to stop …
‘Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp, ‘no man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more because what they already had was more than enough to do the work’ (Ex. 36:6-7)
Can you imagine the shock and adrenaline rush our pastors would have if this happened TODAY!
King David had a wonderful perspective of this … 1 Chronicles 29:14, ‘But who am I and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.’
The instruction proceeds, giving a list of all that was needed… (v.3-7) ‘gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood, olive oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and fragrant incense and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breast piece’.
This was quite the list. Remember where they are ~ still wandering in the desert (a desert can be defined as an uncultivated region). Where are they going to come up with gold, silver and bronze. There was no Wells Fargo currency exchange office to dash into. No JoAnne Fabrics to gather the linens, and definitely not the bright orange striped Home Depot for the acacia wood. Think back from where they came… Egypt. At that time Egypt had been the wealthiest of countries. They had been toting much of these things with them.
Exodus 12: 35,36 (upon leaving Egypt) ‘the Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So, like a victorious army they plundered the Egyptians. (NLT)
Remembering also, they defeated the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16) possibly walking away with victory souvenirs tucked here and there.
Can you imagine the tear down, and set up required every time they were to move. I can hear one lady, say … ‘oh be so careful with that’, her husband rolling his eyes as he lugs the 10 pound jewelry box up on the camel.
Have you too found yourself wandering in a desert, for you there seems to be no end in sight, and it is the presence of God you so hunger for? As God spoke to Moses, is He speaking to you? Does He want to cultivate the desert region, and have communion with you right where you are? Stop… Pause… and think… the Israelites didn’t refuse to built this dwelling because they weren’t at their final destination yet… NO! They were there in the thick of things, and didn’t wait for the perfect scenario. We too should not wait.
Many times God requires us to bring Him, stuff – our stuff, not our neighbors, not our family or friends (physical, emotional, spiritual). Stuff we have been toting around. Those things we find of great value, once treasures. He may want those. It is in the offering of giving them to Him, that He can melt them down and create something beautiful and new. Not only does He use them, it lightens our load! So… when He does say, ‘we are moving on’, it does not take so much time and effort to ‘get up and go’. (hm… think on that).
After the list of supplies was given, God says in verse 8, ‘then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.’ I appreciate the word ‘then’, implying there is something needed before … ‘bring Me your ‘stuff’ … then I will….’ What are you wanting ~ NEEDING from the ‘I will…’ of God?
May we truly experience the ‘dwelling’ of God. Relationship – He setting up residence in and among us.
We will stop here for today, we glanced through the Tabernacle and saw Jesus, unrolled the blueprint and considered the pattern. The supplies list vast, but attainable. Understanding that now is the time to build! May we allow the Lord to become the Lord of our NOW!
Next time, we will look at the outer courtyard, the fencing, the gate opening and its contents within.
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 You thrill me, LORD!)