Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Priest - and his garments Exodus 28

Exodus 28:1 "And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons."

Previously we saw the instructions for building the tabernacle. It is full of intricate details. Now we see the great detail placed on making the garments for the priests. Today I will give an outline of chapter 28.

-Aaron and his sons are set apart for the priest's office
-Holy garments are appointed
-The ephod
-The breastplate with twelve precious stones
-The urim and Thummim
-The robe of the ephod with pomegranates and bells
-The plate of the mitre
-The embroidered coat
-The garments for Aaron's sons

V5 "And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen."

Psalm 103:14 "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Exodus 27 "Tabernacle" The Light

Exodus 27:20 "And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always."

Let us not forget that Moses is still on the mountain taking instructions from the Lord while the children of Israel wait.

It would be difficult to talk about anything God does without noticing the presence of light. We know from John that he is light. There is also the association of Satan and darkness. So, the distinction is unmistakeable. I add that God does things openly while Satan does things in a deceptive manner.

John 1:1-9 "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light, That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

The oil in the lamp represents the Spirit of God while the light represents Jesus. It is through the Spirit that we know the Christ. The Spirit reveals Christ to humanity which is worldly and can not otherwise understand spiritual things.

So, in the tabernacle, we not only see a place of worship and communion for man with God. We also see how a relationship comes about between man and God. There is an order of things for sinful man to stand before a holy God. While (I must say) God is merciful, and just and loving, he is also righteous.

On an earthly level, it is sort of like going to court without a lawyer to represent you. The judge will most likely do exactly as the law reads. But a lawyer might point out circumstances which give the judge a reason to be merciful. So with God. He has stated what man is to do and man does something else instead. Then comes Christ to represent us. He bore our penalty and his blood testifies to that fact before God the Father. We are therefore justified, not because we are faultless but because the penalty has already been paid.

Romans 3:24-25 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation though faith in his blood to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

Psalm 116:12-13 "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord."

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Exodus 26: 33 "And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy."

The tabernacle was like a tent in a tent. There was a large door for the people to enter and another where the priest entered into the holiest of holies.

This seperation between the people and the Lord takes us back to the garden of Eden where man sinned and was therefore seperated from God by that sin. A verse in the New Testament should be noted here.

Matthew 27:51 "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; v52 And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose v53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

I mention this because as the veil represented the seperation between God and man, so the renting of the veil represented that by the death of Jesus the seperation has been removed through Him alone.

The tabernacle was 45 ft long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. The outer curtains were 150 feet by 70 feet. The outer door was 30 feet wide. There was a thick covering which included goats hair and one source says badger skin.

One would enter the outer opening(sanctuary) with the candlestick on the left and the shewbread on the right. The altar is ahead and then beyond the veil the ark of the covenant. An urn is provided for the priest to wash his hands and feet before entering the holiest.

The tabernacle was about 9 months in the making. I am reminded that it was about 9 months to wait for the birth of the Savior. Of course, Israel waited hundreds of years.

The opening to enter was facing east which probably accounts for the reverence to the now walled up eastern gate in Jerusalem.

As with much in the Bible, a book could be written on the tabernacle and the meaning of all the articles in its making and those placed inside. As mentioned the veil has great significance, but then so does all of it. The mercy seat should be noted and thanks given for. It is good to have a mercy seat before the judge of the universe, for it was oft sprinkled with blood in times past for the sins of the people. We will find later that Christ offered his own blood on the mercy seat in heaven for our sins and was accepted for our atonement.

Psalm 71:17-18 "O God, thou hast taught me from my youth and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tabernacle Exodus 26 and 27

At this point I suggest reading these two chapters. Notice the attention to detail and the quality of the materials. It is a place of majesty and made to be mobile. Years ago I helped put up, took down and moved a huge gospel tent many times. We only lost one to a twister. The details are important and skipping one can cause serious problems.

Candlestick for the Tabernacle

Exodus 25:31 "And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft and his branches, his bowls, his knobs and his flowers, shall be of the same."

I believe this golden candlestick represents Christ.

It consisted of:
-7 places for candles called bowels(shaped like almonds)
-6 branches (three on either side of the center candle)

The shaft under the center candle was to have three branches on either side.

According to my comprehensive bible helps:

-location: left side of one entering holy place opposite shewbread table
-size: five feet high
3 1/2 across
made of: 1 talent of gold

It was to be all of one piece. The tongs and snuffdishes were of gold v38.

Suggested reading Revelation 1-2, Revelation 21:23

Psalm 4:6 "There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tabernacle Sidenote

I just ran across this site which appears to have some good details on the tabernacle. This site appears to be sound but as always on the internet use good judgment:

I could use your help

If you know the title and author of some good fundamental books or studies on the tabernacle or sermons, please leave a reference to them for our readers. I venture to say that J Vernon Mcgee has covered it, a link to his site is on the front page at right. I've listened to him for years and trust his wisdom. I'm sure there are others.

Exodus 25 Tabernacle or Sanctuary Part 1

Exodus 25: 8 "Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."

Jumping back to the previous chapter I should note that it contains a general guideline for the children of Israel. I say general because more details come later. The word general in no way should diminish the importance of these commands. Moses is going up into the mount to meet with the Lord and it was necessary to leave instructions for the people. You will note that the people agreed to do as instructed. So later if judgment comes we should remember that they did agree.

Exodus 24:3 "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do."

So you see as we proceed, we must realize that the people knew what they should do. We will see them falter but it is not through ignorance that they do it.

We have journeyed in our study from the garden of Eden where humanity sinned and saw the shedding of blood to make them coats to cover their nakedness. We have seen the flood and the ark of safety for Noah. Then we say the family of Abraham develop into a nation while in captivity in Egypt. They have now come out of Egypt under the guiding hand of Moses and the miracles of the Lord. The Lord desires to be near them but for God to dwell amonst a sinful people there must be strict guidelines, not to protect the Lord but to protect the people. For a holy God cannot look upon sin. As in Eden where the blood was shed, so must the dwelling be santified with blood as an atonement for sin and the blood stands as a protecting wall (if you will) between sinful people and a holy God. We have talked of this blood pointing to and representing the blood that Christ shed in the new testament.

And so in the building of the sanctuary we can see Christ and his work. There are books and studies on the tabernacle which go into great detail in what everything means. I simply want to note two things which will help in our study:
-when building the tabernacle, it started with the Lord as represented by the ark.
-In approach man begins with himself and moves toward the Lord, as represented by the washing and the progressive move toward the holiest of hollies. The mercy seat being sprinkled with the blood of atonement.

The colors of the tabernacle: (as accepted by scholars)
-Gold-diety - divine glory
-brass symbol of judgment
-blue: heavenly origin or nature
-purple: royalty
-scarlet: sacrifice
(from Scofield's footnotes)

Exodus 25:1-2 "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel that they brng me an offering of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering."

And so a list is provided of material needed to make the tabernacle. This is not a tax on the people but as the verse says an offering from those who wish to give. You can tell from the list that it is going to be a thing of beauty and unlike anything seen before.

Gold stands out in the makings v30 "...thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway." or showbread.

Again I go to my footnotes for guidance where I find that shewbread is a type of Christ. He is the life-sustaining Christ. As the manna was the life-giving Christ.
John 12:24 (Jesus talking) "Verily, verily, I say unto you Except a corn of wheat fall into the grond and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
Who can deny that from the death of Jesus many have come to believe? And so one grain of wheat has produced a bountiful crop.

Next we will see the details of the candlestick.

Psalm 126:6 "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him."

Numbers in the Bible (Side note)

I would not venture to predict the end of the world based on numbers in the Bible. It is interesting from time to time to note numbers for they do have a meaning although I do not always catch on to them.

In the previous chapter Exodus 24 v 18 you will notice that Moses was forty days and forty nights in the cloud with the Lord. If you look at Genesis 7:12 the "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Then again in Luke 4:2 in the story of Jesus' temptation "Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered."

There may be other examples but I do not recall them at the moment. I cannot give any deep meaning to these but they should be noted now in case we find more clarity in later studies.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Exodus 24 "Come up unto the Lord"

Exodus 24:13 "And Moses rose up and his minister Joshua and Moses went up into the mount of God."

After the command for Moses to meet the Lord on the mountain it is 12 verses and a second command before Moses actually heads up the mountain to meet alone with God. During this time Moses reminds the people of the covenant and builds an altar. He then sprinkled the altar with blood. It seems that in verse 10 a select group saw God, at least the spot where He was "there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness." I do not pretend to understand that fully but I have no doubt they knew God was in the place.

A "cloud covered the mount" v15. It was into this cloud that Moses went alone and stayed for six days. v16 then on the seventh the Lord called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. What transpired in the 6 days, I cannot tell. Perhaps Moses did not know or could not see where God was but then he heard the Lord's voice and in v17 saw the "sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain".

So Moses did as we should do and followed the voice of the Lord to where he was. Then for 40 days and nights "Moses was in the mount..."

The next chapter begins the instructions the Lord gave Moses. The detail is amazing. Think about it...The Lord is telling Moses how to do something.

Psalm 146:18 "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."