Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cloud of the Lord Exodus 40

Exodus 40:38 "For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys."

v1 The tabernacle is commanded to be reared
v9 and anointed
v13 Aaron and his sons to be sanctified
v16 Moses performeth all things accordingly
v34 A cloud covereth the tabernacle

v32...So moses fnished the work.

We started many chapters back with the children of Israel coming out of Egypt by a mighty hand. They had been there for about 400 years and knew little but slavery. They are to take posssession of the promised land and become a great nation. First, they must learn a few things.

While Moses was on the mountain getting the commandments from God for the people to live by, they sinned by worshipping an idol. It really angered God as well as Moses. It has been said that God is a God of second chances. I prefer second opportunities. The children received another opportunity to have God in their midst. The tabernacle is His place among the people.

Much work has been done to ready the tabernacle. Precious metals have been donated by the people for the makings. Fine linens with magnificant colors have been used.

Behind the veil in the Most Holy place is the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat where the Lord will meet with the priest. The work is completed.

v34 "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. v35 And moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle."

God has come down to dwell with his people on their journeys.

Remember Genesis 35:11-12 "And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Issac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land."

It would be good to remember that since the garden there has been a seperation between God and mankind. The veil in the tabernacle represents that seperation. It is a real seperation at this point. Although the Lord may travel with Israel and meet with the priest behind the veil, there is still that thing between them as demonstrated by the idol worship in previous chapters.

Why are we seperated? It is the two natures. The Lord being without sin and the people having been poisioned with sin since Adam's sin in the garden. The Lord has begun a reconciliation process which the tabernacle represents a part of (or perhaps all). It is a way for the two to come together with the blood of the sacrifices acting as temporary payment for their sin. The veil being a protection for the people so that the righteousness of God does not destory sinful man. Representatively, God does not see their sin and mankind does not see the glory of the Lord.

Along with this protection, the veil is also a seperation, still, even though the Lord is ever so close to them. We will see the veil torn top to bottom in the New Testament when the better sacrifice is offered and a one time blood offering is made for sin.

Luke 23:44 "And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

Matthew 27:50-52 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 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; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose;"

As Paul said, the law is our schoolmaster. It teaches us the will of the Lord. The Old Testament leads up to the New Testament. It helps us understand why Jesus had to die. The tabernacle represents, in a physical sense, the spiritual relationship of the Christian. The priest could enter into the most holy place because of the blood sacrifices, As Christians, we may also enter the most holy place because of the blood of Jesus. He removed the veil between mankind and God. We appear righteous before God because we appear as one whose sin debt has been paid by Christ.

Maybe that is a huge lesson to learn at this point. I stress it because to understand the big picture, we must remember that the events in the Old Testament are preparation for Christ to come. To teach us our need, that the righteousness of a holy God had to be satisfied if we were to be reconciled to God. The Messiah was that sacrifice, the bridge between God and man.

Remember my picture of Israel as a lady with child (the promise of Abraham) travelling toward the promised land. Israel carries the Christ child down through generations to the appropriate time for him to be born. Many attempts are made to stop the lady but all failed.

Isaiah 25:9 "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

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