Sept. 24 – (Ex. 24) As a child who grew up in Sunday School, I heard the “10 Commandments Story” many times. My perception until I read it today was…God gave 10 commands to Moses while the people broke probably many of them during that time (40 days). Then God got mad and punished them. (My perception of God as a policeman.) Today I see things so differently. Though lengthy, let me try to explain.
Verses 1-18 describes three different aspects of the covenant that God made with Israel (chapter 19), being confirmed: (1) Moses leads the people of Israel in sacrificing to the Lord and in reconfirming the covenant (2.) Moses, Aaron and His sons and the elders worship the Lord and share a meal in His presence; and (3) Moses and Joshua go further up the mountain so that Moses can enter the cloud of the Lord’s presence. The rules about who can enter the Lord’s presence on Mt. Sinai will prepare Israel for the similar rules regarding the tabernacle (v. 1-2). Verse 4 is one of three references in Exodus to Moses writing or being commanded to write. God is giving further explanation about burnt and peace offerings (giving more info when we need it). Throwing blood against the altar and on the people probably signifies cleansing and atonement. The blood links the altar and the people, symbolizing the union of God and Israel in the covenant (shows God’s covenanted connection with us). God gave Israel a covenant of devotion to trust in. He then gave them rules that would help Israel know what that would best look like. When Israel chose to break those rules, it brought sorrow to the people. When Israel chose to keep those rules, it created closer communion with God and joy. God’s love never changed but Israel’s choices to sin made them feel unloved at times. Is it any different today?
Sept. 25 – (Ex. 25) God wanted to build a tabernacle where He would reside. This shows me He no longer wanted to be only “out there” (a cloud by day or fire by night) but He also wanted to reside “among them”. Yes, it was set apart that only high priests could enter the Holy of Holies, but it went from just “out there” to also “down here in a physical house”. God is moving closer to “His people”. When Jesus comes and dies for our sins, God moves even closer (as we accept Him) in the form of His Holy Spirit living in us. Of course, the final step is Eternity in His presence. Hallelujah!!
Notice God begins explanation of constructing the Temple starting with the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies represents our spirit or “God conscious” and responding to Him (Worship). In the Ark of the Covenant was placed Aaron’s rod, some manna, and the 10 Commandments. This is the constant reminder of God’s covenant to Israel. It is also the specific spot where God will reside (between the Cherubim). Cherubim are traditional guardians of holy places. Once a year the High Priest would apply the blood of a lamb onto the Mercy Seat to cover the sins of the entire nation. So, the commandments were in the ark. Lamb’s blood covered the Mercy Seat which was between the Law and God’s Presence. Doesn’t this remind you of our lives today as we accept Jesus? Jesus shed His blood and as it covers us at salvation, we are now righteous before Father God! Hallelujah!!!
In the Holy Place are the Table with the Bread of Presence, the Golden Lampstand, and the Golden Altar of Incense. This represents our soul or “self-conscious”. We respond here in praise for who He is. The Table of Showbread would contain 12 flat loaves of bread, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. It also represents the soul of man or will. The will is the primary force of the soul. The Golden Lampstand provides light within the tabernacle. The priests will be instructed to keep it burning regularly. This represents our mind or intellect. It was a 7-branch candlestick with bowls of oil set afire to give light to the area (Light to our mind). Though we won’t read about the Altar of Incense until chapter 30, I want to give a brief explanation for it significance. It represents our emotions (aroma). So… the Holy Place represents our soul with our will, mind, and emotions.
Sept. 26 – (Ex. 26) Chapter 26 describes the curtains, frames, and bars that would make up the tabernacle. Notice verse 30. God gave this to Moses on the mountain. As we listen for His voice, He will provide all that we NEED when we NEED it!
Sept. 27 – (Ex. 27) This chapter begins to describe the outer court. It represents our body or 5 senses to be “world conscious”. This area reminds us to be thankful for what He has done. The brass altar was covered with polished brass, so you could see your reflection. Here animals were sacrificed for the sins of the people. This stands for the blood of Jesus shed for us. Here they confessed sins, found forgiveness, and was redeemed for the price of the animal given. Can you correlate that with what Jesus did on the cross?
DID YOU KNOW? The sanctuary (v. 13), like the garden of Eden, is entered from the east (Gen. 3:24).
Sept. 28 – (Ex. 28) This chapter describes what the priests should wear. Since we are now all priests before God, let’s read it as applying to us. Their garments were to be holy for glory and for beauty. We are to represent the glory of the Lord not just in a church setting but everywhere we go. The priests’ work of mediation goes in two directions: from God to Israel and from Israel to God (vv. 9-30). Should we do any less?
Aaron and his sons wore linen undergarments so that they would not bear guilt and die (vv. 42-43). This relates to the rule in 20:26 about not approaching God’s altar naked. Adam and Eve had to wear clothes in God’s presence after the fall and so must the priests in the tabernacle.
Sept. 29 – (Ex. 29) This chapter describes the consecration of Aaron and his sons to be priests and offer sacrifices. We may get into the types of offerings later but what I see is a pattern for consecrating our lives to the Lord so that we, today, act as priests before a world that may still “be in Egypt”. No, we won’t be sacrificing animals, but it would be prudent to see what sacrifices in our heart are necessary. This is your homework!
Sept. 30 – (Ex. 30) Let’s remember that the Golden Alter of Incense represents our emotions (aroma) which involves our soul and our self-consciousness. Verse 9 says “you shall not offer unauthorized incense on it…” What “unauthorized emotions” do we try to offer back to God? Selah!
The Bronze Basin or Brazen Laver was in the outer court. Remember that the outer court represented our body – the 5 senses to be world conscious. The priests were to wash the dirt of the world off themselves before entering the Holy Place. We remove the dust of the world by reading His Word. As we read it, it reads us! The Laver was polished, so you could see your reflection. Selah!
So much to ponder…so much to apply! Don’t get overwhelmed. Remember how to eat an elephant- one bite at a time! 😊