The Design of the Tabernacle
Someone has counted seven different sets of instructions concerning the tabernacle in the book of Exodus. Each set of instructions repeats some things and adds others. This approach is part of God’s special design for the book of Exodus, but it can confuse the casual reader. In order to make the tabernacle more understandable, this lesson follows topics more than the text. However, the bulk of our text deals with the furniture in the tabernacle and you can follow it in order under that topic below.
The Offering for the Tabernacle
This lesson teaches us about the willingness of God’s people to give to Him when they are in a right relationship with Him. The church at Antioch was a giving church (Acts 11:27-30). The church at Philippi was a giving church (Philippians 4:14-19). We need to be a giving people.
Moses Meets with God
Israel has grievously sinned against God. The people have made a golden calf and worshipped it. The tabernacle, as God’s presence, is removed from their midst. Moses now goes to work as the primary Old Testament mediator to bring God and His people back into a right relationship with one another.
The Golden Calf
Moses had been in the mount for nearly forty days and nights, and the people began to get anxious. They had refused a one-on-one fellowship with the Lord, but are now longing for a god to worship. Aaron, Moses’ brother and right hand man, is recruited to aid in the construction and worship of a golden calf. The end result significantly matches the worship of modern churches, and attention should be given to the righteous Moses, the man of God, and the Lord Himself.
The Giving of the Ten Commandments
God has brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and now He wants to make them His special people by giving them the covenant of the law. They have the promise of Abraham which will never be taken away. However, God wants to have a relationship of obedience and blessing by which they serve Him because of love and He makes them a special people on the face of the earth.
Battles in the Wilderness
Israel comes to a way station in the wilderness and must fight some new battles. Her first battle is with the elements: there is no water. This shows us that the natural problems of life can be a great trial for us and can tempt us to murmur against God. The second battle is with a visible enemy: Amalek. Amalek grieves Israel through much of the Old Testament. We battle Amalek in the form of the flesh.
Provision from God in the Wilderness
God has delivered Israel from Egypt. But now the real test comes. Israel no longer has the wealth of Egypt upon which to rely. Will they be willing to trust in the Lord for their provision? Will they find Him to be sufficient?
Just as our day of salvation is a day of new beginnings for us (2 Corinthians 5:17), so the Passover is a day of new beginnings for the Israelites (Exodus 12:2). They start their calendar in a new place when they are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. No wonder Jesus is called our “passover” (1 Corinthians 5:7). When the angel of judgment comes to your door, will he pass over you because you are under the blood?
The Deliverance of Israel Begins
When we are in need, we prefer to think of a deliverance that works like the cavalry coming at the last minute while giving complete and immediate relief. God does not always work this way. Even deliverance may involve struggles and battles
The Plagues Continue
God continues to show His power through the plagues that are falling on the land of Egypt. How long does it take people to listen to the word of the Lord? By plague seven (the hail), some of the Egyptians are beginning to believe the truth of the word of God (see Exodus 9:19-20).