Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jan 26, Ex 25-27

Today's readings are Ex 25-27.

God reminds Moses of the details of the covenant He has with His people, then gives him instructions on building an ark to contain evidence of the covenant (Ex 25:10-22). The ark symbolizes His grace and mercy. God also reveals plans for a table for the showbread which symbolizes His provision and the bread of life (Ex 25:23-30). There are also details for a lamp stand which symbolizes God as the light of the world (Ex 25:31-40).

To enclose all this, we see the plans for a tabernacle, a large tent in which God will dwell among His people (Ex 26). It's not that He needs a house; it is a shadow of the coming Temple which will be a shadow of the Christ who will dwell among and in us. For now, the tabernacle is physical evidence that God is with His people. The long-term ramifications and symbols are not clear to the Jews and will not be for quite some time.   

The instructions are given in minute detail for God's beautifully detailed creation (Ex 27). As we will see later in Exodus, the plans are not to be changed or enhanced by man. God, not those He created, will design and fashion His dwelling. God, not those He created will determine how His people will worship Him and come into His presence. None of His instructions are tailored to their likes or dislikes. They are not capricious depending on the environment or culture. They will not go out of style. The only change in them that will occur is when Christ comes as the fulfillment of everything they are designed to emulate. Our worship of God is similar in every way. The body of Christ should worship God on His terms, not ours, per His directives, not our personal preferences.

An incredible amount of gold, silver, precious metals and intricate weavings are required. Where would a nomadic people, constantly on the move, acquire such riches? They have the gold and treasure of Egypt (Ex 12:35-35)! It's another reminder that the gifts God gives us are to be used to give Him glory! The construction of the tabernacle required the personal sacrifice of every member of God’s growing family. God supplied them with abundant wealth so that they could honor and worship Him.

Every facet of the tabernacle has meaning and symbolism. If you'd like to read in more detail about it, try this link. You will see the incredibly intricate way God has designed the temporary home for Himself to demonstrate His presence among His people and a way to point toward their permanent home with Him.

Their zeal for constructing the items God describes reveals that their relationship with God is not yet perfect, but improving. They have a growing desire to obey and please Him.

The unfolding events at Sinai are a powerful testimony that God uses everything in our lives; the day-to-day circumstances, the hardships and the victories, to bring us into fellowship with Himself and draw us into worship. God sent His people to Egypt and brought them out. He delivered them by His grace. Then He led them to Sinai. Now we see why. He shows them how to worship Him. The beautiful aspect of this is that it all points us toward the truth that our lives are fashioned by Him in intricate detail, all designed to make Him the center and focus of the way we live.

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