Exodus 25 Commentary
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. Exodus chapter 25 verses 8 and 9.
It is this tabernacle and the details that come with it that take center stage in this chapter and the next few chapters. The architectural drawings are given to Moses during the 40 days up the fiery Mount Sinai.
Israel is asked to bring an offering of various items – all useful in the construction of the tabernacle. The LORD wants to dwell amongst the people. We saw the difficulties in chapter 19 and 20 in the relationship. The LORD didn’t want people to get close because of ungodliness and the people themselves feared the LORD’S presence and preferred a human representative. The Tabernacle would help the situation as it would serve as a physical representation of God’s presence.
It would be built out of people’s offerings. It is personal. It should be close to people’s hearts.
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. Exodus 12 verse 35. Compare this verse with the list of items that the LORD asked the people to willingly give. The LORD will most likely never ask you to give from nothing. The offering comes from what the LORD has generously given you.
We get instructions for the Ark – the heart of Israel’s worship. It’s a small wooden box covered in gold with provisions for carrying it with long poles. Inside this ark is the law – God’s word. The WORD of the LORD (called the covenant) is what Moses is instructed to put in the box. It is this word that would define how Israel relates with her God.
We get instructions for the table and lampstand. The table is approximately half of an ordinary office table along its length. It’s made of pure gold with provisions for carrying it. The lampstand is made of pure gold with specific features as shown to Moses.
The details are important and represent aspects of Israel’s worship. Some details are easy to understand while others are difficult to comprehend. It appears the choice of two angelic features as part of the covering of the Ark is deliberate. It may represent the two manifestations of the glory of the LORD in the Pillar of fire by night and a Pillar of cloud by day. Israel is to be kept reminded of the LORD’S watch over His word. The choice of gold may represent need for Israel to hold to the word and the worship of the LORD with the highest value possible attached.
In this chapter we have looked at 3 tabernacle items. The Ark, the Table and the Lampstand – all made out of pure gold. We can now begin to understand why Moses took so long on the mountain! More details are coming.
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