Exodus 26 Commentary
“Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain.
Exodus chapter 26 verse 30.
The detailed design is shown to Moses. He has to make the tabernacle exactly as shown. We take interest in the design. The LORD is showing Moses an architectural drawing – this is civil engineering. Mathematics is involved. Components have equal lengths and come in corresponding numbers in order to make a well-defined architectural master piece. Why shouldn’t saints seek help from the master of both artificial and natural sciences?
You would understand why Moses took 40 days on the mountain. Reducing the visuals into ink and paper and then master the design without the benefit of machinery cannot be an easy job.
The job was to be done by a skilled worker. Quality is top on the LORD’S agenda. We can use the thought here to seek skills from the LORD.
We see a separation between the Holy place and the Most Holy place. We also see the positioning of both the table and the lampstand outside the Most Holy place. In the Most Holy place is the word of the LORD housed in a box called the Ark. The only requirement here is obedience. Some rituals would be performed in the Holy place. We see the order of things here.
But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel chapter 15 verse 22
The Most Holy place demands obedience while rituals take place in the Holy place. Rituals will always come second. Obedience comes first.
Note that there is evidence from the scripture that pagan temple systems existed long before Israel had one. Priests and sacrifices started long before Israel formalized its worship system. We know that the first family practiced sacrifices. Abel did a good job while Cain did a bad job.
After the fall of man in chapter 3 of Genesis, I would guess sacrifices were meant to reach out to a God who was now distant. We have occasional instances where the LORD sat down to eat with man such as Abraham. The LORD Jesus ate with His disciples. So fallen man still wanted to prepare a meal for the now unseen and distant God. There is no record that God asked for it in the initial stages but we know the LORD honored the dignified meal that Abel presented. Cain’s search for God was rejected because his meal lacked thoughtfulness and a touch of both quality and importance.
It’s this search for God or this desire to still commune with God that is passed down to later generations. A misguided search or a search that is directed towards the worship of satan resulted in pagan temple systems. So like Cain, man is bent on evil. And satan diverts the search to himself in wrong and evil pagan temple systems.
Like the LORD did for Abel, He begins to show Moses the type and kind of search; the type and kind of sacrificial system that would be accepted.
So in truth the tabernacle system and later on the temple system was a refined search for God. In the tabernacle a way leading up to the symbolic presence of God was a holiness highway. The LORD was actually differentiating between Cain’s sacrifice and Abel’s sacrifice. So by the tabernacle system the LORD is telling man how the LORD can be found.
We are actually looking at a very strangely unique worship system here. It is very simple! At the center of it all is a simple small golden box. The golden box contains tablets of stone on which the law was written. The law itself can be summarized this way:
Firstly, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. Mark chapter 12 verses 30 to 31.
This is Judaism. This is Christianity.
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