Friday, October 21, 2022

2022.10.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 25:1–9

Read Exodus 25:1–9

Questions from the Scripture text: Who spoke to whom in Exodus 25:1? To whom is he to speak (Exodus 25:2)? What are they to bring? In what manner? What three things in Exodus 25:3? What four things in Exodus 25:4? What three things in Exodus 25:5? What two things in Exodus 25:6? For what? What two things in Exodus 25:7? For what? What is all of this for constructing (Exodus 25:8)? Why? According to what shall they make it (Exodus 25:9)? 

What is the greatest need of those who have been brought into covenant with God? Exodus 25:1–9 looks forward to the p.m. sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these nine verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that when God comes near to us, it is according to His Word, according to His design, and according to His provision.

The Lord had commanded Moses to come up to Him on the mountain and receive Yahweh’s own written instructions to teach Israel (Exodus 24:12). Now, the first thing that He tells Moses (Exodus 25:1) is that He is to speak to the children of Israel (Exodus 25:2). One of the great themes of the tabernacle construction will be how all is to be done exactly as Yahweh says, to the minutest detail. 

These written instructions apparently included a diagram of how the tabernacle would correspond to a heavenly reality that already existed (Exodus 25:9, cf. Hebrews 9:23–24). The word for ‘pattern’ refers to a shape or model. And Hebrews 9:23–24 tells us that heaven itself and the heavenly things are the reality after which this pattern was modeled.

Not only the pattern, but also the provision for the tabernacle, are specified by God’s own writing. Both the means of provision and the material to be provided are specified.

The means is freewill offering. It would be a mistake to think that tithes, which later are collected regularly according to the law, are spiritually incompatible with freewill giving. Here, for the initial construction of the tabernacle, the contribution (“offering” in Exodus 25:2) is brought “willingly with his heart.” This heart-willingness was required for contribution. Such was the manner of God’s provision for the tabernacle. We say “God’s” provision, and not theirs, because a willing heart is something that only God can give.

The material provided includes particular precious metals (Exodus 25:3), fabrics (Exodus 25:4), skins and wood (Exodus 25:5), oil and spices (Exodus 25:6), and precious stones (Exodus 25:7). The Lord does not invite them to bring whatever they might like. They are to bring the contributions willingly, but He Himself specifies what they are to bring.

The word translated “dwell” in Exodus 25:8 isn’t one of the ordinary words for “stay” or “sojourn” but very specifically a word from the Hebrew root for “tent.” They are to make Yahweh a place of holiness (“sanctuary,” verse 8) for Him to tent among them. Similarly, “dwelt” in John 1:14 is from the Greek root for “tent.” This clues us into the original after which this tabernacle is patterned: Christ Himself.

Christ is our tabernacle, Who offered Himself willingly. He Who is God became flesh for us and consecrated Himself in order that we might be made holy unto God (cf. John 17:19). Whenever we bring the most costly things that the Lord asks of us, and do so with willingness, we partake of Christ’s character and glorify Him who did this perfectly.

It is no wonder, then, that all had to be exactly according to the pattern that God gave Moses. Man cannot devise or design that which would imitate the eternal Son and His redemptive work. And if he attempted to do so, it would have been tantamount to trying to be near to God’s presence without Christ.

What are some things that the Lord has specifically commanded/required of us for His worship? With what sort of heart do you tend to offer such things? What else is necessary for God’s work that you have an opportunity to contribute? Who has made the great contribution that brings you near God? How does this comfort and encourage you? How does it provoke and motivate you?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for offering Yourself willingly to be the Holy One in Whom God has dwelt among us. Make us to behold Your glory, both knowing that Your offering is counted as our righteousness, and responding by gladly giving all that we are for all that You ask of us, for we ask it in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or TPH332 “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”

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