Friday, December 16, 2022

2022.12.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 27:9–19

Read Exodus 27:9–19

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Exodus 27:9 command to be made? Which side is described first? Of what is this side made up? What are they made of? How long is the side of the court? How many pillars (Exodus 27:10)? How many sockets? Made of what? What two features will each pillar have? Made of what? Which side does Exodus 27:11 describe? With what length and features? Which side does Exodus 27:12 describe? How long is it? With how many pillars and sockets? Which side does Exodus 27:13 describe? With what length? How much of this length is to the one side of the gate (Exodus 27:14)? With how many pillars and sockets? How much on the other side (Exodus 27:15)? With how many pillars and sockets? How long, then, is the gate itself (Exodus 27:16)? Of what is the screen for it made? Made by whom? And how many pillars and sockets? What features are restated in Exodus 27:17? For how many of the pillars around the court? What does this make the full dimensions of the court (Exodus 27:18)? How tall are these hangings? Of what are all the tools and parts to be made (Exodus 27:19)?

What would non-priests’ experience of the tabernacle be? Exodus 27:9–19 looks forward to the p.m. sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the tabernacle had a large court, with tall walls that communicated spaciousness, separation, and specialness.

From the Holy of Holies, God’s instructions for the tabernacle construction have moved further and further out until this point, where we get to the very outside of the tabernacle. There are several things that we can observe from the instructions for the outer court.

Spaciousness. The court for this tent was roughly ¼ the size of a football field (approximately half the width and half the length). This is going to be a hub of activity, and room will be needed for all of this.

Separation. Israel were not a people of giants, which would become an obstacle before long. So the 7.5 foot tall pillars and hangings all the way around would definitely give the tabernacle precinct the sense of distinctness and separation. Later, Solomon’s temple would have two courts, and at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, Herod’s temple had four courts. Gentiles could only go as far as the furthest out. This separation becomes a tangible reminder not only of our separation from God and one another, but of the reconciliation that Christ alone brings (cf. Ephesians 2:14–22).

Specialness. Even this far out, rich materials are being used. Finely woven linen for the hangings. The twenty cubit (!) screen in Exodus 27:16 is of the same material as the one that led into the Holy Place. Sixty pillars of bronze, 7.5’ tall, with sockets of bronze and hooks and bands of silver, held up these hangings. In fact, not only was bronze used for these, and for the pegs, but even for the tools for making the tabernacle and any tools used within the tabernacle.

There is no longer a tabernacle or temple complex because Christ has torn down the dividing wall. All who are in Him have the same access to God, because all who are in Him are brought into the nearest intimacy with God. Praise and thanksgiving were the proper disposition with which to come to His court. 

Now, having been instructed by the tabernacle construction, we learn to be conscientious about approaching God in worship. Even though we may do so in any place, yet we must do so with reverence and awe, and with thanksgiving and praise.

How can you come near to God? In what manner ought you to do so? How have you practiced this?

Sample prayer: Lord, we thank You for bringing us near to Yourself in Jesus Christ—for giving us access to Yourself through Him and in Him. You have brought us near to Yourself, so give us to praise and adore You with reverence and joy. And You have brought us near to one another, so give us to be kind to one another and tenderhearted, loving and forgiving one another. We thank You for being so unto us in Christ, in Whose Name we pray, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face” or TPH275 “Arise, My Soul, Arise”

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