You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?
Is there anything here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.
Welcome to More Than Ink. I am so excited today. Today, we finally put up the tabernacle. We've built God's tent according to his exact instructions, and now the burning question is, will he come to inhabit it?
After all, all the craftsmanship, all the work, will he come? We'll find out today on More Than Ink. Well, yes, this is More Than Ink. I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And we are so excited today. We are, well, and sad. We're sad because we're finishing Exodus today. We're satisfied. But we're excited because the tabernacle is going up today.
Yeah. And we've been waiting for this moment for more than half of Exodus. Well, yeah, and these 40 chapters just end with a disastonishing picture, right, which we'll get to in a few minutes. It's like all of the Book of Exodus has been building toward this moment. It's been building toward this moment, yeah. Even last week, we were talking about all the preparations, getting all the materials together, you know, and making sure everything's according to plan.
Moses is supervising, make sure everything according to what God commanded, and we're there. So. Well, and where we left off last week was with the anointing and the consecrating.
Right. All the furniture, all the stuff in the tabernacle, even the tent and the altar and all of that, and the anointing and consecrating of the priests, Aaron and his sons. And so all of that is right where we left off. Everything is poised. And isn't that interesting? I didn't think of it at the time, but that's all before it's put together. This is with just the parts all laying out, right?
And then today we put them together. Well, I'm not sure that this isn't kind of a doubling back. You think it's the same thing?
It's because in order to dress and anoint them, I would think it all would have needed to have been put together. I don't know. So I don't know. We haven't looked into that. I don't know. So anyway, so everything is all set to go. That's what we're saying. That's a question for future reference.
The pieces are all ready to go. So we're going to do it today. So why don't you start us off on this glorious day, chapter 40 of Exodus, verse 16.
Okay. This Moses did according to all that the Lord commanded him. So he did. In the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Moses erected the tabernacle. That's a lot of emphasis in this first verse or two on Moses doing it. Moses did it. He laid its bases and set up its frames and put in its poles and raised up its pillars. And he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the testimony and put it into the ark and put the poles on the ark and set the mercy seat above the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle and set up the veil of the screen and screened the ark of the testimony as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle outside the veil and arranged the bread on it before the Lord as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle and set up the lamps before the Lord as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the veil and burned the fragrant incense on it as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put in place the screen for the door of the tabernacle and he set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put the water in it for washing with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting and when they approached the altar they washed as the Lord commanded Moses. And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work. I love that. Yeah we'll stop here.
A lot of great things to point out in this. So you know before you jump in I just was thinking we were reading in Hebrews this morning earlier and the beginning of Hebrews 3 says just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. Faithful in everything. So Jesus is faithful in God's house or as a son in God's house but Moses as a servant in God's house. And this really is this very complete picture of Moses finishing the work.
Doing like a servant all that he had been told. Yeah and did you notice how many times in here it was said he was commanded? Exactly well actually it's seven times. Yeah and I went even further back in the whole process of the tabernacle.
It's almost 20 times I think it's what I counted 19 or 20. So God commands Moses to do it a certain way and here these last words in the end of verse 33. So Moses finished the work. Yeah yeah.
I had an amazing thought about that that had never struck me before although it probably should have. You know it's just this huge statement this like final statement. So Moses finished the work of building the tabernacle. So we've said all along that the tabernacle points to Jesus. Right. And to his finished work and on the cross Jesus said it is finished.
It is finished. Right. Moses finishes the tabernacle and the glory of the Lord comes and fills it and Jesus finished the work of our salvation on the cross and now the glory of the Lord fills his people who are his living tabernacle.
I mean just suddenly that picture just connected to me. They're striking yeah which is why the writer of Hebrews in chapter three says that. Right. Moses was faithful, Jesus was faithful.
You need to start making some connections here. Moses has a servant, Jesus has a son. That's right so this is this is really pretty cool stuff and again don't don't lose sight of the fact that we're not just building an arbitrary structure. This was at God's command that he wanted to live with them. This is how God lives with them, God's intent to live with us. So this is a God the creator of all things who says I want to be in your midst and I want to tabernacle with you through life.
I want to travel with you through life and here is the place where you can you can find me. This is where you'll find me here in this tabernacle. Now they had been living in tents in the wilderness for a year.
Right. At this point and you know this first month and the second year on the first day of the month the tabernacle was erected I was thinking about the events of this year. You know that so much has happened right. It started in Egypt they came out and crossed the Red Sea. God gave them water out of the rock, God gave them manna, God gave them his word a couple of times through Moses right and that was the event of the golden calf.
Golden calf. There was the covenant ceremony with God where they all agreed yes we will we will and then but all of that before they actually embark on the building of this building. Yeah yeah. So it's been a very busy year. Yeah very busy year even after the golden calf I went back and looked you remember God says okay I'm not going to go with you.
Yes. Remember that Moses says well then we don't want to go either and that's Jim's paraphrase but I mean. Well as Moses intercessor he says if you don't go with us it's not worth going. It's not worth going yeah but then but then come God comes back with that great phrase this is in Exodus 33 14 and he said God says my presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.
So this is it. So this is the launching off on this entire going off into the desert and having God be in their midst in the center of their camping everything. So well let's let's take a look it's interesting that the sequence of this assembly makes sort of sense. So the first thing you put up is the tabernacle tent itself right and you have bases with their frames that hold up the all the fabric that that makes the tent and then and the first thing that goes into the tent is the Ark of Covenant. The Ark. Yeah he took the testimony and put it into the Ark which is an interesting thing because what it says is that the Ten Commandments that were written on those stones they were held somewhere else until until Moses put them in the Ark and then the Ark goes into the newly raised tabernacle and then on top of the Ark goes the mercy seat that golden slab with the two cherubims and it and it actually typifies for us the picture of a throne this is where God sits basically this is his throne room. So that makes sense that that would go in first and then as you back your way out of the Holy of Holies you put up the veil that screen which is what he talks about right there in 21 and then as you come out of the tabernacle proper then well you're not out of the tabernacle but you're in the inner section you're in the holy place. Yeah you're out of the Holy of Holies once that's screened off. And then and then you're in the area where you need to stick the lampstand and the table so that makes sense you're sort of backing out of the Holy of Holies. This is the first time he tells us that the lampstands are on the south side of that room and that the tables on the north side had to go look it up because I had remembered commenting on that weeks ago and I thought where is it that I know that the lampstand goes on the left as you walk in and this is where it is it's on the south side which sort of makes sense because in the summer time well in the winter time too the sun traverses across the south side of that of that tent so the south side of the tent is where the lights are inside it's kind of interesting it's sort of aligned. That's interesting.
Don't know what that means but there you go. And then and then he works out from the tabernacle has the screen into the tabernacle proper then he's into the courtyard and then kind of moves his way out so sort of makes sense the sequence of because this is exactly how they would erect it every time they put it together and probably the reverse of how they take it apart when they would when they would travel and they would leave it just makes sense from the inside out and then take it apart from the outside in. So and then you've got all the stuff that's in the courtyard the big washing labor that we talked about you know and the place at the altar where they do their sacrifices that's there I mean it's everything as we're very familiar with all these pieces we've been talking about this for how long? Well weeks now. Yeah so it's kind of nice to finally see them in their place everything we're supposed to be and everything according to how God commanded Moses and so he put it all up and Moses finished the work.
Yeah it's just great. Well now we probably need to bear in mind that Moses one man by himself could not have erected a tent of this size. No no. So while it is attributed to him yeah there he would have been over a lots of workmen probably the Levites. Yeah yeah.
Excuse me. Yeah so it was a joint thing and yeah it is the tribe of the Levites who have varied tasks in fact you can find in other places where the various portions of the tribe of Levi had different tasks in terms of carrying the stuff and taking care of certain parts of it so it really is well subdivided in the Levites who does what who carries what who sets it up who takes it down yeah that's that's quite well done. Well so now we get to this point where we've got it up and the real question is how will we know if this is acceptable to God and like I say silly wise you know if they build it will he come and how will we know if God's presence if God says good job I'm going to be there. Well you know you've got that pillar of cloud and that fire of cloud that pillar of fire and so the question at this point is will God come and actually inhabit his tent. Well yes because while they were familiar with God in the pillar of cloud and fire this will be the first time God has had a residence place among them in the camp.
Exactly. Prior it was out ahead or on the mountain somewhere out there. Or in the tent of meeting that was outside the camp when Moses would meet with him right Moses would go in and God would block the doorway. Yeah so here's the question.
So here's the big deal. What's going to happen now and I love this passage. I guess the point you're making is that God has never shown himself in the midst of the people. Right in the middle of the camp. That was his intention always yeah yeah so the drama builds. Yeah that's my point because he had promised them back in chapter 25 I'm going to dwell among you and I'm going to give you this tent of meeting and there I will meet with you. Yeah. But they didn't have the tent for God until right now.
Yeah and he even promised if you go back to chapter 13 I had to look it up. He said the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them a light that they might travel by day and by night and the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. Before the people. It led. Now we're talking about let's settle down in the camp and God will be in our midst and this is what's different because God said I want to travel with you.
Yeah. I want a tent like you have tents mine will be special it'll teach you things about who I am and so now the tent is made and we'll guide show. Let's read it. Verse 34 shall I read it?
Yeah go ahead. I'm so excited I'm so excited okay so here we go. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting ah and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and then he looks to the future throughout all their journeys where whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle the people of Israel would set out but if the cloud was not taken up then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up for the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day and fire was in it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. What a picture.
It really is. Can you imagine this this pillar this mysterious cloud forming over and encompassing the tabernacle of God's tent the visible indicator of God's active presence among them. Yeah and of God's acceptance of this work done on his behalf. Yes as I've taken up residence here.
I'm here. So I would suggest to those of you who are listening that you if you're interested about this cloud take your concordance and do a little concordance study look up cloud then actually what you'll find is the first place it shows up is early in Exodus in Exodus 13 we get this little summary statement of the cloud in Exodus 14 where we find out what it really does in terms of leading and protecting and that was a brand new idea in those chapters. Holy new right but as you if you look in your concordance and look for cloud you're going to find a hundred and around a hundred references all the way through the scripture but most of them are the cloud of the active presence of God the visible presence of God. Yeah there are a few times where it's just cloud is a cloud right but the most fascinating ones are here in Exodus in Ezekiel and that's right and in Revelation it appears but look particularly at where the cloud shows up in the New Testament because you'll find it at the transfiguration of Jesus. So I just encourage you this is all about learning to do Bible study on your own check out the cloud and see what you learn about the presence of God. Yep exactly and you know I'll point out what I have before too this the presence of this weird thing we would look at in a modern sense like wow a pillar of fire a pillar of cloud I mean it's actually it's not a terrifying presence it's actually quite a calming it's a wonderful presence. It's a warming protective presence. Yeah because if you think about being in the desert you know you're thinking hot dry lots of sun the first thing you think about is man I need shade well God said I'll provide you shade wherever you go I'll be that cloud for you that's a very wonderful gracious thing God does for them and then at night it's terrifying to be out in the desert in the pitch black darkness and you can't see a stinking thing God says I'll be like your gigantic night light I will light your entire encampment and also not just to provide a sense of security but sometimes you may travel at night which is a good thing in the desert unfortunately you can't see where you're going when it's that dark so you have to reserve your night travels to when you have full moons and stuff but God says nope I'll be right there I'll be this gigantic night light connecting heaven and earth visibly you know in a symbolic way you just follow the light man and we'll get there so these are these are both a cloud by day a pillar by night both great comforts great gracious comforts to the nation of Israel not the kind of terrifying presence that we were talking about at the top of the mountain when when Moses is right you know a very different kind of thing this is this is a very welcoming kind of thing. Well and we find too as you do that concordance study you'll discover that this cloud and fire is associated with shade from the heat of the sun and protection from the fire so and let me just tip you something toward Isaiah 4 verses 5 and 6 where it talks about the Lord removing the sin from the nation of Israel and let me just read you this verses 5 and 6 then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over the assemblies a cloud by day even smoke and the brightness of a flaming fire by night for over all the glory will be a canopy and there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day refuge and protection from the storm and the rain so that's you know Isaiah looking way ahead to that coming of Messiah and the ultimate fulfillment of God with man and he says it's all we're still going to have that sense of the presence of God in the image of the cloud and the fire yeah he will be over everything. It's really an unmistakable presence of God. It's beautiful. Yeah it's so unusual such a great kind of dotted line connecting heaven and earth presence of God presence in our midst yeah you know it dawned on me too you know we looked at the in verse 35 Moses couldn't go in because of the glory I remembered that Solomon's temple had the same thing happen they literally couldn't stand right so if you want to read I had to go back and remind myself it's in 1 Kings 8 and you look and Solomon builds the temple which is just the limestone version of the tabernacle the layouts you know pretty close to the same same things go on there but as they finish that and the the priests were inside kind of finishing all the deck work they came out and as they came out God's glory in this cloud and fire came in and suddenly they said we can't go back in right now literally they could not stand they could not stand yeah and so this is it's pretty fascinating so the presence of God is is so what do you want to call it so sobering so overwhelming that they that they could not be there again that's what happens with Moses here it'll happen again hundreds of years later when they build the temple yeah it's great well and then let me just say one more thing about that visible presence of the of the presence of God over the tabernacle apparently was there throughout the history of Israel up to a certain point and we read in Exodus how the cloud was going to move ahead of them to lead them right well in your concordance study you'll find some references to the cloud in Ezekiel where Ezekiel has a vision where he sees the cloud lift off the temple and go to the east well that is God's annunciation he's going to they're gonna be exiled off to the east and he is leading them into the exile there's so much associated with this cloud yeah yeah one of my favorite passages is Numbers 9 I want to read you a little oh yeah yeah I have that open in front of me actually but go ahead I do too yeah this is this is just so detailed it's so great because in 36 here in chapter 40 he looks forward in Numbers 9 he looks forward and tells you what's going on right I start in verse 15 on the day that the tabernacle was set up the cloud covered the tabernacle the tent of the testimony and at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning and so it always was the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night and whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent after that the people of Israel set out and in the place where the cloud settled down there the people of Israel camped and at the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out and at the command of the Lord they camped and as long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle they remained in camp and even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle for days the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp then according to the command of the Lord they set out and sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning and when the cloud lifted in the morning they set out if it continued for a day and a night when the cloud lifted they set out whether it was like two days or a month or a longer time that the cloud continued over the tabernacle abiding there the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out but when it lifted they set out and at the command of the Lord they camped and at the command of the Lord they set out isn't that amazing that is so good here's what struck me as you're reading this there would have been no dispute shall we stay or shall we go that's right those two million people would see it when the crowd lifted up and moved or or stayed and it's not a matter of Moses being in charge clearly or leading even clearly if they would say well Moses why do you think we should move today well cuz Moses says so no because the cloud moved Oh even Aaron right exactly you know they're doing their priestly business but they had no control over the presence of the Lord yeah there's no ambiguity here and and what I like to extend when we talk about this is the fact that even in our present day since God does not change God is extraordinarily capable of giving you explicit leadership of where to go and what to do he you know we that famous the song we we quoted in that song about the steps of a man being established by the Lord I mean he know he know not only knows where he's going but he's already seen where we're going so I have people all the time saying how do I figure out the will of God or what I where how do I figure out where he's leading and they take on themselves this entire purpose of trying to trying to second get figure out God's direction what God's direction is and it doesn't have to be that hard because really all you all you need to do is pray to say God you're really good at leading I saw the cloud in the fire in Exodus so so lead me and I'm confident you'll let me know yeah and I don't know what to do but my eyes are fixed on you right Jehoshaphat second chronicle so yeah it's it's uh God's very good at leading and here there's no ambiguity and God can continue to be unambiguous in his leading today so just take him at his word okay and do you think here that there's that there's this picture it's kind of foreshadowing the leading of the Holy Spirit right yeah it is not absolutely visible cloud in the Old Testament was but it is the same picture and it's God with us God goes before us and God leads us God with us God in us yeah yeah and he promises he'll do that I think it's interesting to in retrospect here you know we had that ugly ugly golden calf incident and but then but then after the golden cat that was chapter 12 and then in chapter no no 24 oh well I'm sorry 32 was coming out it's 32 yeah 32 I dropped my 3 yeah 32 but then you get to 33 and that's where that's where God makes his incredible statement about okay my presence will go with you yeah and he does and he does to these people who made a golden calf even though for the next 40 39 years they were going to to go in and out of obedience but as far as traveling in the wilderness and getting through it they were obedient because it's an unambiguous in his direction in that in that generation that died God still stayed with them he did not abandon them he did yeah yeah it's amazing well we're we're at the end of Exodus I'm sad it's worthwhile to consider going back and just as much in a sitting as you possibly can to just remember the story yep and and let me give you a tiny bit of homework if you want revelation has a lot of connections to the imagery here I was thinking about the throne room scene in Revelation 4 go read Revelation 4 and see if anything looks familiar to you because you've got Exodus under your belt and another thing is go to Revelation 8 you'll notice some stuff about the prayers of the Saints and the altar of incense and this all comes from here so so these are not just temporary images that happened in history a long time ago these are images that that remain because they reflect something of a greater truth so let us tell you what we're going to next we are going into the New Testament New Testament to the gospel according to Matthew right right and it seemed appropriate to us to do that because we've been steeped in the Old Testament now for a couple of months many months actually and Matthew's gospel is clearly targeted to a Jewish readership now it's for everybody yes but Matthew quotes Old Testament scripture much more yes the other gospel writers do so if you wanted to pick out of the four Gospels which one has the most continuity to the Old Testament probably Matthew he's got a lot of those connections so so we hope you join us on that it'll be a great adventure to read it I'm Jim and I'm Dorothy you hope you join us next week on more than ink there are many more episodes of this broadcast to be found at our website more than ink org and while you are there take a moment to drop us a note remember the Bible is God's love letter to you pick it up and read it for yourself and you will discover that the words printed there are indeed more than ink this has been a production of Main Street Church and for them see
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