Study Notes

Exodus 36:1-40:38

36:1-2 Performing The Work

All that God commanded Moses on the mountain to construct is now going to be made. We talked last week about how every skillful person has been given skill by God, but whether a person chooses to serve God with that skill is up to them. Beautifully, we see that every skillful person in the camp helped in the construction. But sadly, that is a situation quite uncommon among God's people today. Jesus said,

Luke 10:2 ..."The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Will you be a laborer in the kingdom of God?

36:3-7 Received From Moses

The contributions had been placed in Moses' care. You could say that he had the checkbook - financing the and supplying the materials needed that had been contributed by the people.

The key to being able to trust a man with the finances of the church boils down to two things: he must have wisdom, and he must fear God.

In 2Corinthians 8, Paul is talking about he and Titus' having administration over a sizable amount of money destined for the Christian church in Jerusalem. Some of the things he mentions are that it was

2Cor. 8:19 ...being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself...

2Cor. 8:20 taking precaution that no one should discredit us in our administration...

2Cor. 8:21 ...we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

When God entrusts a man with the administration of finances, he must have the fear of the Lord and wisdom in its administration: its care and use should be glorifying to the Lord, it should be above-board and legal; it should be right in the eyes of both man and God.

More Than Enough

Now the budget that they were working on wasn't tight. Even after the construction began, even as people labored, more and more finances and supplies came pouring in. The people had willing hearts and were anxious to give. It got to the point where there was actually too much!

What a blessed dilemma! Can you imagine? I've never heard of a church that said, "Enough! Stop! There is so much being given that we can't possibly use it all!" Is that because the church has gotten greedy? Maybe in some cases. But in reality, I believe it is because God's people have gotten stingy. Let's be honest, if every person in the church of God gave faithfully, cheerfully, and abundantly, then we would have the same problem Moses did: Stop! Too much! No more!

36:8-13 Making The Linen Curtains

The linen curtains for the tabernacle are made, and Bezalel embroiders the cherubim on them.

36:14-18 Making The Goats' Hair Curtains

The goats' hair tent curtains that go over the linen curtains are made.

36:19 Making The Coverings

The Rams' skins and porpoise skins are made for the exterior of the tent.

36:20-34 Making The Boards, Sockets, And Bars

The boards that formed the walls of the tabernacle are made, along with the silver sockets that they sat in, and the bars that connected them.

36:35-38 Making The Veil And The Screen

The veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, as well as the screen that covered the front of the tent are both made.

37:1-5 Making The Ark

The ark of the covenant is made by Bezalel.

37:6-9 Making The Mercy Seat

The lid of the ark, called the mercy seat, is made of pure gold. Cherubim are made to go on the top, with their faces toward each other, looking down, and their wings extended out and upward.

37:10-16 Making The Table And Utensils

The table that will hold the showbread is made, along with the utensils, dishes, pans, bowls, and jars.

37:17-24 Making The Lampstand

The gold lampstand is made, with its seven lamps, snuffers, and trays.

37:25-29 Making The Altar Of Incense

The altar of incense is constructed, along with the anointing oil and the incense.

38:1-7 Making The Altar Of Burnt Offering

The altar of sacrifice and all of its utensils are made: pails, shovels, basins, flesh hooks, and firepans. These are all made of bronze, not gold like the things inside the tent.

38:8 Making The Bronze Laver

The bronze laver is made from the mirrors that the women had gotten from Egypt. There are two of these mirrors on display right now in the "Ancient Egypt" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. They are shaped much like hand mirrors are today, except that they are made of solid brass. The handles are ornately shaped into images, but the mirrors themselves have no glass in them - the brass is polished to enable the woman to see her reflection.

Now, why has the Holy Spirit thought to tell us that the laver was made from these mirrors? What do we know about them? They were very valuable, and they were for vanity. Yet the women freely donated them for the construction of the tabernacle. What a lesson for us to learn today in this age that so many Christians spend their weekends taking their $2,000 jet skis to the lake on Saturday, then drop a ten dollar bill in the offering plate on Sunday! (And then they go out and spend $30 for lunch!)

In the time of Haggai the prophet, the people had spent their time and money building their own houses and living in comfort while the temple lay in ruins. The Lord spoke to the people, saying,

Hag. 1:4-5 "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house {lies} desolate?" Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways!

May we consider the house of God as we frivolously throw away money on vanity.

38:9-20 Making The Court

The linen hangings, pillars, and sockets are made, defining the outskirts of the tabernacle courts.

38:21-31 The Materials Numbered

Again, Moses proves himself to be a wise steward over all that he has been entrusted with. He commands that the things for the tabernacle be numbered. By today's' rates, the value of these materials have been estimated at well over ten million dollars!

39:1-7 Making The Ephod

We looked at the garments of the high priest in detail back in chapter 28. Here we see that the high priest's ephod is made.

39:8-21 Making The Breastpiece

The breastpiece for the high priest his constructed.

39:22-26 Making The Robe

The robe with its bells and pomegranates is made.

39:27-31 Making The Tunics, Turban, Sash, And Crown

The other priests' garments are made, along with the high priests' turban, sash, and crown.

39:32-43 Brought To Moses

They brought all of these things to Moses. Once he examined them and saw that they had been made according to the commandment of the Lord, then he blessed the workers.

40:1-11 Set-up And Consecration Of The Tabernacle

Two weeks before the celebration of Passover, Moses was to set up the tabernacle.

Anointing with oil

Anointing with oil. What does it mean? When something or someone was anointed with oil, they were consecrated. The word consecrated means, "to sanctify, dedicate, make holy." In pouring oil on it or him, they were setting apart for the Lord.

Now that is a beautiful picture of what happens to us. Remember that oil is a typological picture of the Holy Spirit. And when God pours out His Holy Spirit onto us, we are consecrated, set apart, exclusively for His use. We see this brought up in Scripture several times. Peter preached,

Acts 10:38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power..."

When Samuel anointed David, the Holy Spirit was also poured out on him:

1Sam. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward...

May the oil of the Holy Spirit be poured out upon you and consecrate you for the exclusive use of God.

40:12-16 Consecration Of The Priests

The Priests washed with water. This is of course a picture of the necessity of priests being purified by the word of God. I was talking to a friend last week that met a local priest of some strange new denomination. This priest claims that he has not read much of the Bible, and the parts he has read he does not take seriously. I pity every person who attends that church. A priest must be washed in the water of the word to be pure in the work of God.

40:17-33 Setting Up The Tabernacle

Moses himself sets up the tabernacle, exactly as God had shown him on the mountaintop.

40:34-38 The Cloud

The glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle. You know, it would be a shame to have spent ten million dollars on a temple and not have God show up.

Israel journeyed when the cloud was taken up. They were led by the Lord through the wilderness. May each of us live in such a way as to be guided by the Lord in our journeys.

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