From Exodus 39-40
The craftsmen have finished the construction of the tabernacle and all the items of worship in it. They hand it over to Moses for inspection and he approves of their work by blessing them. They are now ready for the presence of God among them and their journey into the promised land.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Chapters 35 to 39 of Exodus mainly concern the construction and the use of the tabernacle and everything in it. Today’s passage picks up after everything has been created.
32 Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses; so they did. (Ex 39:32)
The record of the construction finishes with success. A stark contrast to what happened in chapter 32 when they built the golden calf.
33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 34 the covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins, and the veil of the screen; (Ex 39:33-34)
Moses apparently was not observing the construction. But he would have given the craftsmen instructions before hand. When they finish they bring everything to Moses to check. There would have been many heavy materials for the tabernacle.
35 the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat; (Ex 39:35)
The ark of the testimony is better known as the ark of the covenant. It is a golden chest that contains the tablets with the ten commandments. It served both a practical and a symbolic purpose, and was instrumental in both rituals and miracles.
The mercy seat was on top of the ark of the covenant (Ex 25.21). This was where the LORD said he would meet with Moses and the high priests (Ex 25.22). On the day of atonement, the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the mercy seat (Lev 16.14-15).
36 the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence;
37 the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil for the light;
38 the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent;
39 the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand;
40 the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting;
41 the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons for their service as priests. (Ex 39:36-41)
This account repeat much of Ex 35.11-19. The passage makes it clear every part of the tabernacle was created and brought to Moses as commanded by the LORD.
42 According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them. (Ex 39:42–43)
Moses checked the work and blessed them when he saw it was good. He probably said a prayer.
The end which the tabernacle is designed to serve is, above all, the sanctification of the people (e.g., 28:38), so that with no disqualifying factor the glory of the divine presence can take up residence in the tabernacle among them. …
The book closes with the account of Moses’ construction and consecration of the tabernacle on the first day of the second year after the exodus. In gracious response, the cloud associated with the tent of meeting descends to veil the glory of God which now “resides” in the tabernacle (40:34–35). The means whereby Israel, delivered from slavery to Egypt, can now live with God has been established. (Johnstone, W. D. (2003). Exodus. In J. D. G. Dunn & J. W. Rogerson (Eds.), Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (p. 100). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.)
The significance of the tabernacle and Israel’s journey to the promised land is fulfilled in the gospel. Just as the people of Israel had to make ready for the coming of God in the presence of Jesus. So to were they exhorted to make ready for his coming.
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ ” (Mk 1.1-3)
To ‘prepare the way’ and ‘make his paths straight’ means to fix up our lives. To be ready to hear his message and not to struggle against it. The Israelites had to build the tabernacle and all its items as the LORD commanded. This preparation led to his presence among them.
Are you ready for the coming of the Lord?
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.