Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Journey Through the Bible: Exodus 26 and 27

Exodus 26:30--"And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain." The grace of God is a marvelous thing, and we would have no hope of eternal life without it. This chapter begins a lengthy description in Exodus of how Jehovah wanted the tabernacle built, and all the items and utensils that were a part of it. Keep in mind that this tabernacle is a part of the grace of God towards Israel, for through the sacrifices and offerings they would make to Him, He would forgive their sins. Just because there is grace does not mean there is no obedience, and it is a strict obedience. Moses was told exactly how to construct everything in the tabernacle, and in verse 30 he is reminded that there is a "pattern" he must follow. There is also a "pattern" for New Testament Christians: "Hold the pattern of sound words," Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 1:13. The grace of God does not mean we can be presumptuous. "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared," (Ps. 130:4), not "that thou mayest be presumed upon." The love and grace of God should be a motivation for us to humbly submit to Him with all of our heart. So full of gratitude should we be that the Lord will pardon our iniquities that we ought to give our best to serve Him as diligently as we can, and as He has directed us to do to in His Word. This attitude that we can give anything we want to God and He will accept it comes not from Scripture, and is, frankly, beyond my understanding.

Exodus 27:21--"In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the LORD. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel." This is regarding the lamp inside the tabernacle; it was to be looked after "from evening until morning," i.e., all night. There were activities in the tabernacle 24 hours a day; service to God never stops. Indeed, this was to be "a statute forever," or as long as the Lord intended this dispensation to last. The Hebrew word for "forever" can mean an endless duration of time, but that can only be in reference to spiritual things, such as heaven. In a material sense, the word means a lengthy, but indefinite period. It can and does eventually have an end. A willing slave was to serve his master "forever" (Ex. 21:6). Obviously, this can only be until he dies, which is indeterminate at the time of commitment. The Mosaic Age was not eternal; it lasted only until the Christ, thus the tabernacle and all its sacrifices and rituals are no longer in force.