Now in chapter 36, as they started to do the work, they started to put the thing together. They started carving the wood, and overlaying it with gold, and making the candlesticks, and all. The people kept bringing stuff. Kept bringing it in, until finally they said to Moses, “Hey, have the people stop. We’ve got more than we can use.” And so, they had to restrain; and sign, “No more offerings to the LORD”. They gave until—don’t need anything. Don’t bring anything else. We’ve got enough.
So they continued bringing to him the freewill offerings every morning, verse 3 at the end, and then verse 4,
Then all the craftsmen, that were doing the work of the sanctuary, came from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, The people are bringing much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded us to do. So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout all the camp, saying, Don’t let man or woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. And so the people were restrained from bringing.
I love that.
For all the material they had was sufficient for all of the work to be done. Indeed, it was too much.
And so, then, they began to build the tabernacle. The tabernacle was made of acacia boards, two feet three inches wide, overlaid with gold, fifteen feet high, set in silver sockets. Twenty of them along the walls, which made it forty five feet long, and fifteen feet wide. And sort of a box kind of a construction, all overlaid with gold, and it was held up in place, setting in these little sockets of silver, the boards were set in the sockets of silver; and then, they had these golden rings on them, and they took these golden rods, and pushed them through the rings. So, they would stand the boards up, and a guy would put the rods through the rings, and would hold them then in an upright position.
And then, over the top of that, they put the linen curtain of these various colors of yarn, fine linen. And in this linen curtain, there was embroidered the cherubim, this fancy work of all of the embroidered cherubim in this linen covering over the top of this golden box. Over the top of that was the cloth that was made from the spun goats’ hair. So, sort of a wool type of cloth from the spun goats’ hair. Over the top of that, they had the goats’ skins that were dyed red. And then, over the top of that, the badgers’ sins, or the seal, or whatever. We’re not sure just exactly what that other animal was, but that was over then the top of that, so that it was pretty waterproof on the inside of the tabernacle.
The furnishings; the tabernacle was divided into two rooms. The first room that you would enter, the door opening to the east, the first room that you would enter was called the holy place. It was a room that was fifteen feet wide, and thirty feet long, with a curtain on the far end; the walls of gold on the side, the curtain on the far end.
As you walked into this room, on your right hand side, there would be this small little table, about three feet long, and on this little table, there were twelve loaves of bread, one for each tribe. Directly in front of you as you walked in, was a little altar for incense in front of the curtain. On your left side, there was this candlestick with seven arms coming out of it, and cups with the olive oil, and this was to be trimmed daily, and the oil filled by the priest.
Behind the curtain, there was another room that was a fifteen foot cube; fifteen feet high, fifteen feet wide, fifteen feet deep. In this room there was the ark of the covenant; a golden box in which the two tables of stone were placed, in which a jar of manna was placed, and in which Aaron’s rod was also placed. The lid on this little golden box was of solid gold, weighing perhaps as much as seven hundred and fifty pounds, having on it two carved cherubim looking towards each other.
Outside of this tent; this was called the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; outside of it, you had a courtyard that was made by curtains hanging on brass poles seven and a half feet high. And it went around the tent, and the gate was opened towards the east. Coming in the gate, the first thing that you came to was the altar where the sacrifices were made. Beyond that was this brass bowl, which was for the bathing for the priests. And thus the sanctuary; and as you read through this description here, it describes the sizes, the dimensions, how they were put together, and how they made everything, is what you’re reading in these chapters.
I want to point out one verse, verse eight of chapter thirty-eight; when they made this basin for washing, the laver for the washing of the priest before they would go into the tent itself, they made the laver of bronze, and it’s base of bronze from the bronze mirrors of the serving women. So, the women brought their mirrors. Now that, you know, when you get women to give up their mirrors, you’ve really got women whose hearts have been stirred.
In Egypt, the mirrors were made of highly polished bronze. And so, when the children of Israel left Egypt, of course every woman had their mirror. But they needed the bronze now to made this laver for the washing of the priest, and so the women all donated their mirrors for that. And I found that just a little interesting, and I thought I would call your attention to it.
And it goes on then how they made the priests’ garments, and we’ve already described the priests’ garments for you and you can refer to the earlier tapes if you were not here.
Now in chapter forty, they had completed the construction of the tabernacle, and now it’s ready; all of the boards have been carved, and it’s all ready to put together. So, God tells him now how to put the whole thing together, and how they are to place each part of the tabernacle.
And so, having put the whole thing together; the curtains, the veils and all; when they went into the tabernacle of meeting, they came near the altar, they washed as the LORD had commanded Moses, verse 33,
And he raise up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and he hung up the screen for the court gate, and so he finished the work.
Then, when the work was finished, the thing is all set up now; then the cloud of God’s presence that had descended upon the mountain, that was leading them, the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, that is the place of meeting God; and the glory, or the Shekinah of Yahweh filled the tabernacle. The presence of God filled this tent.
And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
My, oh my, oh my, what that must have been. The glory of the LORD filling the tabernacle. So glorious, Moses couldn’t even enter in.
Now when the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel journeyed; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day the cloud was taken up.
So this is how they were guided.
And the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, the fire was over it by night, and in the sight of all of the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
So, through the forty years of wandering, the cloud was resting upon the tabernacle by day, and the fire by night. Now, remember that the children of Israel put this tent in the middle of their camp, and the tribes pitched their tents each tribe around it, all the way around, all of the tents facing the center of the camp where the tabernacle stood.
Now, with the cloud being on it by day, when you would walk out your tent, you would be looking towards the middle of the camp and you would see the cloud resting on the tabernacle, and you were reminded that God is at the center of our life, the center of our nation. At night, if you would walk out of your tent, you would see the fire there at the tabernacle, and you would be reminded again of God’s presence in the midst of His people, and how that God was dwelling among His people, and He’s at the center of our life, and the center of our national life.
No wonder they were blessed of God, with God at the center of their national life. Oh, would to God that we could have that consciousness of God dwelling with His people. God at the center of our lives. God the center of our corporate life as the body of Christ, as believers together, as one in Jesus Christ, He is the center, He is the focal point of the church; and we should all focus on Him, for it is thorough Him that we’re all made one and brought together as one.
And so, here we see the birth of a nation, and we see God in the midst of the people, and the people are all excited about the Lord, they’re all excited about God being with them, and there was a tremendous excitement; and later on, later on in their history when they turned away from God, when they were bringing idols in, God lamented, and He said, “Where is that love that you had for Me when I first brought you out of Egypt?”
These were glorious days. These were the most glorious days of the nation; the days of that national consciousness of God’s presence and power in the midst of His people. These were the hay days, the glory days of Israel, the days that God always was calling them back to. “Where is the love that you had in the day of our espousal, when I brought you out of Egypt, when everywhere you were writing graffiti unto God; you know, “God is good”, “God is love”, and there was that consciousness of God, and He was there at the heart of the people.
It’s much what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, when He said, “I have this against you, you’ve left your first love. Remember that first love that you used to have. Remember the excitement you used to have when you came to the house of the Lord, when you were first born again, when you realized that Jesus had washed your sins, and you were walking so elated in the things of the Spirit, and in the things of God; so joyful and happy. “What’s happened?”, Jesus said.
And God said to Israel, “What did I do? Where did I offend you, that you should turn away from Me, that you should follow after these other gods?”
Oh, that God would bring us to that place of experience in the consciousness of the Lord, and that love from our hearts, and the excitement in the things of God, and the things of the Spirit; where all we want to do is get together and worship the Lord, where that’s the focal point of our hearts and lives. It isn’t, “Oh, next Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. Ah, man, let’s have a party,” but it’s, “Hey, let’s get together and let’s worship the LORD, and let’s get together and let’s have a time of prayer. Let’s get together and let’s read the Word and study,” and our whole life is centered and focused upon the person of Jesus Christ. I pray for those days. I believe that God can do it. I believe that God wants to do it. All it takes is a willing heart on our parts. For God is the same, and he still desires to dwell in the midst of His people, and He still wants to be the focal point of your life. May it be. In Jesus’ name, may it be.
Shall we pray;
Father we thank You for lessons that we can learn. Help us, Lord, to learn them as we study the nation of Israel, and we see the blessing that they had when You were at the center, You were the focal point of their lives, realizing, Lord, that those same blessings are available for us, if we would only make You the center, the focal point of our lives. Lord, I pray for the a tremendous work of Your Holy Spirit within each of our hearts. If the excitement for Jesus Christ has waned, if the love has grown cold, Lord, I pray that Your Holy Spirit will kindle the fire. Stir our hearts. Help us, Lord, to get excited for the things of Jesus and the things of the Spirit; for the Word of God, and for the fellowship with God’s people. And Lord, we pray that You might just become our all-absorbing, all-consuming passion of our lives; that You would become more important to us than our daily bread, than our work, or anything else, Lord, that You will become first and foremost; and our hearts, Lord, will be reaching out for that work of Your Spirit to be going on in our lives day by day. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
May the Lord be with you. May the hand of God be upon your life to bless, to guide; and may you experience, as did Moses, the presence of the Lord, as the Lord reveals His goodness, and causes His goodness to pass before you; for He is a God who is full of mercy. He is gracious. He is long-suffering. He abounds in goodness and in truth; and may that goodness abound towards you this week in Jesus.