BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 5: Exodus 30-31

Summary of passages:  Exodus 30:  God is still instructing Moses here on Mount Sinai.  Here, God tells Moses how to build the altar of incense to be placed before the ark.  Incense is to be burned on this altar every morning and night.  Once a year atonement is to be made on its horns (Jews still honor this Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur).  At the census, each person must pay the Lord atonement money.  A basin is to be made for Aaron to wash himself in every time he enters the Tent of Meeting or approaches the altar.  Make an anointing oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the Ark, table, altar, and Aaron so they can be consecrated as holy to the Lord.  Make incense to be placed in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting.

Exodus 31:  God told Moses He has gifted Bezalel and Oholiab with the Spirit of God and the skill in order to make all that God has commanded Moses to make (the Tent of Meeting, the ark of Testimony with the atonement cover, table, lampstand, altar of incense, etc).

God told Moses to observe the Sabbaths which will be a sign between you and me for all the generations to come that He has made them holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death.  Anyone who does work on that day must be cut off from their people and put to death.

When God finished speaking, He gave Moses the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God with the Testimony on it (Ten Commandments) on the top of Mount Sinai.

Questions:

9a)  The prayers of the saints

b)  Every morning and every night

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We should pray every morning and every night.  We pray because we are saved, out of gratitude and longing for closeness to Jesus.  It should be worshipful.

10a)  Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting and when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering to God.

b)  We can use God’s word to cleanse and purify us and confess our sins to be purified.

11a)  They would die.

b)  The misuse of anointing oil or incense required one to be cut off from their people (spiritual death).

c)  Because it would be holy and only holy people may be near God.  It is sacred to God and thus must be honored.  Also, it’s a matter of obedience as well.  There are severe penalties for disobeying God and if you didn’t follow His instructions, the penalty was death.  Same for us today except our death is hell.

12a)  The Spirit of God, skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts–everything they will need to make everything God has commanded to exact specifications.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  There are many ways to serve God and He will enable all of us to use our gifts for Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Volunteer more.

Conclusions:  Another doozy of a lesson for us.  Break this up if needs be.  The importance of being sacred and sacred objects is emphasized here and how much that means to God.  God must love us a lot to make us forever sacred.  I was hoping for questions on the Sabbath but good emphasis on how each of us are blessed by God with special gifts designed to use for Him. Gives me hope as I am still struggling to figure out what His plans are for my gifts and talents.

End Notes:  Exodus 30:  The altar was also carried with poles just like the Ark of the Covenant.  It was in the holy place (not the Most Holy Place) close to the Ark but separated by a curtain.  It was in the same room as the table and the lampstand (Exodus 25).  The altar of incense was for prayer, not for atonement of sins.

Only God could order a census, which signified Israel as His people.  Hence, when David ordered one (2 Samuel 24:1-25), he was in trouble and God plagued the people as penalty.

All are equally atoned in God’s eyes when the atonement money is the same for everyone.  This turned into the Temple Tax by New Testament times and was used for the tabernacle expenses and building.

Exodus 31:  God gives us gifts for Him, not for our selfish desires.

Note how at the very end God gives the command to keep the Sabbath holy.  God gives the work first, then the rest–as we are to honor today.

Despite the fact the New Covenant eliminated this command (Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16-17), the principle still applies to us.  We are to work and rest–to recover and rejuvenate–to be at our best for God and to remember it is His work we do and not ours.

The Stone tablets were to be placed in the Ark–later added Aaron’s staff and manna.

Fun Fact:  Here’s where our saying comes from “written in stone.”

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 3: Exodus 25:23-27:21

Summary of passage:  The Lord is still directing Moses on Mt. Sinai with regards to the tabernacle.  God told Moses to make a table and dishes of pure gold to hold the bread of the Presence on and a lampstand.  God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the tabernacle and the curtain that would separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (where God would dwell).  God told Moses how to build the altar for offerings and the courtyard.  There is to be lamps burning all day.

Questions:

5)  Table with the bread of the Presence:  Jesus is now the bread of life.

Golden lampstand:  The lamps are always to be burning and Jesus is the light of the world, always light, never dark, shining his light everywhere.  Note the repetition of 3’s here–pointing to the Triune God.  Jesus is the lamp, the light of the World.

Inner curtain or veil:  Upon Jesus’ death, this curtain was torn in two, ending the separation between God and man.  His blood allowed us to enter the Most Holy Place and his body (the curtain) opened a “new, living way.”

Altar of burnt offering:  Jesus was the last burnt offering man ever needed as his blood took the place of animal’s blood and cleanse us all forever. [If you keep reading the Leviticus passage given, you will glean more.  This burnt offering was the atonement offering for forgiveness of our sins.]

6a)  “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” on the mountain.

b)  God is a holy God and in order for us to be near him, we had to be cleansed and it had to be done right.  Everything had to be an exact representation of the heavenly reality.

Conclusions:  These sections of the Bible with listings of specifications is hard for us to read especially with units given that we no longer use.  I understand its importance; still, it doesn’t make it any easier to do these lessons.

End Notes:  Exodus 25:  The Arch of Titus has a depiction of the table from the tabernacle he rebuilt after the other one was destroyed. It closely resembles the specifications given here.  The Arch of Titus was built by his brother, Emperor Domitian, in 82 AD in Rome after his death to commemorate his victories which included the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Arch serves as a model for the Arc of Tri0umphe in Paris today and other arches around the world.

Herod rebuilt the temple in 20-19 BC which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.  Model of Herod’s Temple HERE  This is the second temple.  The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC when the Israelites were enslaved.  Solomon rebuilt the temple which was then renovated by Herod and known as Herod’s temple.  There are no records of what Solomon’s temple or the First Temple looked like.

There were 12 breads of Presence kept on this table, one for each tribe of Israel.  Leviticus 24:5-9 gives more details.  It was replaced every week and only eaten by the priests.  This bread is also known as the “face of God” and was to be eaten in His presence.

We can picture the lampstand similar to the modern-day Menorah.  The almond tree was the first to bloom in the spring, representing new life.

From Revelation 4:5, the 7 lamps represent the Holy Spirit.

The light from the lamps, instead of representing Jesus, could also point to God’s presence with us (Numbers 6:25) as light in the Old Testament represented victory and life (Psalm 27:1).

A talent of pure gold was 75 pounds.

Exodus 26:  We must remember right now the tabernacle is a tent as the Israelites are moving around in the desert for 40 years.  It isn’t until they settle down that a permanent dwelling is constructed.

Note how God gives directions from the inside out–just like He builds us.

The curtain with the cherubim could only be seen from the inside just like in heaven we will see cherubim (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3).

The goats’ hair was most likely black and similar to modern-day felt.  It hid the inner layer just like heaven is hidden to us.  The lamb skins and sea cows’ skins would have been added protection for the tabernacle.  [Anyone else wonder how they got skins from sea cows?]  Result:  complete darkness except for the lamps burning bright.

The use of silver as the foundation should draw parallels to Jesus’ work.  It separated the tabernacle from the floor like Jesus separates us from sin and the rest of the world.  Silver is the payment for sin and redemption.  (See Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 5:15, 27:3, 27:6, Numbers 18:16, and Deuteronomy 22:19)

The center crossbar would be unseen just like God.

The veil was thick, impossible to see through.  Behind the Most Holy Place was only the Ark of the Covenant.  Only the high priest could go into the sacred place and only once a year.

Inside the temple we have an altar, a table, and a lamp:  prayer, fellowship, and light for understanding.

Exodus 27:  Our altar today is the cross.  Horns represented strength and power.

The courtyard was a barrier to God yet the way to approach him with only one gate–one way to God–as Jesus is today.

Scholars say bronze represents judgments since it is forged out of fire.  Note the juxtaposition of bronze and silver here in the courtyard:  redemption through Jesus who took upon our judgement.

The tabernacle was a tent, meant to be moved.  God’s point here is this:  where you go, I go and where you dwell, I dwell.  I am with you always in your troubles and despair, your victories and triumphs.

Oil represents the Holy Spirit.  It is never to go out as the Holy Spirit within us never departs. Immanuel truly.