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.
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.”