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The Covering of the Tabernacle

Exodus 26 and 36 give us a record regarding the four coverings of the sanctuary (Holy Place and the Holy of Holies) were God met with Man. The covering was made of badger or porpoise skin, ram’s skin died red, goat’s hair, and fine twined linen. Each of these coverings are very meaningful showing some aspect of Christ, the God-man. The outermost layer of badger skin was rather plain and even unattractive. Isaiah 53 says that He was a root out of dry ground and had no outward beauty that we should be attracted to Him.

The Outer Court

As a picture of Christ and the Lord’s testimony, the church, Exodus 27 and 38 describe portions of the outer court of the tabernacle with its 60 pillars and coverings of fine twined linen surrounding the entire courtyard. It is somewhat ambiguous in Scripture whether the pillars were made of all bronze, acacia wood covered with bronze, or acacia wood standing on bronze bases. I believe that they were of acacia wood standing on bronze bases. Bronze in the Bible points to God's judgment.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The best picture in the Old Testament is the tabernacle. The materials, the design, and the construction all point to the experience of Christ for the building up of the church. Before the commandment to build the tabernacle, God’s people had several significant experiences together, including the crossing of the Red Sea, fighting the enemy, and traveling together through the wilderness. But, God was not satisfied, until a dwelling place was built and centered among His people.

Vision of God and the Tabernacle

In the first part of Exodus we see God’s salvation from sin and Satan. God called out a people to Himself, from the world (Egypt) to follow Him as His unique testimony. Now in the second half of this book we get a glimpse of the purpose of God’s salvation. In Exodus 24 and 25 we see that God called Moses Arron, Nadad, Abihu and seventy elders of Israel to come up to the mountain to worship. So after Moses took blood from the burnt offering and sprinkled it on the altar and the people. They went up and ate and drank in God’s presence and saw a vision. Here they saw the God of Israel.

The Sabbath Rest

The Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20 is to remember the Sabbath and to keep it sanctified. The word Sabbath comes from the word “sabbat’, meaning to cease, to stop, to rest. We may fail to see that the words of God to His people are actually terms of engagement in which He introduces Himself to His people as a righteous, holy, God, courting them and wanting them to be a separated, ”personal treasure” to Himself. He reminds Moses of what He did to the Egyptians and how He bore them on “eagle’s wings” and brought them to Himself (Exo. 19:4).

God Engaged

In Jeremiah 2, God recounts his experience with the Children of Israel in the wilderness. He calls them “bridal days” and refers to the time as the days of their youth. God courted Israel, drawing them out of Egypt, a land full of idols, and held their hand as he led them through their journeys in the wilderness. One may consider the crossing of the Red Sea, the healing of the bitter water into sweetness, the supply of manna, the water from the cleft rock, and the defeat of their enemy, Amalek, as dates. But, courtship should eventually lead to engagement and marriage.

Change in Diet

Shortly after entering the wilderness, the children of God complained about their food, longing for the Egyptian diet. God answered by raining manna from heaven. Through God’s provision, the people learned that one who follows God must change their eating habits. They now have a heavenly provision. In John 6, Jesus said He was the bread that came down from heaven, the replacement of manna, and that we are to “eat” Him. Manna was small. Jesus was small enough for us to eat. Manna was like a tasty coriander seed (an ingredient of curry); Jesus is good to the taste.

Bitter Made Sweet

In Exodus 15:22-27 the Children of Israel were led by God out of the Red Sea three days journey to Marah. Marah means “bitterness.” Here, they complained to Moses that they thirsted but could not drink the water because it was bitter. Formerly their water was from the Nile River, but they had left the world (Egypt) behind them. They were the people of God, traveling with God, but with bitter water. So, under God’s instruction, Moses cast a tree into the water and the water became sweet.

What God Wants - Excerpt from Ashland Woods Retreat

The churches in Columbus and Pittsburgh enjoyed a mutual fellowship of the members of the Body of Christ in the freshness of His presence. Our fellowship took place at the Ashland Woods retreat center last weekend. There are 60 of us in all. We explored the awesomeness of God in His creation, realizing that we are insignificant in comparison to the vastness of the universe. In this context, it is easy to realize that it is not about me; it’s about God. God has an eternal purpose. He chose us and predestinated us for this purpose. But, what is it?

Celebrating the Crossing

After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they celebrated by singing a song written by Moses. From 1 Corinthians 10:3, we know that this crossing was a type of the believers’ baptism. The song, then, must also portray the enjoyment of the Christian life following baptism. The song begins by praising God for the demise of the Egyptian forces that followed them. “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army, He has hurled into the sea” (v. 6); “They sank like lead in the mighty waters” (v. 10). The baptized Christian can truly proclaim, “The world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal.


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