On this sixth day of February 2012 my reading covered Exodus 21 – 34. For me it was an hour’s worth of reading. I know that means I am a slow reader. Part of that time was spent in pouring me a cup of coffee with hot chocolate mix mixed in at half way through which was after chapter 27.
God of creation and all things; LORD of hosts, and Israel is the God of Glory and grace. My how we need grace. How I need grace.
Chapter 21 begins with additional laws concerning judgments, and handling conflicts among the people. God also gives some rules for dealing with perversity, and obscenity among people and animals (22:16-20).
Following these rules God gives Moses the designs for building a place for “God’s dwelling” among the people – the Tabernacle in the wilderness. He gives Moses His design for worshipping Him. He begins with the inner Tabernacle, and in particular with Himself with the Ark of the covenant and mercy seat (25:10-22). The table of shewbread (vv. 23-30). The Menorah (vv. 31-40). True worship must begin with God. It cannot begin with music, or even preaching. It must forever begin with God.
Chapter 26 deals with the goat skins that will be needed for the Tabernacle covering, and linens, and blue, scarlet, purple. Silver is needed for the “foundation” of the movable tabernacle. Very intricately detailed by the heavenly Designer. I pray you will be reading these chapters and will see that all these things of the Tabernacle in the wilderness point us to the Messiah of Israel. The gold and the wood of the ark point us to the God-man Jesus the Christ; Jesus of Nazareth. The shewbread shows Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6:35-58). The lampstand [Menorah] shows us Jesus as the Light of the World (John 8:12; 9:5).
When Moses was on the Mount receiving these instructions and heavenly designs the people down below were growing restless, beginning to complain; and due to this began crying out for Aaron to build them a “god”. They have previously said, “All that the LORD says we will do”. Now they are in abstract rebellion against Him. And Moses pleads for the people;
“And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, ‘These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’ And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.’ And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, which Thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘For mischief did He bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants, to whom Thou swarest by Thine own self, and saidst unto them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.’ And the LORD repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people.” Exodus 32:7-14 (KJV)
Moses knew the LORD; and he knew the LORD is holy and had every right, and could with one word extinguish the nation from the face of the earth. The heart of Moses was one with the heart of God; because he is pleading for the grace of God to win out and glorify Him. The glory of God is at stake. That is what the pleading of Moses for the people is about.
In another place Moses pleads for God’s mercy and grace for the people, even to the point of his own destruction in their behalf;
“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, ‘Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” 32:31-32
We need to realize that the law was given to show us our sin, our weaknesses, and our need of God’s abundant grace. We all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); and stand in need of grace given us freely by God through His Son Jesus Christ; who died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying the guilt and condemnation of sin away, and rising bodily from the grave; justifying us forever.
-Tim A. Blankenship