Speak unto the children of Israel ... and let them build Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." (Exodus 25:2, 8)
Through His eternal covenant, our Holy and Mighty God has promised to dwell among His people! (What an amazing affirmation of His unconditional love and faithfulness!) And to us who are in Christ, He has revealed even greater things -- "Christ in you, the hope of glory!" (Colossians 1:27)
Father, we seek You, we long to bow down before You and worship You -- to gaze at Your beauty and glory. Lord, take our hand and our heart and lead us through Your tabernacle; take us far beyond that which is "a copy and shadow of heavenly things" and show us the glorious truths of Your pathway into the holiness and beauty of heaven itself. Thank You for making this a reality even within ourselves because You dwell in us. (I Corinthians 6:19)
I. The Altar of Burnt Offerings - Read Exodus 27:1-8
A. Ask God to let you see His altar through the "eyes" of your mind and Spirit. Describe what He shows you.
B. What was the purpose and function of the altar? (See Ex. 40:29; Lev. 1:4-5. 9-17)
C. Jesus, the eternal "Lamb that was slain" for us, was sacrificed on a different kind of altar. What was it? What did His sacrifice accomplish?
D. Read Rom. 6:4-11. What has happened to you as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus?
E. In Rom. 6:11-14 and 12:1, what does God ask you to do?
F. (Challenge) Why were there "horns" on each of the four corners of the altar? (Relate their function and meaning to your own life, as you read Psalm 18:2 and 118:27)
II. The Laver - Read Exodus 30:17-21
A. Hear and write God's message in each of these verses. Remember, His requirement is absolute for holiness in His presence.
1. Lev. 11:44a
2. Ps. 51:1-7
3. Isaiah 59:2
B. What was the purpose of the laver? How is that purpose accomplished in your life? (See John 15:3 and Eph. 5:26)
C. Read John 13:1-IO. What is His message to you? (See also James 5:16)
(Precious Lord, thank You that when we fail, it doesn't change who we are in You. Still train us to live so close to Your laver, to keep our feet so cleansed and free from the dust of the world that Your life will flow through us continually.)
D. Study and meditate on I Pet. 2:9. State your identity in Christ (Who are YOU?) and God's purpose for you. Do you really believe and know in your heart this is true?
Note: Aaron and his sons were born into the Levitical priesthood. We were "born of the Spirit" into God's "royal priesthood." As God's beloved priests, let us confidently continue our walk with Him into His Holy Place and receive of His light and Life. (See Heb. 10:19-22)
III. The Golden Lampstand - Exodus 25:31-40, 27:20-21 and Lev. 24:1-4
A. Enjoy the beauty of His pattern, as you give a simple description of the lampstand.
B. What was the function and purpose of the lampstand? How is this purpose fulfilled in Christ? (See John 8:12, 1:3-5; I John 1:5; and Rev. 21:22-24)
C. If you are in Christ, His light is in You. How are our lives wonderfully enriched by this fact? (See Matt. 5:14-16 and Eph. 5:8 -14)
IV. The Table of Showbread - Exodus 25:23-30 and Lev. 24:5-9
A. (Challenge Brought from the desert, Acacia wood was hard and incorruptible. In making the table, it was covered with gold. How do these two details represent Christ Jesus?
B. What does the bread mean to you today? (See John 6:48-58. Remember, you already have eternal life, if you are in Christ.)
V. The Altar of Incense - Exodus 30:1-10, 34-3, and Rev. 8:3-4
A. Describe this beautiful golden alter, which is also found before God's throne in the heavenly places.
B. Read Rev. 5:8. What does the sweet fragrance of the burning incense symbolize?
C. The incense or perfume must be crushed and "beaten very fine" in order to yield its beautiful fragrance. How does that encourage you? (See John 12:24 or II Cor. 4:8-12)
This is sacred ground; the veil has been rent, and we are in the presence of God. Before us is the golden ark of the covenant and also the glorious heavenly throne of God. As the high priest came to the altar on behalf of the people, and as the burning incense continually rose yielding its sweet aroma to God, let us, also continually come before Him offering worship, praise (Heb. 13:15) and intercessory prayer.
VI. The Ark of the Covenant – Exodus 25:10-22.
A. Ask God to show you the wonders of this most Holy Place - the ark containing the law and representing perfect righteousness; the mercy seat pointing us to God's gracious and loving mercy; and the light and glory of His presence. Where did God promise to meet His priests? (Ex. 25:22)
B. Where does He meet you?
Only perfect righteousness could satisfy God, and only perfect grace and mercy could transform the sinner into the saint. Only in the cross--in the finished work of Christ--are these two conditions met. (I Pet. 2:24) Let us praise and thank Him!
SUGGESTED HYMN: My God, How Wonderful Thou Art (This is not my favorite melody for this wonderful hymn)
Next: Lesson 17