Read Exodus 23
Laws instituted; three feasts which must be kept; the Angel of the Lord promised for a guide; instructions for Tabernacle furnishings.
The Israelites were commanded: Serve the LORD your God (Ex. 23:25). This was followed by 14 blessings which God promised them for their obedience. Included was the assurance: I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out (23:31). Then came a warning concerning the Canaanites: Thou shalt make no covenant (agreement) with them, nor with their gods (23:32). All of the people responded, saying: All the words which the LORD hath said will we do (24:3).
God alone determines what is acceptable conduct as well as acceptable worship to Him. Therefore, He gave Moses detailed instructions for building and furnishing the Tabernacle where He would accept the worship of His people.
The Tabernacle provided a way for the Israelites to maintain a right relationship with God and a place for them to worship Him. But, most importantly, it was a place for the invisible presence of God to dwell among His people. In outward appearance, covered with rams' skins (26:14), the exterior of the Tabernacle was unattractive, like Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (Is. 53:2).
The court of the Tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure with only one entrance through which mankind could approach God (Ex. 26:36; 27:16-18). This illustrates what our Lord Jesus declared: I am The Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9). Its white linen wall of separation was symbolic of the holiness of God and excluded all Gentiles (those without a covenant relationship with God). Consequently, they could not so much as look over the curtain fence to observe what was going on inside the courtyard or even come near it, or they would be put to death (Num. 1:51). This linen curtain illustrates that sin has separated the natural man from the Holy Presence of God.
Thought for Today:
And He (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
As the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony). The wood demonstrates His humanity; the gold overlay represented His deity. Only through His blood sprinkled on the Ark could one receive forgiveness. God dwelt above the Mercy Seat (Ex. 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).
23:2 decline after many, yield to the evil majority; 23:8 gift, bribe; 23:13 be circumspect, take heed, be cautious; 23:31 sea of the Philistines, Mediterranean Sea; 25:10 cubit, about 18 inches; 25:37 over against it, on the opposite wall.
Pray for Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Rep. Andy P. Harris (MD) and Rep. Richard L. Hanna (NY) • Country: Norway (4.45 million) in northern Europe • Major language: Norwegian • Religious freedom • 87.8% Evangelical Lutheran; 3.8% Other Protestant and Catholic; 3.2% None; 5.2% Other (Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).
Optional Reading: Matthew 25
Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:17