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Exodus 25:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."

The only way we can have a place to meet and worship God is if we are willing to give. Churches need money to run and The Tabernacle could not be built without the necessary materials. Notice verse 2 says they gave it willingly! Where did the children of Israel get such a wealth of goods to give? Remember when they left Egypt and God told them to spoil the Egyptians? They borrowed "jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and rainment." EXODUS 12 The Egyptians were so glad to be rid of them that they gladly "lent to them such things as they required." It has been estimated that about $5,000,000 worth of materials went into the building of The Tabernacle. God said in verse 8 that He would dwell in The Tabernacle. God cannot be contained in a small tent, or in a huge Cathedral for that matter, but this was to be the place where He would meet with Israel.

[ARK & MERCY SEAT]

10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

The first article of furniture to be made for The Tabernacle was the Ark of the Covenant. The ark would be placed in the Holy of Holies where God's presence would dwell. The Tabernacle and everything in it had to be made so it could be carried easily. The Israelites would be trekking through the desert for 40 years and the Tabernacle, furniture and all, would have to be carried by the Levites. Therefore, each piece of furniture was fashioned with rings and staves. The staves, placed through the rings would be born upon the shoulders of the tribe of Levi. The ark was a chest made of shittim wood and covered inside and out with gold. Shittim wood, which is much like redwood, is practically indestructible. The ark was to hold The Ten Commandments, the pot of manna and Aaron's rod that budded (Hebrews 9:4). The ark of the covenant was the perfect symbol of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the Law (10 Commandments), He is the bread of life (manna) and the resurrection (dead wood budding into life).

On top of the ark was to be the mercy seat. It, too, was to be overlaid with gold. Two cherubims (winged celestial beings) were to be placed on each end of the mercy seat with their wings touching so that they completely covered the seat. This was the place where the priests would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice and the presence of God would hover.

As we talk about the different pieces of furniture made for The Tabernacle, I thought it might interest you to actually be able to see where they were placed. Just click on the link below for an overview of the tabernacle created by Martyn Barrow.

TABERNACLE OVERVIEW

[TABLE OF SHOWBREAD]

23 Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway.

The table of showbread was made from the same wood as the ark and also covered with gold. It was the same height as the ark of the covenant. There was a border around it to keep the bread from falling off. It was to hold 12 loaves of bread, one for each of the tribes of Israel. It was also made with rings and staves so it could be carried through the wilderness. This table has been called "The Table of Salvation," representing Christ as the bread of life. It was the bread of provision, sustenance, and reminds us of The Lord's Supper. The bread was replaced each Sabbath. It was made from unleavened grain and eaten by the priests in the Holy Place.

[CANDLESTICK]

31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.

The lampstand was made of one solid piece of gold. It was beaten work and ornamented with almond flowers made from gold. The lampstand reminds that Christ is the light of the world and the almond flowers remind of Aaron's rod that budded signifying the resurrection of Christ.

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CHAPTER 26

EXODUS 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.

The Tabernacle had four coverings altogether. The first was made of blue, purple and scarlet linen embroidered with cherubims. This covering would be seen from inside The Tabernacle. The length of the curtain was just exactly enough to cover the top and sides without touching the ground. The second covering was to be of goats hair. The third was made from rams' skin died red and the fourth from badgers' skins, which would be waterproof. The Israelites must have brought the badgers' skins with them from Egypt since they would be hard put to find badgers in the desert.

30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount. 31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

Instructions were given for the framework of The Tabernacle (boards and sockets). Then patterns for the veils were explained. The veil for the Holy of Holies was to be made of blue, purple and scarlet fine twined linen with the cherubims just as the wall coverings. Blue represented a heavenly color, scarlet represented blood for the sacrifices and purple royalty. The veil separated the people from God. It was a wall that only the High Priest could pass through. If someone committed a trespass against God, they had to go to the Priest who would then shed the blood of a sacrifice for that trespass. The High Priest only went into the Holy of Holies one time a year. If he passed beyond the veil with sin in his life he would be stricken dead. When Christ died on the cross, the veil was torn in two. Aren't you glad the veil is no longer separating us from God today?

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[BRAZEN ALTAR]

CHAPTER 27

Exodus 27:1 "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass."

Inside the tabernacle, the furniture was overlaid with gold but outside it was made of brass. The closer we get to God, the purer we must be. The brazen altar was made to sacrifice animals on for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.") God's plan from the beginning was to cleanse men from their sin by the shedding of blood. There is no way to approach God without an altar of sacrifice. There must be a victim sacrificed. If Jesus had not gone to the altar and been sacrificed for us, we would have no access to God.

9 "And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:"
16 "And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four."

Most of this chapter describes the details of the outer court of the tabernacle. One of the things I found interesting was the different colors of the hangings. Why the different colors? I believe they each represent something. Blue was a heavenly color and represented heaven from which Christ came. Scarlet represented the blood that Christ shed for us. Purple was the color of royalty and represented His Kingship. The entrance of the tabernacle was covered with white linen (white for purity) which separated the inside from those on the outside.

20 "And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. 21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel."

Only pure oil was to be used in the lamp inside the tabernacle and the lamp was to be tended by the priests and was never to go out. Remember the parable of the bridegroom in Matthew 25? The five foolish virgins did not have enough oil to go out and meet their bridegroom. We must watch, for we do not know when Jesus Christ is coming back. We must have only pure oil in our lamps and keep them trimmed and burning and never let them go out. (Matt.25:13 "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.")

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