We do not now have the advantage of an apostle to guide our thoughts as in the early days of the church...but we do have a remaining resource...the Holy Spirit within us.
Now the second step... "the coming out".
In Exodus the children of Israel were taken out of Egypt by God, in the book of Acts (the more or less corresponding Book in the New Testament) the children of God (believers) are taken out of the religion of that day, Judaism. "Exodus" means "the coming out". God always leads out before He leads in. No greater mistake can a believer make, than to suppose we can understand God's thoughts by our natural mind. We must put out of our life first, the things we know don't please the Lord. Read Is 1:16,17, three times. So today we're starting the "coming out" Book.
Ex 16:1-6 A list of all the families to be brought out. For the believer today, God knows all who are to be saved (Acts 15:16- 18), our names are written in His book of life (Rev 20:15), and we were chosen before the earth was created (Eph 1:4).
Ex 16:7-14 The enemy is the king of Egypt. The enemy of our souls is Satan - and those whom he uses. The trials made them realize they were in an enemy land. So do our trials. This is not the place for us to settle down.
Ex 16:15-22 Murder is in Pharaoh's heart (like Satan - Jn 8:44). So Israel's situation while in Egypt is a picture too of the believer - the sentence of death was on us - but we have been delivered by God. It was God Who saved the boy babies alive, although those He used (midwives) were not what they should be so far as honesty was concerned - 2 Cor 4:7. The person whom the Lord may use is never perfect. Only Christ is.
The Holy Spirit maintains the Glory of Christ collectively... the Lordship of Christ individually.
Ex 2:1 This man shows his obedience to the Word of God as to whom he should marry. Compare Gn 24:3-4 with 2 Cor 6:14,17.
Ex 2:2 Heb 11:23 tells a little more than this verse. God sees into our heart.
Ex 2:3-10 God puts people in places where He wants them. Even a baby cries just at the right moment!
Ex 2:11-14 Moses had a true care for his brethren, the Hebrews, but he acts in a terrible way... he murders the Egyptian. Moses must learn that this will never bring good results.
Ex 2:15-22 God is teaching Moses tenderness of spirit toward those in trouble.
Ex 2:23-25 Their troubles were bringing them closer to God and making them feel their need of Him. The people sighed, cried and groaned; but God heard, remembered, looked and had respect unto them (knew their condition). He always hears when we realize our need.
The Holy Spirit doesn't gather believers around mere views (true though they be) but to CHRIST.
Ex 3:1-6 More private lessons for Moses. The bush is burning, yet it does not burn up... a picture of God's holy judgement yet not destroying.
Ex 3:7-10 God sees! God hears! God cares! God promises! The believer should realize this in his life.
Ex 3:11-12 Moses thinks of his own weakness. God tells him that he cannot do the job, but God can.
Ex 3:16-19 God gives Moses the older, responsible men of Israel to encourage him. They would act together, and the result would be certain deliverance for Israel.
Ex 3:13-15 Wonderful description of God. Read it several times. His grandeur is overwhelming.
Faithfulness in trial and temptation shows the power of the Spirit as much as the energy of action.
Ex 4:1-9 Moses thinks of his own weakness instead of listening to what God has just said (in chapter 3). God in mercy does three things to show His power.
Ex 4:10-17 Instead of trusting the Lord, Moses continues his doubting and now loses part of his place of privilege. God uses two men to do one job. We should never doubt the power of God, nor think too much of ourselves.
Ex 4:24-26 Moses fails to obey and circumcise his boys, apparently because his wife didn't want to. It almost cost Moses his life.
Ex 4:27-31 Notice how quickly Aaron obeys the Lord. Moses does all the miracles again.
Ex 4:31 Wonderful words... they believed...they heard... the last seven verbs give us the final result!
In the Lord's darkest hour... the cross... He does not ask us to pity Him but to be blessed by that hour.
Ex 5:1 Finally Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They quote the Lord's words.
Ex 5:2 Pharaoh uses dangerous language against the Lord. Heb 12:5 is a warning to us not to harden our heart.
Ex 5:6-14 Instead of obeying the Lord, Pharaoh makes the Israelites work harder. Circumstances get steadily worse. Pharaoh (a type of Satan) is a hard taskmaster.
Ex 5:19-23 These officers are acting without God's instruction in going to Pharaoh; they blame Moses (like believers who act without instruction from God's Word. They always cause trouble). Moses loses his confidence in the Lord. There are lessons he has yet to learn.
Our affections are always stirred when occupied with Christ on the cross giving Himself for us... our energy is activated by occupation with a glorified Christ.
Ex 6:1 What a gracious answer the Lord gives! The unbelief of His people does not change His purpose of bringing the Israelites into the land of promise.
Ex 6:2-8 God again gives His plain promise. Are we willing to believe God when He speaks before He acts? That is faith. A new name of God - "Jehovah" - is here given. God's special Name earlier had been the "Almighty God" (verse 3). (In Christianity today, God has fully revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
Ex 6:6-8 Notice seven times the Lord says "I will". In (1) deliverance, (2) liberty, (3) power, (4) intimacy (5) relationship, (6) blessing and (7) inheritance. Can you identify these?
Ex 6:9 Moses spoke a happy, comforting message, but it was not listened to because the people were so upset. How often we miss out because we are not patient and do not believe God!
Ex 6:13, 14-27 Obedience to God's Word is what God insists upon. God knew that the people would be brought out of Egypt, so He gives us those families who would later become special leaders among the Israelites.
There is efficacy in the blood of Christ to wash away even the sin of those who shed His blood.
Ex 7:1-7 God was going to bring Israel out of Egypt "by great judgements" (punishments).
Ex 7:4 If Pharaoh the king acts harshly toward Israel, he would get the same treatment in return (compare Gn 12:3 and Gal 6:7).
Ex 7:3 Some might think that God hardened Pharaoh's heart first, but this is not so. Pharaoh hardened it first (5:2), although God does tell us beforehand that He knew he would refuse to let the Israelites go out of Egypt (3:19).
Ex 7:8-13 People like to see miracles, but their hearts are not changed by such acts of power. It was the same when Jesus was down here - see Jn 2:23-25 and Jn 6:25-29.
Ex 7:14-25 The Lord begins His great punishments over the whole land of Egypt. But men under the power of Satan (verse 22), also do great things, and the king continues not listening to the Lord. Pharaoh was so hard-hearted (verse 23) that he does not even feel disturbed by the troubles of his own people as they search for water to drink. It was the Lord in His mercy Who stopped this first punishment (verse 25).
The cross of Christ is where the will of God crossed the will of man.
Ex 8:1-7 The second punishment; but Satan's men still are at work!
Ex 8:8-15 Only the Lord could stop the trouble. Moses prays for those who were causing the troubles, because Pharaoh had seemed to be bending a little.
Ex 8:6-19 The third punishment. Satan has no power to produce life out of dust. God alone gives life to any creature. Satan always tries to imitate God. Today we hear of miracles being done; let us beware of Satan's imitations.
Ex 8:20-24 The fourth punishment. How gracious of the Lord to spare His people! He made a difference (verses 22-23). Always remember that we are a separated people! There is no such thing as the common brotherhood of man!
Ex 8:25-32 Moses understands this separation and will not agree to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt. The Israelites must be by themselves - no mixing of Egyptians and Israelites. How sad it is to see professing Christian places today inviting anyone off the street to "Worship with us".
God uses no scripture to prove His love to us, apart from pointing to the cross.
Ex 9:1-7 The fifth punishment (or plague). The Lord separates even the animals; but Pharaoh still does not believe and will not listen.
Ex 9:8-12 The sixth punishment. Now beginning to get closer by touching the bodies of the Egyptians including their "miracle men". Still no change in Pharaoh!
Ex 9:13-26 The seventh punishment. With a special warning more personally to Pharaoh. He had his place of authority from God (see Rom 13:1), but he was making much of himself and not obeying God's Word. He owed his very life to God (verses 16-17) but would not admit it. Some of his servants showed that they believed God by their actions (verse 20). If leaders go against God, we cannot follow their example, but act by faith ourselves.
Ex 9:27-35 Pharaoh's first confession of sin, but did he mean it? Moses could see that Pharaoh was not on God's side, but Moses in mercy again prays for those who could not pray for themselves. The Lord is honored, and Pharaoh became more responsible than ever in his foolish actions.
The cross was, first, Redemption... then the death of
Ex 10:1-11 The middle of verse 3 is what many believers today are not willing to do! But it is the only "road" to God's blessing in life - see Jas 4:9-10. Pharaoh's servants reason with him that Egypt was suffering. They did not care about God. Pharaoh was willing to let the men of Israel go so that they would have to come back to their families and homes. Pharaoh didn't want the total separation of God's people. Satan is the same today.
Ex 10:12-15 The eighth punishment. No food left.
Ex 10:16-20 Pharaoh now is in a hurry, and his confession goes further than before. But he is only interested in removing his troubles (see the word "only" twice in verse 17).
Ex 10:21-29 The ninth punishment. A great difference again between the Egyptians and the Israelites. Is there a difference between our home and a worldly one? Moses would not compromise at all (wonderful example for us), and Pharaoh seals his own doom by refusing to submit to God.
At the cross... God was glorified... love was revealed... peace was procured... grace was manifested... atonement was made... sin was abrogated... and Satan was defeated.
This is the Lord's last warning before the final punishment falls. Possibly each of these plagues condemned a different false god of the Egyptians.
Ex 11:7 Tells us again how much the Lord delights in His people and can show His power for them. The door to this grace is just about to be shut forever. On Egypt (a picture of this world) God's punishment was about to fall.
Death is the end of the natural life to sinful man... but it has lost its sting for the believer.
EXODUS 12, Verses 1-20
Moses is very great. Notice what Num 12:3 and 7 say about him.
Ex 12:2 What the Israelites were about to be told was to be the beginning of a whole new way of life for them.
Ex 12:3-5 "A lamb... the lamb... your lamb"; that brings it person-ally to each Israelite - see 1 Pet 1:18-20.
Ex 12:6 They had to be sure the lamb was perfect.
Ex 12:7 They had to "take of the blood" of the killed lamb and put it where God told them.
Ex 12:8 Notice the word "roast". The lamb was never to be roasted ever after, in the keeping of the Passover. It was to be boiled (seethed) in water as 16:23. Roasting exposed the lamb directly to the fire. The Lord Jesus was exposed to the fire of God's judgement on the cross, once. When we remember the Lord Jesus by taking the bread and the wine it is a remembrance of what He did once.
Ex 12:8-11 All were to eat the rest of the lamb, as people all ready to leave Egypt. (Like a believer starting out in his new life).
Ex 12:12-13 The tenth and final judgement, by which the Lord did what He had promised.
Ex 12:14 This special memorial feast was for the Israelites, as the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:23-26) is now for us Christians.
Ex 12:15-20 "Seven days" is a "complete" period, starting immediate-ly after the feast of verse 14! 1 Cor. 5:6-8 gives the meaning of this seven-day feast for Christians. All our Christian life, right from the moment we were saved we are to act sincerely (honestly, uprightly) and according to the truth of God's Word. The leaven (a picture of evil) was to be cleared out of their houses... evil is to be put out of our life.
The cross of Christ surpasses in moral glory all that this universe will ever behold!
EXODUS 12, Verses 21-51
Ex 12:23 Look at the contrast between the first ten words and the last fourteen words. What makes the difference for us who be-lieve? The blood of the Lord Jesus and nothing else (see the middle of the verse). Do your families know this? Does it cause our hearts to worship the Lord?
Ex 12:31 Pharaoh is forced by God to do what he did not want to do.
Ex 12:35 The Israelites asked the Egyptians for silver, gold and clothing.
Ex 12:36 And the Egyptians gave them what they asked for!
Ex 12:42 Probably we could correctly say that this was the greatest night in Israel's history, that night there was darkness and blood. For believers today, we remember the cross of the Lord Jesus when there was darkness for three hours, and then His blood was shed.
Ex 12:46 Last part. They had the whole roasted lamb on the table to eat, but care had to be taken that they didn't break a bone. Now look at Jn 19:36 and 1 Cor 5:7, to see how all was pointing on to the Lord Jesus.
Ex 12:49 One standard was for everybody - what God said! How important is His Word.
My soul is not in a healthy state unless I am waiting for God's Son from heaven.
Ex 13:1-13 Now that they had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, they were God's own people. They were fit to be with Him on this long journey... they were now a holy people. Every first-born male baby must be remembered as belonging to the Lord. (Read verses 2 and 11-13). A lamb had to be sacrificed for that boy.
Ex 13:3-10 This looks on to when they would have arrived in the "land of promise" (Israel). They would have to search their house to make sure there was no leaven in the house for seven days (the perfect number). For us it can mean our whole life should be separated from evil of all kinds and lived for the Lord who is holy.
Ex 13:14-16 Later, when a son would say to his father, "What are you doing this for?" the father would say "Because the Lord did so much for us by redeeming us out of Egypt." They were to remember this. How much more have we to remember what Christ has done for us! We will through eternity (Rev 1:5,9).
Ex 13:17-22 What tender care and protection by God! He kept them from becoming discouraged (verse 17), guided them as their Lead-er, protected them from the heat of the sun, and gave them light and warmth at night (verse 21) and never stopped this care - verse 22! And how much more today, for we have been redeemed by the blood of God's only Son.
Safety... where no foe approaches
Ex 14:1-4 The long journey commences. The Lord told Moses exactly where to go. (That's all we believers need to realize - He guides. But we need to obey).
Ex 14:5 Pharaoh quickly forgets what God had done (see chapter 12, verses 29-3l).
Ex 14:9-14 Outwardly it looked as if everything was against the Israelites. Even they themselves became discouraged and afraid.
Ex 14:15 The Lord said "go forward". (It is only by putting into practice in our lives the truth of God, that the power of God will be seen by us).
Ex 14:19-20 What a tremendous miracle!
Ex 14:24-25 The Lord does what no one else could do, and even the Egyptians knew it.
Ex 14:26-28 But they were too late! Remember Gn 6:3.
Ex 14:29-31 What a difference for Israel - saved by the Lord, their enemies all dead, the Lord Himself their confidence (read Rom 7:24-25, 8:1-4).
Try to understand that the time between chapters 13 and 14 is like a believer today who has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, but does not have assurance that he (she) has been delivered from the power of Satan. But when they saw all the Egyptian army drowned, they knew they were delivered.
The apostasy of Christendom is a greater evidence of the Lord's soon return than Israel's return to the land. This was said before Israel returned!
In chapter 12 they had the blood; in chapter 13:21 and 14:20, they had the pillar; and in our chapter today, they have the song. (All different, but all tokens for us of the one Jesus Who meets all our needs.)
Ex 15:1 Israel's song was based on what Jehovah did in Egypt; (our joy is based upon what Christ has done at Calvary, Rom 5:11).
Ex 15:1-12 The work of the Lord in saving the Israelites leads them to learn more of Himself and praise Him.
Here the Lord has led them out of Egypt, in verse 17 He will lead them "in" to the land, and the necessary guiding in between (verse 13) (Should we be trusting Him? Certainly!)
Ex 15:14-18 Others hear and become afraid.
Ex 15:17 This is to be the center of the whole earth in a future day (see Zech 14:4,16).
Ex 15:22-26 Again things looked bad - only bitter water. The "tree" reminds us of the cross of Christ. When we bring thoughts of the cross into our "bitterness" in life, sweetness results.
Ex 15:27 His grace again - plenty of good water and rest. (Are we learning more of His heart?)
Time is short... darkness deepens and evil increases... but the streaks of morning are lighting up our day. 2 Pet. 1:19... what will it be to see His face!
Ex 16:2-3 Complaining again! Verse 8 shows Who the people were really complaining against. Compare 1 Tim 6:6,8.
Ex 16:4 One of the greatest and longest miracles done by God for the Israelites. Over 1,000 tons of manna must have fallen from the sky each day for forty years. (Jn 6:26-35, 48-58 is the spirit-ual teaching for us today. Christ Himself is not only our Savior but He is to be our daily "food".)
Ex 16:20-27 How slow we are to trust the Lord and leave ourselves in His hands! And how patient He is with us. He does not change His Word when we fail, but makes us feel our unbelief.
Ex 16:35 What faithfulness on God's part! May we trust Him more.
Ministry flows from grace experienced in the heart.
Ex 17:1-3 At the Red Sea, they had been delivered from death through water, now they were being tested by having no water at all! It was water that had delivered them from the enemy's power, here they had to learn the power of water (in God's hands) as applied to them personally.
Ex 17:6 God's mercy and care again.
Ex 17:7 Just like us! After all the Lord had just done for them, here they were doubting the Lord's promises.
Ex 17:8-16 Joshua broke the power of the enemy, but only while Moses' hands were raised up, on the hill. We have spiritual enemies (see Eph 6:12). Our power for victory over these enemies can only come through Christ Who is up in heaven praying for us (see Heb 7:25).
Ex 17:15 "Jehovah-nissi" means "the Lord my banner".
It takes grace to take a low place, and more grace to do it in the right spirit.
Ex 18:1-12 Moses married a Gentile wife, named Zipporah. She is sent away, but now returns. (A picture of us believers. We are the Gentile bride of Christ. During the time Israel goes through the tribulation we believers, the church, are away in heaven. But during the millennium, the church and Israel are going to rejoice together that Christ is the Center of all. It will be a day of unspeakable joy to Him, and every part of His joy will awaken a response in the heart of the "Lamb's wife" (the believers) Rev. 19:6-9.
Ex 18:13-27 This section is a picture of the Lord's reign during the millennium. In Ps 72:2-3 there is a nice statement about this great time. Everything will be perfectly in order. However, we must not overlook the fact that Moses himself made a mistake in listening to Jethro. It sounded like such good advice, but if God had given Moses the job to do, then God would give him the strength for it.
To act in grace is natural to my new life... do I?
Ex 19:1-6 Here comes a great change in their history. God called Moses to come up to Him on a mountain. There He reminded Moses how He had taken care of them. Everything depended on God. Now He is going to put them on testing ground. If they obeyed, they would be blessed.
Ex 19:7-8 "Oh fine" said the people. "We'll obey everything that God tells us". What a mistake!
Ex 19:9 So God gave them the ten commandments!
Ex 19:10-19 This was the way the Lord showed Himself to the people at that time. (Heb 12:18-29 shows us that such is not God's way now! We have to come to Jesus and His precious blood, and we stand on the ground of grace).
Ex 19:20-25 The Lord knew the people far better than Moses did. We must have a holy reverence for God at all times.
As we lay hold of one truth, it flows into the understanding of the next, and so on and on and on.
Ex 20:1-17 The "ten commandments" only condemn every one. They show how sinful we all are by nature. Remember Heb 7:19. These words teach us things which God requires, and only Christ could keep them. Being a perfect Man, He could die for our sins. He has perfectly satisfied God about our sins, so if Christ has been accepted back in heaven (and He has) so will be each believer.
Ex 20:24-26 Don't confuse this altar with the one we're going to be reading about later. This one is made of earth and was temporary.
Obedience doesn't require understanding... only
Various instructions for their behavior as God's people.
Ex 21:1-6 Our Lord Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled this touching story. He loved the "church" and gave Himself for it.
Ex 21:7-11 Now the woman servant. God does not always treat men and women exactly alike. These verses show some differences from the first six verses of our chapter.
Ex 21:12-27 These teachings are God's ways for man to treat his fellow man in ruling or governing. In many places governments are giving up capital punishment for murderers but they are turning from God's Word.
Ex 21:28-36 Some people say that a person is only responsible for his own actions. But here God shows that owners of animals are responsible for the animals; past actions as well as the present.
No separation from the world... no enjoyment of the Person of Christ.
Twenty-one "ifs" in the chapter. The last verse sums up the whole purpose.
Ex 22:1-15 There was to be uprightness in a person's dealings with another. Depending on the value of what was taken or destroyed, the guilty person had to restore not only what he took, but add extra to it. Satan stole honor from God (Gn 3:1-5). Christ has restored this and more by His life and death (Ps 69:4). Satan stole the world from man; Christ has given us heaven! Satan's final payment will come in Rev 20:10.
Ex 22:16-20 Present day loose, immoral ideas are surely condemned by God.
Ex 22:21-27 How careful each should be concerning those who have little in this world. The last three words of this group of verses are so important for believers to remember!
Ex 22:28-31 What kind of people are we to be? (verse 31). In verse 28 "gods" means "judges", and "the rulers" means any "prince" or important leader. These may not always be right, but we are to be very careful how we talk about them, for God hears.
Now we're learning that He has treasures of grace for our needs....in the coming world we'll learn His treasures of glory for our joys.
Further instructions, with much more about speaking.
Ex 23:1-9 How often people spread bad rumors or gossip about another person. Do not "follow the crowd" - verse 2.
Ex 23:4-5 Notice whose animals these are!
Ex 23:10-13 God says everyone needs a rest from work each week. Verse 13, "circumspect" means to be on guard or very careful. Our talk should be of Him and His love.
Ex 23:14-19 Responsibilities to the Lord.
Ex 23:20-33 Wonderful promises! "Beware of Him" in verse 21, means that they were to fear and reverence God. (Are we believers to be any less careful!)
Truth is what God thinks about everything....religions are what man thinks about God and everything.
Ex 24:1-8 Now we come to the time when the covenant (agreement) which we read of in chapter 19, about the "Ten Commandments" will be confirmed between God and the Israelites. This was done with blood.
Heb 8:9 tells us what happened to this promise (covenant) and why there is a "new" one. While we can learn lessons from the "old" one, it no longer is the foundation for blessing from God. God didn't fail, but man is proved to be totally incapable of keeping his side of the agreement (covenant). In Christianity there is no covenant, because we were dead in sins. Now God has come to us in pure grace (Eph. 2:8).
Ex 24:9-11 What an experience for the four men. It was a sight of God's glory, more than seeing the Person of God. Something like what is described in Mt 17:2. Verses such as Jn 1:18, 1 Tim 6:16, Jn 4:24 show us that it is impossible for a man to really see God's Person. In order for man to "see" God in any way, the Son became a Man. But it is only faith which really sees God in Jesus! Jn 14:9.
Ex 24:12-18 All the leaders of Israel had the special honor in verses 9-11. Now Moses is singled out for even greater honor among the leaders. The Lord's purpose is given in verse 12. What He gave Moses during the forty days, is what we have in chapters 25-31. During those days, the leaders waited on the mountain and all the rest of the people waited at the bottom of the mountain. With this chapter, the giving of the ten commandments and special instructions ends.
The grace of God has done a work that brings the sinner (without his sin) into His presence.
EXODUS 25, Verses 1-22
Today we start to read one of the most interesting and instructive subjects of the Old Testament... the TABERNACLE.
In the Garden of Eden, sin entered through disobedience and death by sin. Because of the holiness of God, the man and the woman must be driven out of God's Presence. The first creation was thus ruined and the whole human race has fallen. But locked in the heart of God was a secret... that He would send His beloved Son to this earth to become a Man. Through His life, death, blood and resurrection a NEW CREATION would be made which would never fail. God wanted to give a picture of this... and the TABERNACLE is that picture. Stop and read Heb 8:5 and 9:8,9,11 and 10:1,19,20.
Ex 25:1-7 The people were asked to offer the necessary materials with which to build the tabernacle. "Every man that giveth it willingly with his heart". It needed to come from the heart.
Ex 25:8 This tabernacle was to be a place where God could meet Aaron the High Priest, (who could represent the people). Aaron also represented God to the people. God didn't come out, and the people couldn't go in (Heb 9:8). But now, each believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a priest before God (1 Pet 2:5) and can come right into God's presence (Heb 10:19-22). So that having a man as head of a congregation is really setting aside Christ's work on the cross. It is like going back to the shadows of the Old Testament.
Ex 25:9 Not one detail was left to Moses... his responsibility was merely to carry out what God Himself had shown him as a pattern. Nor does God give you and me any choice as to how He is to be worshipped. All denominations are the result of man setting up his own ideas as to how God is to be worshipped (1 Tim 1:3).
Ex 25:10-22 THE ARK. The last verse shows us the all-importance of this plain wooden box, covered with pure gold. It is a picture of Christ, through Whom all divine truth is given us (Jn 14:6). This ark was made up of three parts. The box which at first, contained only the two stones on which God had written the ten commandments. But completely covering this box was a slab of pure gold, called the mercy-seat. On this was sprinkled blood. What a beautiful picture this is of Christ, the One Who is holy, sinless and undefiled - Heb 7:26, Whose blood has been shed, Who is our "mercy-seat", and the Mediator between God and us (1 Tim 2:5). The third part was the cherubim, heavenly beings, with wings outstretched over the mercy-seat. They picture the power of God to punish any disobedience of the ten commandments. But notice they are still; they just gaze on the blood. For us, the blood of Christ has been shed for the punishment of the sins each believer has committed. Now no judgement can fall on us (Rom 8:1,5:1).
God doesn't expect fruit from man... His grace produces it.
EXODUS 25, Verses 23-40
Ex 25:23-30 THE TABLE. On this, twelve freshly baked loaves of bread were placed each Sabbath. The previous week's bread was then taken off to the courtyard of the tabernacle and Aaron and his two sons, ate them. Christ is the bread which came down from heaven (Jn 6:32,33,35,4l,48,50 and 51).
Ex 25:33-40 THE CANDLESTICK. Made of one piece of pure gold, beaten into the shape, here described. The only source of light in the tabernacle. God is light - the only source of truth is God. The Lord Jesus Christ became a Man so that He could give us that light (Jn 1:1,3,4,8,9, 8:12 e 12:46).
God's grace never justifies a departure from His Word.
EXODUS 26, Verses 1-14
This chapter tells of how the four coverings for the whole tabernacle, were to be made. All illustrate to us a different view of Christ.
Ex 26:1-6 The inside covering went over the 48 standing boards. The only way this magnificent covering could be seen was from the inside, and the priest would have to look up! Each brings to our thoughts the glories of Christ. Blue, the heavenly Man; purple, the royalty of Christ; and scarlet, His earthly glory (still to come). All believers in the Lord Jesus are priests (1 Pet 2:5). This covering is called "the tabernacle" (verse 1). The ten panels were coupled together to make one (Read Jn 1:14).
Ex 26:7-14 The second covering is called "the tent" (verse 14). This can be a picture to us of Christ as the Prophet of God come down to earth (Jn 6:14). Only the piece which hung down over the front door could be seen.
Ex 26:14 Interesting cover next - rams skins dyed red (A) only half a verse, (B) no size given, (C) no strips mentioned, and (D) not seen. The ram was the animal of consecration for the priest (29:15-28). (A) An indescribable picture of the devotion of Christ to God. (B) Who could ever measure what Christ meant in devotion to God! (C) His Person could never be divided, He is God. (D) Only God could see and value the devotion of His well-beloved Son!
Ex 26:14 This top covering protected the whole building. Christ is He Who shuts out all which is offensive in us to a holy God (Rom 5:10).
The believer realizes that God became a Man on purpose to be able to be judged, to suffer and to die for him.
EXODUS 26, Verses 15-37
Ex 26:15-30 FORTY-EIGHT BOARDS. All the same size, all of wood (picture of humanity) all covered with gold (divine righteous-ness). You and I, as human beings in the state in which we were born, could never stand before a holy God. But as each board was covered with gold, so each believer has been made the righteous-ness of God in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). Many boards - one tabernacle. Many members - one body (1 Cor 12:12-14).
Ex 26:31-33 The veil separated the two rooms in the tabernacle - the "holy place", - "the holiest of all" or "the most holy" (verse 33) God's Presence, where the ark was. Through the veil, Aaron, the high priest, only could go, once a year on the day of atone-ment. Read Heb 9:7-14, Matt. 27:51, and finally read Heb 10:19-22 for what this now means to us. You can be sure you shall be richly rewarded if you look up these Scriptures.
Ex 26:36-37 The door of the tabernacle was a door of grace for the priests. No cherubim (judgement).
The gift of knowledge is based on the spirit of obedience.
Ex 27:1-8 We now go out into the courtyard. The first object inside the gate of the court was this altar, made of wood, but covered with brass. It would have been about 7 1/2 feet x 7 1/2 feet x 4 1/2 feet high. The people (about 604,000 men) would bring their animals as a sacrifice to God, to this altar. A picture of the cross of Christ. These people brought an animal, which they killed and burnt on the altar. When we read the early chapters of Leviticus we'll learn of the different sacrifices they brought to this altar.
The altar was made of wood (Christ's humanity) covered with brass (His endurance of the punishment of God for our sins).
Ex 27:9-15 The courtyard was surrounded by a linen fence, made of pure white, 5 cubits (about 7 1/2 feet high). It was 100 cubits (about 150 feet) long and 50 cubits (75 feet) wide. A picture of the purity of the life of Christ. The people camped all around the tabernacle, and could see this curtain of white linen. (When Jesus was here, the people saw a perfect, sinless Man). The people couldn't see over this curtain and no one could come near it. Read end of Num 1:51.
Ex 27:16 A beautiful gate - 20 cubits (30 feet) wide! Plenty of room to enter. The gate had the same colors as the door, and was the same total size, 20 x 5 cubits = 100. The door was 10 x 10 = 100 cubits.
Obedience to the Word is the only protection against every deception of the enemy.
EXODUS 28, Verses 1-21
A very important chapter for us all to try to understand. It can be the beginning of a change in your Christian life. This chapter gives great details about the garments that Aaron the High Priest wore when he went into "the holiest of all", that is, into God's presence. So why does God take 43 verses to tell us about Aaron's clothes? Because He wants us to realize what it all means today. Let's take it one step at a time. Aaron is a picture of Christ as our High Priest now in heaven (Heb 9:25). His work on the cross here on earth is finished. He is perfect and we have as perfect a standing before God as He has! (Heb. 10:14).
BUT we are weak and need another work for us while we are down here on earth. So let's turn to Heb. 8:1, 6; chap. 9:11, 24; 10:21,22 and Rom 5:10. Each tells of a different work He is doing now for us in heaven.
Our feebleness and failures are what shows us His grace in living and praying for us. The High Priest (Christ) goes to God for us, even before we fail! Now let us look at our chap-ter. These garments (there are 7 mentioned - verses 4,36) were always to be worn when Aaron went into God's presence (there was one exception). He represented the people when with God in "the holiest". The 7 garments each represent a picture of what Christ is and is doing for us NOW. He is not complete without us (Eph 1:23); we are not complete without Him (Col 2:10).
Ex 28:1 Aaron and his sons are closely associated... as Christ is with all believers in Him. Aaron was to be a servant (minister) before God.
Ex 28:2 "Glory and beauty", same words describing Christ in Heb. 2:7 (glory and honor).
Ex 28:4 The garments - (1) The breastplate. Described in more detail in verses 15-21. When Aaron entered the "Holy Place", each one of the 12 stones would shine in a different color. He wore it on his breast of love. You and I, individually, are loved each in an individual way by Christ in God's presence. (2) The Ephod. It seems to be a cloth which was bound around the body. (3) The Robe, see verse 32. That verse reminds us of the robe which the Lord wore (Jn 19:23) which can be His indivisible divinity. (4) Coat. Like a tunic, to put over the other articles. (5) Mitre, to cover the forehead it had a pure gold plate (verses 36 to 38). Though we are often impure in our thoughts and deeds, Christ presents us as perfect and holy before God! Are these things touching your heart? (6) Girdle. Like a belt. It bound up the flowing robes, so it suggests active service (Isa 11:5).
Count how many times the word "names" or "name" appears. God looks upon each believer in Christ with the same pleasure and favor as He looks upon Christ Himself.
My responsibilities do not increase by my being at the Lord's table... but there is a keeping power for me if I am at His table.
EXODUS 28, Verses 22-43
Ex 28:22-28 tell us how these pieces were secured to each other! Doesn't that warm your heart to realize this is your position of love (breastplate) and security (shoulder piece) as Christ now girds Himself (girdle) and securely keeps us (chains and rings) in communion with God our loving Father.
Ex 28:30 No description is ever given of the Urim and Thummim. From Num 27:21 we learn that they were used to ask God questions. The words imply "light" and "perfections". In the millennium, Christ Himself shall take their place for Israel.
Ex 28:33-35 Pomegranates of cloth alternated with bells of gold. Aaron wore these as a band on the hem of the robe of the Ephod.
Ex 28:36-39 Described yesterday.
Ex 28:40-43 Aaron is a picture of Christ, Aaron's sons are a picture of all believers individually. We too have garments of "glory and beauty"! Do we live each day as if we had on the "best robe"? (Lk 15:22).
Obedience brings its own reward.
Ex 29:1-8 Though the expression "the priests" included Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, it is worthwhile noticing that Aaron's clothes were more colorful than his sons. Why? Because Aaron is a type of Christ, and his sons a type of the individual believer in Christ.
Ex 29:9-28 Aaron and his sons are consecrated to God as priests. Sometimes the description applies to all three, sometimes only to Aaron. Christ shares some of His glories with us (Jn 17:22) and some are His alone (Jn 17:5). The word consecrated (verse 9) means "to fill the hand" (Verse 24). The priests took parts of the ram into their hands and waved (or offered them up) before God. As priests, you and I do this. We, as it were, lift up Christ to God. This is what worship is. The Father is ever delighted when we realize what Christ has done for Him. So let us "fill the hand" with Christ!
Ex 29:29-30 When Aaron died, all his position and garments passed on to the eldest son.
Ex 29:30-37 Seven days is a type of our whole Christian life. The Lord Jesus is living in heaven as our High Priest. Read Heb 7:25,26. We too should be responding to all His love.
Ex 29:38-46 These were the offerings to be made to God each day. Would you like a lovely verse which applies to you today? Heb 13:15. May it be true of us!
Obedience to His Word answers all questions and difficulties in my life.
EXODUS 30, Verses 1-10
When we finished chapter 27, there were two articles of the tabernacle remaining unmentioned. The golden altar of incense and the brass laver. The previous articles had illustrated how God today can come and meet with us... these remaining articles tell how we can approach God as believers. Chapters 28 and 29 connect the two sections; the priest (Christ) is the go-between (1 Tim. 2:5).
Ex 30:1-10 The golden altar of incense. Quite small...about 18" x 18" x 36" high. You will remember that the brass altar was much larger. Because the brass altar is a picture of the cross of Christ - large enough to save every person in the entire world. But the golden altar is for believers who worship the Lord. Few believers respond! This altar was not for animal sacrifices, but for burn-ing incense (like perfume). Read 1 Pet 2:3-7. How precious! Take a minute to read Rev 8:3-4 for some help in under-standing a meaning of the golden altar. There it is used by the surviving believers during the tribulation, as lifting up, with their prayers, the incense. Notice how high it went! Christ is the sweet incense that we offer to God.
It is of the utmost importance that my inner life be kept up to the level of my outward activity. If not, I'm close to a spiritual fall.
EXODUS 30, Verses 11-38
Every man in the camp of Israel had to bring "ransom" money. No difference between rich and poor men. For today...there is one price to be paid for sin...the blood of Christ. 1 Pet 1:18-19.
Ex 30:17-21 The laver. For the priests to wash at each time they came to do the work in the tabernacle. Notice the warning, twice given, for neglect. Of course we realize that a believer can't lose his salvation, but he can lose the privilege of his priestly work if he is careless in his life. We need clean hands (what we do) and clean feet (where we go). Our life today is so busy with "doing things", that these verses probably are quite a shock to us for they are telling how important worship of God is. In our days, service, (sad to say it) is replacing worship in impor-tance. So read Heb. 8:3 and 4 to help us realize that God is saying something to us.
Ex 30:22-38 The special spices to be used in the offerings to God. Note how carefully they are described as to measurement - some different... some equal quantities. All were only for God. No one was ever to put any of these perfumes on themselves. Notice what would happen should they do so. God is jealous that all glory should go to Christ alone. These spices and sweet perfumes are a picture of what Christ is to God. That's why no human being was to use them.
All power and effective service come from my submission to His Word.
Ex 31:1-11 Special men and women for the special work of building the tabernacle (see Mk 13:23). When the Lord saves you, you are prepared for the work He has for you to do, if you are willing to obey (see 2 Tim 2:21). Notice some nice remarks. The Lord says, concerning these workers, "I have called by name, I have filled him with the spirit of God in wisdom... understanding... knowledge... workmanship (Read 1st Jn 2:20; Eph 1:8; 2 Tim 2:21).
Ex 31:12-18 The importance of the Sabbath. (Read Ex 16:23-26, for the first time it is mentioned in Scripture). It means "rest because of a finished work". Creation tells us this (Gn 2:3). Our chapter, verse 14... the consequence of disobeying. In Christianity we do not keep the Sabbath for it has come to an end (read Rom 10:4). Jesus was dead all day Saturday and was raised from the dead on Sunday morning (the Lord's Day - Jn 20:1). The first day of the week is the believer's day (read Acts 20:7 to see what the believer is to do on that day). There is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).
Perfect obedience was perfect communion for Jesus with His Father... to the degree I'm obedient, to that degree am I in communion with my Father.
In the middle of all this wonderful subject of the building of the tabernacle, suddenly, dreadful trouble enters. When God is working, Satan is sure to stir up opposition.
Ex 32:1-6 Had Aaron obeyed what he had been told in Ex 20:2-5, he wouldn't have been involved in this affair. From Ex 11:2 we learn where the people had gotten the jewelry. God purposed that it should be used to build the tabernacle! And when the golden calf is made, they pretend to worship the Lord. And they rose up to play. How awful!
Ex 32:7-10 Nothing escapes God's eye.
Ex 32:11-14 Moses graciously intercedes for the sinning people. The Lord accepts Moses' words.
Ex 32:15-18 Moses and Josh come down from the mountain with the ten commandments written on two stones.
Ex 32:19-21 Seeing the people mixing entertainment with their reli-gious idolatry, Moses is angry and smashes the stones, thus saving the life of all the people, for surely God's holy command-ments could never have been brought into the camp. For they were already breaking the first two commandments.
Ex 32:22-24 Blaming others and not telling the truth himself.
Ex 32:26 Beautiful contrast. These men were willing to separate themselves from the evil. Are we? It was religious evil, remem-ber.
Ex 32:32 What love Moses has for the people!
Ex 32:34-35 Though the Lord would be gracious, nevertheless punish-ment must fall.
Pride stands in the way of discernment.
Ex 33:1-6 When the Lord sees something in our life, which is not pleasing Him, we must strip ourselves of it if we are to be restored. Only then comes progress in our soul.
Ex 33:7-11 Every man now has to make a personal decision... stay in the camp, or if he wanted to please the Lord, go out to a taber-nacle ("a tent of meeting") set up far from the camp. Now turn to Heb 13:13... instruction for believers today. As Israel's camp was defiled by religious evil, so has Christianity become defiled by man-made religious corruption. We are to go out to Christ, bearing His reproach. If you do this you will learn what reproach means.
Ex 33:12-16 Is this enough for us, too? Or do we need a man to lead us?
Ex 33:17-23 "A place by Me... upon a rock". That was the sweetest, most glorious place Moses could ever have! We Christians share that place of nearness to God, our Father, as we "stand" upon Christ our Rock and enjoy all His protection and thoughts of His glories.
If I fear God, I'm ALWAYS strong, for God is ALWAYS with me.
Ex 34:1-10 What grace on the Lord's part. He tells Moses He will write out the ten commandments a second time. But note that in verses 6 and 7 there is mercy and forgiveness which were not mentioned the first time. What humility on Moses' part! As we read God's Word and learn how good He is, and how failing we believers are, are we affected as in verse 8? Our thoughts must begin with Him, His love, His power.
Ex 34:11 What God would do.
Ex 34:12 What they were to do... separate from the religious prac-tices and thoughts of the people of verse 11. In verse 15, the words "one call thee" means "thou be invited". If others invite us to religious activities which are against the truth of the Word of God, we must refuse. If we do not refuse as parents, look what happens to our children in verse 16.
Ex 34:23-24 Every man was to go to God's center three times a year. If they thus honored the Lord, He promises that they won't suffer any loss when they are away. If we put the Lord first He will keep us.
Ex 34:27 God wants us to learn "the tenor of these words". Look up Neh 8:8 and 2 Cor 3:6. May we gain "the sense" and "spir-it" of God's Word, as well as the words themselves.
Ex 34:29 This had not happened the time before. Does the grace of God make us bright Christians? If not, perhaps we need to spend more time alone with Him - verse 28.
Ex 34:30-35 You might like to read all of 2 Cor 3 to see how God compares today's chapter 34 with what we Chris-tians now have. The Jewish nation has the veil on its face today.
My weakness is that I don't know how to be weak.
Ex 35:1-3 Notice the emphasis on the Sabbath - the day of rest... not even to kindle a fire... a picture of our eternal rest in Christ's finished work. We aren't to try to add anything to His completed work. The fire of judgement fell on Him.
Ex 35:4-19 First the "willing" hearts needed to provide the materi-als (verse 5) - then the "wise" hearts to build the pieces of the tabernacle (verse 10). We need to be willing, God provides the wisdom.
Ex 35:20-35 Firstly, the people willingly brought the materials with which to build the tabernacle.
Ex 35:20-29 When we have learned the forgiveness of our sins and seen a little God's wonderful grace for us, these verses show the kind of response that comes from the heart.
Ex 35:30-35 "to work.... to teach". Are we willing to be taught by those who have learned from God? See 2 Tim 2:1-2.
No new truth can unsettle old truth, mainly because there is no new truth.
Ex 36:1-7 What over-flowing generosity. What wisdom, what ability were combined to complete this magnificent work!
Ex 36:8 Many men and women (verses 25-26 of chapter 35). There is work for all, each in his or her place.
Ex 36:9-19 When the Lord told Moses about the tabernacle, beginning in chapter 25, the ark of His presence was the first thing spoken of. But when the work is begun, the four coverings of the taber-nacle are made first.
Ex 36:20-34 What would you think of these workers if they had set up the boards in several groups? In verse 22 "connected one with the other" to form one tabernacle. Yet there are some Christians today who say that it is alright to have many groups of Chris-tians, separated from each other (see Jn 17:20-21).
Ex 36:35-38 Compare Heb 10:19-22. The veil (or curtain) is a picture of the flesh of Christ. He died, so God can come out, and believers can go in to His presence.
All must be judgment, or all must be grace.
Ex 37:1 "Bezaleel" means "in the shadow of God". The honor and glory were to be God's, not any man's and this should be true in any work for the Lord (Eph 2:10).
Ex 37:1-4 The ark was a plain box of wood, covered with pure gold, about 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, 27 inches high. It con-tained the ten commandments.
Ex 37:6 Its cover was a slab of pure gold. It formed the mercy seat where God could meet with Aaron.
Ex 37:7-9 The cherubim (like heavenly beings) are a picture of those who carried out God's punishment against sin (Gn 3:24). So together, these three suggest to us - the ark = the holiness of God. The cherubim = the power of God to punish sin, but the mercy seat where blood was put once a year = God's mercy in providing the blood of Christ to come between a holy God and sinful people.
Ex 37:10-29 All the following pieces were in the holy place.
Death is the end of natural life to sinful man... Resurrection is the end of death which has no longer anything in us.
Ex 38:1-8 The two pieces which were between the gate of the court and the tabernacle building. All were gold or covered with gold inside the tabernacle, while brass (copper) was used outside in the court. Remember gold is a picture of God's holiness; brass can be a picture of endurance (Christ's).
Ex 38:9-20 The only gate was on the east side. It was not simply white material as the rest of the court hangings, but a beautiful sight! In Jn 10:9, we learn Who the "gate" or "door" is, and how lovely He is in the eyes of one who wants to learn divine truth. The east is toward the sun-rising and Mal 4:2 makes the meaning of this plain to us, too. The tabernacle faced the East. We believers too, face the sun-rise, the unbelievers toward the sunset!
It's not now mercy but grace... the Reformation knew mercy, not grace.
Ex 39:1-7 What amazing ability they had... to make thread out of gold. Remember that this took place over 3,000 years ago. Man has not "evolved" upward. He is a creature from God, and from the beginning had mental and physical abilities equal to (if not better than) men of today. God gave the ability.
Ex 39:8-21 These men could work with these precious gems with ease. Yet today the world's best lapidaries (people who study stones) do not know what all these twelve stones are.
Ex 39:22-26 When Aaron was inside "the Holiest of all" alone with Jehovah, his movements would produce sounds from the bells. Every sound was next to a fruit. In Christ every act was fruitful to God throughout His life. Is the fruit of the Spirit seen in us too? (Gal 5:22-23).
Ex 39:27-31 The words "fine linen" include the meaning of "white-ness". The pure gold engraved with "Holiness", set on blue which was on the white "mitre" or "turban" on the priest's head, would surely be a beautiful sight! This is Christ in His deity, spot-less humanity, eternal Sonship, the Holy One, our Priest.
Ex 39:32-43 Obedience to God's Word always brings blessing.
Truth is never really ours unless the affections are controlled by it.
Ex 40:1-33 Every individual part now is put into place to form the one whole tabernacle. That makes us think of the "one body" in 1 Cor 12:12-31, of which Christ is the Head and all believ-ers are the members of His body.
Ex 40:34-35 Christ as Son is the brightness of God's glory - Heb. 1:3.
Ex 40:36-38 How gracious of Him not only to go with His people but to lead them "throughout all their journeys". Are we as the Lord's people today together depending upon the Lord as our Guide?
Ex 40:34-end God accepts and blesses all the work. It is
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