THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 27-29
BY: Jeremy Witt
As you read these chapters, notice the precision and detail given to it all. The first thing that the Jewish people would see at the tabernacle was this altar. It was here that sacrifices would be made for the forgiveness of their sins. The only way people could come before God was by sacrifice. Chapter 29:10-41 will go into greater details on some of these sacrifices along with passages in Leviticus, but the people understood that a sacrifice was required for the forgiveness of their sins. Hebrews 10:1-18, Jesus is portrayed as the ultimate sacrifice for us. His sacrifice is the only means for us to be forgiven and made right with God.
At the end of chapter 27 in verse 21, we begin to see how the priests would help the people. Chapter 28 tells us about the clothing of the priests while chapter 29 will tell us about how the priests are to be dedicated to God. God is teaching His people how to worship Him but also how His ministers or priests were to oversee the daily operations and how to help the people come to God.
It is easier for us, or at least me, to forget the purpose that God had for Israel to be the priests to the nations. In order for them to do this, God gave specific directions in how to build everything for the tabernacle, what the priests would wear, and how the priests were to act so that they would know not only how to build the Tabernacle, but also how to lead the people to God. Sometimes we need to be told what to do so that we don’t over complicate things. If we fast forward to the New Testament, the Jewish people had done that and created thousands of rules that God did not give them. Sometimes we do that today too, and we need to be careful not to add to or subtract from the Word of God.
Think big picture with me. God created it all and created us. Man messed it up by trying to be in control and to be like God (or be God by knowing good and evil). God took one man and decided to use that man (Abraham) to impact the world. His descendants move around and end in up in Egypt due to a famine. They multiply and become significant enough to get the attention of Pharaoh. Pharaoh enslaves them. They cry out to God for some time. God took what Pharaoh intended for harm and used it to save a people (See the Moses birth story back in chapter 1-2). God does some unthinkable displays of power to shake this world power to its knees, and the people of Israel leave Egypt with gold, silver, and more. Because the people lost sight of God when they sent spies into the land, they wandered in the desert for 40 years. But God never forgot them and still provided for them despite their stubborn unbelief. God had something bigger. The same is true for us. God has something bigger for us if we will choose His way and believe in Him.
Now God is giving them specific instructions on how to worship Him, how the priests are to dress, and how they will serve the people. God set up a system of sacrifices to help atone for the sins of the people and the priests themselves. God is the one who was and is working to bring man back into relationship with Him. We can’t do this on our own. Our only hope is the LORD. May we learn these lessons and apply them to our lives so that we do not do as those before us, but may we use their mistakes to keep us from repeating them today.