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Posts Tagged ‘exodus 25’

golden-lampstand.jpg

The third item Moses was instructed to tell the people of God to build that was to be placed in the not-built-yet tabernacle was a golden lampstand.

The lampstand was to have one central shaft with six branches – three on either side.  This was representative of an almond tree.  The purpose of this item was to give light.  There were to be no windows in the tabernacle.  This lamp had great use.

Symbolically, we know that the golden lampstand pointed to the prophets and to the future church.  These were to be the light-givers among God’s people and in the world.

In the book of Revelation, we find Jesus Christ giving a warning to his church in Ephesus saying, “…I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5b)

What were they to repent of?  Why this kind of warning and what did it mean?

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. – Revelation 2:4-5

Despite the fact that many “good works” were being done and much good doctrine was being taught in Ephesus, Jesus tells this church that he was going to remove their light; withdraw His presence and Spirit; snuff out their very existence as a light-bearing influence in the world for one reason and one reason only.  It was this: they had abandoned their first love.  There was NO LOVE!  They had turned aside and loved the world MORE than they loved their Lord who should have been all to them.  Therefore, he tells them to repent.  REPENT, CHURCH!  Those are the words Jesus Christ chooses to say to an erring church who is failing to obey his two primary commands which are to love God and love others.  If they refuse to repent, their lampstand will be removed and there will be no light; no Holy Spirit; no presence of God in their assembly.  I am not sure what is left in a “church” when those things are removed.  External works and religious shows, I suppose.  That is all that’s left in the place of a church who has no love and no light from God.

From this we know that the very Spirit of God will leave a church when that church lacks love and fails to repent.  He will remove their light and close their doors.  This is what God does when His church is consistently unfaithful to Him.

We are called to be salt and light.  Our vine, Christ, is the Light of the world and we are to be his branches shining light into dark places.  When we fail to do that, he removes His light from us.

Little wonder why the instructions for making this golden lampstand were so detailed and why Moses himself was told, “And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40)

See to it that you make this light properly, Moses.  See to it that you love, Church.  See to it that you do these things MY WAY lest your light be taken away, Followers of God.  These are the things God is saying to His people.

If we learn anything from this passage, it is that the things we make and do in God’s house must always, always, ALWAYS be done His way; according to His specifications, His instructions, His will, for His glory.

“Infinite Wisdom never changes its measures…All His ordinances must be administered according to His institutions.” Matthew Henry

See to it, Church.  See to it.

And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40

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ark
In Exodus 25:10-22, the Lord describes how he wants the Ark of the Covenant to be constructed.  What we find is gold, gold, and more gold was to be used to build this “box” or sorts.  Little wonder why God asked the people to offer their gold.

By making the Ark of gold, God was conveying its great importance.  Not only that, but being the very first item built for God’s house spoke volumes on its great importance.

So what exactly was this Ark and why was it so important?

The Ark housed the testimony of God.  This is where the Ten Commandments were to be kept.  There were angels to be carved out on top and in between the angels is where the Lord promised to meet with man.  This in-between place was called the “mercy seat.”

The mercy seat was, “the place at which estranged parties reconciled,” says R.C. Sproul.  It was the place of atonement or covering for sin.  Therefore, because we know that inside this Ark the law was carefully kept, we ought to remember that because we are now all a temple of the living God we must hide God’s Word in our hearts in the innermost places – just like the Ark was kept in the innermost part of the tabernacle – and learn to keep it carefully.

Israel carried the Ark wherever they went.  Likewise, we are to carry God’s Word in our hearts with diligent constance.

Still, when we sin against God’s laws, we have a covering.  Jesus Christ meets us at the mercy seat and atones for our sin.  Now that’s good news!

 

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As the Lord begins to speak to Moses on Mount Sinai, he enters into a very long discourse on exactly how to build a place of worship.  He goes into great detail over a period of forty days and forty nights just instructing Moses on how to instruct His people to erect, furnish, and attend His place of worship.  It begins in Exodus 25 and does not conclude until Moses comes back down the mountain in Exodus chapter 31.  Let’s consider these instructions for God’s holy dwelling place carefully.

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. ~Exodus 25:1-9

The very first thing God tells Moses about his sacred place is that it is to be a place of giving.  Each and every person attending God’s place of worship was to offer a gift.  Each and every person was to contribute.  No one was to come empty handed.  No one was to be excluded from making an offering.  No one was to be kept from giving whatever they had to give.  God gave specific instructions on what to bring.  The idea here is that the people of God were to bring the very best things they had and offer those to the Lord.

Note…to the Lord.  Verse two tells us that the contributions made were “for me” and God was speaking.  The gifts we bring to the house of God are for HIM; to glorify HIM; to honor HIM; to please HIM.

This was the very first instruction God gave in regards to the place of worship where he would be pleased to come and dwell.  This tells us that giving and offering our very best gifts in a place of worship is greatly important to God.

We should never enter or attend a place of worship empty handed.  We are to bring our very best gifts and offer them back to God.  We ought never to forbid others from giving their best gifts to the Lord.  God commands His people first and foremost in a place where he is to come and dwell to contribute.

If we fail to contribute to God’s house due to apathy, complacency, laziness, or greed, we ought to be very ashamed.  If we fail to allow others to contribute due to pride, control, envy, or jealousy, we ought to be very ashamed.  God would not have made this instruction first, foremost, and primary if it was not of great importance.

Let’s do things God’s way, Church.  “Whatsoever is done in God’s service must be done by His direction and not otherwise.” ~Matthew Henry

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