Sunday Service | Mount Zion Church | 3 February 2019 | The Ark of the Testimony | The Presence Series | Exodus 25:10-22
Just after left Egypt, God commanded Moses and all His people to build the tabernacle. It was a huge also very expensive project! However, God already equipped His people with everything needed for it, the materials even the project managers, who are Bezalel and Aholiab Ex.35:30, 34. For less than 1 year, the tabernacle and all its equipment was finished completely according to everything that God already showed to Moses up at the mountain. In the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was raised up Ex.40:17. According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, just so they had done it. And Moses blessed them Ex.39:42-43. The tabernacle has a very important meaning to all believers since it is the pattern of our spiritual life also spiritual growth. More than that, we must aware that the tabernacle was built so God may dwell among His people. By learning the pattern of tabernacle and put it in our journey of faith, we may prepare the best dwelling place for God in our life!
And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it. Exodus 25:8-9 NKJV
BUILDING THE TABERNACLE
The first priority in our life must be building the dwelling place for God! Before Israel arrived at the promised land, first they need to get God’s dwelling place ready. Just after couple months after they did the exodus (approx. in the 3rd month Ex.19:3), God commanded them to prepare the dwelling place for Him. Jesus taught us: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you Mat.6:33. “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord Hag.1:8. At that time all Israelites get themselves occupied with building their own dwelling place and left the temple in ruins, so all of their works was not blessed even they put their wages into a bag with holes Hag.1:3-6! When God already brought us from the darkness into His marvellous light, we MUST NOT let the house kept empty all the time! If the devil finds the house empty, he will go and take with him 7 other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first Mat.12:43-45. Building the tabernacle means building a deeper and stronger relation with God. Christianity is not about ritual only, it’s not about event and celebration only, it is about relation! God commanded us to build a sanctuary, so He can dwell in us!
Building the tabernacle is about a free-will offering! Inviting the presence of God in our life must be happened by our decision that come from our desire, NOT other people! The important thing that we need to aware about the tabernacle is how God commanded His people to bring Him an offering from everyone who gives it WILLINGLY with his heart Ex.25:1-2. Each of believers should give from their life what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver 2Cor.9:7. When the tabernacle was raised up and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle Ex.40:34, all cheerful giver must be very happy and excited, knowing that all of their offering turned into glory! Our devotional time, our ministry, our service, all must be happened by our desire, so we can enjoy it and experience the presence of God. Let’s bring our free-will offering to God and enjoy His presence more!
Building the tabernacle must follow the pattern that God already shown to Moses! According to the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so we shall make it Ex.25:9. All measurements and patterns must follow to the one that Moses already saw on the mountain Heb.8:5. Moses was the only responsible person who went up to the mountain and saw everything from heaven, and God added 2 more persons with divine gifts, so they can understand what Moses was talking about. God filled Bezalel and Aholiab with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship Ex.31:3, also the ability to teach as many Israelites who were going to involve themselves in that project willingly Ex.35:34. Inviting the presence of God will involve the preparation that according to His will and not our own will. We will not be able to receive the new wine in the old wineskin, we must not put a piece from a new garment on an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old Luk.5:36-39. The Pharisees tried to put the tradition of the elders into their teaching and it was displeasing God Mark.7:3-5! As a result, they did not experience the presence of God, their worship became powerless Mat.15:9, their teaching became empty without any authority Mat.7:28-29. The Bible will never out of date, there is no expiry date for the truth from heaven. While some people may say that Bible is too old for now, we must stick with it and follow all pattern and measurements from it!
THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY
The tabernacle was divided into 3 main area: the court, the holy place, and the most holy place. There were 3 doors: the gate of the court, the door of the tabernacle, and the veil. Somehow, the first thing that God explained and commanded to build is the ark of the testimony Ex.25:10-22 which will be placed in the most holy place, very deep inside the tent, where no one will be able to see it except the High Priest who will go in it once in a year Heb.9:6-7. God said that no one can come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for God will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat Lev.16:2. The ark will be where God will meet with the High Priest, and He will speak from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which God will give in commandment to the children of Israel Exo.25:22.
The ark is the symbol of perfection, where all believers must set their eyes here! While in the Old Testament it was impossible to reach it except by reborn again as the descendants of Aaron and have the opportunity being the High Priest, in the New Testament God Himself already opened the way for us! When Jesus gave up His spirit upon the cross, at that moment the earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open, and the most important thing was the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom Mat.27:51, Mar.15:38, Luk.23:45. At that moment, Jesus, being the forerunner, has entered into the Most Holy Place on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek, so we may have the hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure, which enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain Heb.6:19-20.
The ark must be the hope of all believers! This is the true vision for all Christian, this is the highest calling that we must reach, this is where our eyes must be set onto. God want us, as His bride, to be sanctified and cleansed with the washing of water by the word, that we might be presented to Himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that we should be holy and without blemish Eph.5:26-27. Somehow, the devil will always try to blind believers, so they won’t be able to see this glorious calling and keep flying low. We will get what we can see and understand. We are not called to just enjoy the court of the holy temple. We are called to go deeper into the Holy Place, even the Most Holy Place! This is the goal of our spiritual growth Eph.4:13. This is a lifelong learning process where endurance is a must have.
The ark was not made from 100% gold. It was made from acacia wood, just like another equipment in the court and in the holy place. The wood represents the humanity Mat.3:10, where we need to be shaped according to the measurement from God. As the ark was made from the wood, there is a possibility for us to keep growing into the perfection 2Cor.13:11, Mat.5:48! We must let ourselves to be overlaid with pure gold, inside and out. The truth of God is the pure gold Psa.119:127. We must let the Word of God overlaid our humanity, both inside and out, so we can keep growing into perfection.
As this ark opened the way to the land of promises when Joshua led the Israelites, so do the presence of God will lead us to the best way for our future! As this ark bring a divine blessing to the house of Obed-Edom for 3 months, so do the presence of God will definitely bring a huge blessing within our marriage, our family, and whatever we do in God’s will. Let’s look into the ark and anchor our hope there!
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
This is about a calling into perfection. This is about the highest plan to believers. This is about the grand plan from God for His people, so we can live in His presence and experience all of His goodness in our life. Building the tabernacle is about the priority, the free-will offering, and obedience to follow God’s plan.
Insights and impressions:
Do we need breakthrough in our life? Do we need more blessings for our family? Do we need guidance for our future? Why don’t we start to prepare a proper dwelling place for God, so He can speak to us and bring us higher to His divine plan.
Building the tabernacle is about commitment and priority. Let’s rearrange our daily schedule and put God first in every single day. Let’s do it willingly without any compulsion. Let’s start to give the best that we can do for God. Let’s consider which part of our humanity where not being overlaid with the pure gold. If we never think about perfection, we must do it now! Set it as our goal in this short life, so we will be able to push ourselves flying high!Tags: exo25, tabernacle, the ark