|Church School Lesson: Traveling Light|
November 24, 2013
Background: Exodus 35-40; Print: Exodus 40:16-30, 34, 38;
Key Verse: Exodus 40:38; Devotional: Hebrews 9:11-15
Exodus 40:16-30 (NKJV)
16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.
17 And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up.
18 So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars.
19 And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
20 He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark.
21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
22 He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil;
23 and he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
24 He put the lampstand in the tabernacle of meeting, across from the table, on the south side of the tabernacle;
25 and he lit the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
26 He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil;
27 and he burned sweet incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
28 He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle.
29 And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
30 He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing;
34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
38 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Exodus Chapter 40 (Commentary)
God told Moses how to build the tabernacle, and Moses delegated jobs in order to do it. God allows people to participate with him in carrying out his will. Your task is not just to sit and watch God work, but to give your best effort when work needs to be done.
The physical care of the tabernacle required a long list of tasks, and each was important to the work of God's house. This principle is important to remember today when God's house is the church. There are many seemingly unimportant tasks that must be done to keep your church building maintained. Washing dishes, painting walls, or shoveling snow may not seem very spiritual. But they are vital to the ministry of the church and have an important role in our worship of God.
The Glory of the Lord
The tabernacle was God's home on earth. He filled it with his glory -- the overpowering sense of his presence. Almost 500 years later, Solomon built the temple, which replaced the tabernacle as the central place of worship. God also filled the temple with his glory (2Chronicles 5:13,14). But when Israel turned from God, his glory and presence departed from the temple and it was destroyed by invading armies (2Kings 25). The temple was rebuilt in 516 B.C. God's glory returned in even greater splendor nearly five centuries later when Jesus Christ, God's Son, entered it and taught. When Jesus was crucified, God's glory again left the temple. However, God no longer needed a physical building after Jesus rose from the dead. God's temple now is his church, the body of believers.
40:38The Israelites were once Egyptian slaves making bricks without straw. Here they were following the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, carrying the tabernacle they had built for God. Exodus begins in gloom and ends in glory. This parallels our progress through the Christian life. We begin as slaves to sin, are redeemed by God, and end our pilgrimage living with God forever. The lessons the Israelites learned along the way we also need to learn.