This single verse simply reiterates the earlier admonition as to the color of the priestly garments, that they should be blue, purple, and scarlet. This may not seem especially significant until one understands the significance of the colors. Blue usually signifies a connection with heaven. Therefore, the priest should be a citizen of heaven, with a view of heavenly things, hearing from Heaven and the Lord as he performs his duties. Purple is usually regal, or associated with royalty, meaning that the priest represents the King in all that he does in ministry. Finally, scarlet (red) represents the redemptive work wrought through blood. In light of this, the priest is an agent of redemption for those who come to him for ministry.
Today’s pastor could take note of these colors and implement their ideas into his or her ministry. We are Heaven’s messengers, servants of the King, and agents of redemption. What a wonderful Job description! However, it is also a job description for all Christians as we walk in the world today. Serve Him!
This passage shows how the structure of the tabernacle was put together with sockets and pillars and boards. It was an elaborate structure, but still very portable and somewhat easy to assemble or disassemble. An interesting part of the story at the end was the inventory of the tabernacle. The talent in Biblical times was about 75 pounds, so when the story speaks of a talent of gold, it means 75 pounds of gold. With that in mind, the tabernacle consisted of about 2200 lbs. of gold, over 7500 lbs. of silver, and over 5000 lbs. of bronze. The construction, the very sight of the tabernacle, must have been dazzling!
The lesson to learn here is that you can never bless God too much. His house should be the best, with His people willing to give Him their best. Give God your best, because He surely gave and gives you His best!
It is interesting to note that the altar of burnt offering and the laver were made of bronze rather than God. These items did not represent or house the express presence of God. Instead, they were instruments of God or preparatory places in order to go further into the presence of God. The altar of burnt offering allowed sinful men and women to be able to enter into the worship of God, just as the sacrifice of Christ allows us entree into the presence of God today. The laver was a place of washing, representing how the sins of man could be washed away and the Lord’s wrath be assuaged. God gives us the means whereby we can have relationship with Him and be forgiven and cleansed.
Just as the Articles of Furniture were constructed according to the Lord’s specific instructions, so the anointing oil and the incense were compounded by His exact specifications. We do not need to offer strange fire, or incense that is of another composition. Instead, bring God what He commands and He can bless your offering. When we offer God our sinful or disobedient ways, He cannot bless them. When we come before Him covered by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, then God can receive our worship and bless us and use us for His glory!
As the Ark of the Covenant represents the Judge of the Universe and Father of All, and the Table of Showbread represents the Bread of Life, the Lampstand and its oil represents the presence of the Holy Spirit. The branches of the Lampstand often represent the churches of God in other literature. In this case, that is not the intent, but for us today, I believe we can assume that this analogy can apply. The oil was available and present in every branch, just as the Holy Spirit is available to every church today, and should be present in every church as it worships God and operates the ministry of the church.
The Altar of Incense is representative of the constant, penetrating, almost tangible presence of God. When one smelled the incense, it was a reminder that the presence of God was near. When we enter into the house of God today, we should experience the pervading presence of God, convicting and forgiving us of our sin, and healing our diseases and injuries. May the church be the House of God more powerfully today than ever before!
This segment of Scripture recounts the construction of the Ark of the Covenant and the Table for the Showbread. These items are constructed according to the exact standards that the Lord gave Moses. It is certain that they were stunning pieces, worthy of the tabernacle of the Lord, overlaid with gold and a molding all around. All the utensils were made of gold, too.
Two things stand out in this passage. The artisans followed God’s instructions to the letter, and that is the best way to fulfill God’s plans. God knows every circumstance and every turn in the road. We can trust Him. Secondly, only the best was used in the construction of God’s tabernacle and its furnishings. When we offer God our best, we honor Him for the God that He is. God deserves the very best we have to offer in all things. Give God your best, and He will make it even more wonderful than it was when you offered it to Him!
When Moses commissioned the artisans to catalog the items donated and begin building the tabernacle, they told Moses that the people had brought more than was needed to do the work. They had to be stopped from bringing offerings, for they did not have room for it all. They gave too much!
Once the items were donated, the artisans began the work according to all the specifications that the Lord had given Moses. This passage takes the reader through the construction process all the way through the building of the structure itself.
This part of the tabernacle story is a wonderful example of how God’s work gets done. When God’s people respond to the call of God, whether to work or to give, then God’s work gets done. When God’s people do not respond, or when they disobey God, then God’s work is stalled or derailed. While God can do all things, and can go beyond what any man can do, He chooses to work through men in order to get His work done. Therefore, when God calls on you to do something, understand that His plan includes you and you may very well be the key to seeing His plan unfold!