Monday, November 18, 2013

On 11-24-13, Exodus 40:16-30, 34, 38 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Beginning of the Tabernacle

Beginning of the Tabernacle
Exodus 40:16-30, 34, 38
International Sunday School Lesson
November 24, 2013

Jed Greenough

Moses did a really great job!  He “did everything just as the Lord commanded him.” Exodus 40:16 
I have many different favorite sayings, but one of those is, “words mean things.”  Specific things, you can’t just change the meaning of words or we couldn’t communicate if the meanings were constantly changing and God was very specific.
If we go back in Exodus to chapter 25 we can see the specifics for the ark, the table and the lampstand.  In chapter 26 the entire chapter shows the specifics for the tabernacle itself.  In 27 the altar of burnt offering, the courtyard and even the oil for the lampstand are described.  Chapter 28 shows the attire for the priests.  The book continues on and the details aren’t spared but just imagine the stress of missing just one of these tiny details as he replayed in his mind these words from God, “See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40 But Moses, as I said, did a really great job and got it right.
Go back and look at all these details and then close your eyes and visualize what it would have looked like for it is according to Hebrews 7: a copy or shadow of what is actually in heaven.  I think that is really cool.
When you read that after this was accomplished the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle I think that we should be impressed with the grace of God to do so, His desire to do so.  I don’t know why but I think it especially so when I consider what the real deal is like. 
This version was done with the best efforts and the best material and the best intentions but it was all done by men.  As great as it was I don’t believe a model can measure up to God on His throne, to cherubim and seraphs.  To the sounds and sights that we get an insight into when we read the visions given to those such as Isaiah and John.  Read Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4.
But this tabernacle and the temples that followed were all just temporary structures and the priests and sacrifices that fulfilled their duties just temporary as well with all pointing to the necessity for Christ. 
That statement in and of itself is an oversimplification but in this format and probably in your class it is what will have to suffice for those who will only scratch the surface by reading the few verses for today. 
For the rest, the experienced and the passionate, they will go back and read all those details for the tabernacle.  They will go forward and read of thousands of sacrifices such as 1 Chronicles 29 and of temples that replaced this structure.  They will read Hebrews chapters 1-10 that best ties the tabernacle, temples, sacrifices and Christ together.
This history is important to help us see how the Bible is the word of God, how all along God had a plan and how patient He has been to bring it all together.  It might help the skeptical willing to put in the time to see this big picture and it certainly is thrilling for those who are growing in their faith.  For the ones we want to turn and take Jesus as their Lord maybe not so much yet.
For them I think that it is sufficient to know at first that God wants them to have a means of conquering death that God did that by sending His son and how important the lessons in December are despite the business of the season as we begin our studies in Luke.  Encourage them to keep coming.
Hopefully they will see that this God who was so graceful in today’s lesson as to grace a man-made structure with His glory will show the penultimate measure of grace by providing us a means of salvation through His son.  Join me next week in Luke.

For Discussion:
1.       Go back and read the scriptures in bold.
2.       Discuss why you think it was important to God that Moses do everything just so.
3.       Discuss the materials used versus what we read about in the visions of the throne room found in the Bible.
4.       Discuss the events of Moses life up to and including now in a general sense.
5.       Discuss the glory of the Lord.
6.       Discuss upcoming lessons and encourage attendance all through December
7.       Invite someone to Sunday school!

Upcoming Lessons

12-1-13     The Angel Foretells Jesus’ Birth Luke 1:26-40
12-8-13     Mary Sings Her Praise or Mary’s Song of Praise Luke 1:46-56
12-15-13    Zacharias Prophesies About His Son, John Luke 1:57, 58, 67-79
12-22-13    Jesus is Born Luke 2:1-17

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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