Posts Tagged ‘Exodus 25’

The ancient religious artifacts of the Old Testament are actually object lessons for us, today.

The Tabernacle with its three sections is symbolic of the human body, soul, and spirit. The Ark of the Covenant symbolical of the believer’s “heart” — covered with Christ, sheltered under angelic protection, the place where we hear God’s voice.

The items inside the Ark of the Covenant are symbolical, too. A copy of the ten commandments was put there representing the law of God written in our hearts.

There was a second item inside the Ark of the Covenant – Aaron’s rod.

There’s a little history behind this artifact. Moses’ and Aaron’s authority was challenged so all the tribal leaders were commanded to put their walking sticks in God’s tent. God promised to reveal his choice. The very next day Aaron’s rod had not only grown leaves and flowers but yielded ripe almonds.

With the placement of Aaron’s rod inside the Ark of the Covenant Israel was reminded of God’s choice for High Priest and we are reminded of his chosen priesthood is inside of us. Like the ancient priests

  • We are not just tolerated but chosen;
  • God is our inheritance
  • God’s kingdom is our home
  • worship is our job.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” — 1st Peter 2:9

We do this, not by all becoming a pastor (though some may serve that way), but by serving Jesus in everything we do.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men — Colossians 3:23

— fritz

1 – Hebrews 9:4, Exodus 25:10-20, Numbers 17:10

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The Bible goes into great detail on the ancient religious artifacts of the early Israelites. Why? The Apostle Paul says these were written,

“…for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1st Corinthian 10:11)

Earlier posts have noted the Tabernacle is actually a symbolical representation of the present day follower of Christ and the Ark of the Covenant symbolical of the believer’s heart; not the blood pump but the core being.

There’s more to notice. What was placed inside that Ark represents what God puts into us when he comes to live.

God predicted a future new covenant — different from the old in one primary way, God’s law would be in the heart!

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people … they shall all know me” (Jeremiah 31:33)

The Commandments Moses received on God’s mountain, placed inside the Ark of the Covenant symbolises that coming change.

No longer do God’s renewed people require coercion, threats, and guilt to behave — they willingly follow and delight to obey. Holiness now starts on the inside and works its way out. God gives us the desire and ability to counteract our natural pull toward selfishness.

People can change! In Christ we get a renewed, clean, forgiven conscience and told to follow it.

When Christ touches a human heart it changes from a stubborn foe to a helpful friend!

— fritz
1 – Hebrews 9:4, Exodus 25:10-20, Numbers 17:10

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Ancient religious relics so long ago — why do we need to know how they were made, where they were placed, how they were used? Because they weren’t just for an ancient people but for today. They were recorded, Paul says,

“…for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1st Corinthian 10:11)

The Old Testament Tabernacle, relates to the body of a believer in Christ.1 The Ark of the Covenant, the believer’s heart — not the blood pump but the core of being!

Notice the Ark’s composition — Wood overlayed with pure gold.2
Wood speaks of humanity, gold speaks of deity.

When we give ourselves to Christ he come into our very being and covers us with himself. We are said to have “put on Christ”.3 Our frail humanity is overlayed with Christ.

Over our renewed self God places his angels to cover us with wings of protection.4 It is there, at the core of our being covered by Christ, God himself speaks5.

How do we know these things? When Christ died the temple veil preventing access to the Holy-of-Hollies was torn open — God did it (from above, top to bottom)6 He invites us to enter and fellowship with him, to see what he has done.

The invitation stands

[N]either knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:27b-28

— fritz

1 – See Ancient Object Lessons – Part One (February 11, 2012)
2 – Exodus 25:10-11
3 – Galatians 3:27
4 – Exodus 25:18-20, Psalm 91:4
5 – Exodus 25:22, Romans 8:16
6 – Matthew 27:51

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“[M]ake me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, … make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” – Exodus 25:8-9, 40

God reveals himself throughout history — some even call “History”, “His-Story”. When God revealed himself to Israel he commanded a tabernacle be built from a pattern, or template, which Moses saw when he met with God. The instructions were very detailed.

Why would God do that unless he desires we see the “pattern” and understand the reality it represents? Hebrews, in the Bible, picks up on this, calling them “Shadows” of the reality (Hebrews 8:5) — the tabernacle, the laws, the dishes, the colors, all patterns.

I remember my mother making my clothes and her own dresses when I was little; she had shelves full of patterns — she kept them and re-used them. She would change some of the minor details but following the pattern made sure it fit right. There’s a way God does things and it’s not quite so arbitrary when we let the pattern point to what God reality had in mind. Example: Paul writes about paying teaching elders a living wage saying:

“For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” — 1st Corinthians 9:8-10

In the bible there is an event where the risen Jesus walked and talked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27), pointing to himself in all the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi.

Read the Old Testament asking him to “walk” that same walk with you.

— See Also “2 Birds, 1 Stick, Red Thread, and a Branch” – February 25, 2011

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