Monday, December 8, 2014

Exodus 25-31; 32–33:6 – Lesson 10-11

These two lessons are combined, because my PC died a couple of weeks ago and I could not get my posts done in time so I am combining these lessons.  To see the specific instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, please see Exodus 25-31.  I am sorry to be so late in getting them done for you.  If it wasn't for my wonderful son getting my PC fixed, I would not be posting at all.  I will probably combine the next two lessons as well.  I hope this has not caused anyone any inconvenience.  Thanks for being patient with me. 

Last time we learned God calls us to apply the principles of His laws to our life.

Exodus 25-31 – Lesson 10

Exodus 25-27 – The Ark of the Covenant

God gave instructions on gifts He was to receive.  The people were to give as their heart prompted them.  He gave specific instructions as to how the Ark of the Covenant was to be made down to the smallest detail.  He gave specific instructions for the furniture within the Holy Place as well as the Tabernacle that was to be built for the ark and everything else was built around the ark.  This was to be the dwelling place for God so he could be among the people.  God said to make the Tabernacle exactly as He had said.

The entire chapter 26 gives instructions for making the Tabernacle.  Chapter 27 concerns the courtyard where the Tabernacle stood.  The Tabernacle had 2 rooms, the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place with a curtain separating the rooms.  This curtain showed that sinful people could not approach God.  In the outside courtyard was the altar of the burnt offerings – a reminder that every approach to God required a blood atonement.  God said to make these exactly as He had said.

The tabernacle furnishings point to the life and work of Jesus Christ:
The table with the bread of the Presence - a description of Jesus Himself as the bread of life.
The golden lampstand – Jesus said He was the light of the world.
Inner curtain or veil – When Jesus died, the veil was torn from top to bottom giving us access to God.
Altar of burnt offering – Jesus was our perfect sacrifice, the lamb without blemish.

Why was it important to make the Tabernacle exactly as God said?  It’s His sanctuary; His dwelling place and it need to be done exactly as He said.

Exodus 28-30 – The Priests

God even gave instruction to the clothing of the priests.  The priests were also to be consecrated.   Moses consecrated and ordained Aaron and his sons as priests.  There was to be an altar of incense and a basin for washing.  Every time to priest entered the Holy Place, they were required to wash their hands and feet.  If they did not, they would die.  They needed to be cleansed from their sins to serve God.  Believers today are to be cleansed from sin.  We need to confess our sins and He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Exodus 31 – The Sabbath

God’s final instructions to Moses were to observe the Sabbath.  Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights upon the mountain.  When he came down, he had God’s instructions and the 10 Commandments written by God on 2 stone tablets.


Exodus 32 – 33:6 - lesson 11

In lesson 10 we learned God chooses and prepares His servants for special service.

Exodus 32:1-6 – Aaron’s Compromise

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain with God and while he was gone the people became impatient and wondered what happen to him.  They went to Aaron and asked him to make them a god who will go before them.  Then Aaron told them to take the gold earrings they were wearing and bring them to him.  He then took the gold and cast an idol in the shape of a calf.  Aaron built an altar in front of the calf and said tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.  The next day they sacrificed burnt offerings on the idol and ate and drank and indulged in revelry. (Exodus 32:1-6).

Moses left Aaron in charge.  He was to shepherd the people in the ways of God, not break His commandments!  What was Aaron thinking?  He gave in to the people instead of standing up to them and guiding them in the right way.  He was a people pleaser.  We sometimes misuse the gifts God has given us by being people pleasers.  We put our desires first and the things of the world before God.  It might be our job or our kids or even our ministry.

How are you being a people pleaser?
Do you misuse the gifts God has given you?

The Israelites needed a god.  They were not focused on the1 true God.  They were ungrateful for what Moses and God had done for them by bring them out of slavery.  They needed a leader so they went to Aaron.  They became impatient and didn’t wait on Moses to return.  The problem probably started with a little grumbling by 1 or 2 people, then grew into a mob.   They need faith to know God was working, but they desired results and settle and compromised.

Aaron did not have boldness to do the right thing.  He compromised.  He didn’t go to God, but made the decision as to what to do himself.  Aaron made this idol for the people.  These are the same people that said they would do everything God said.  They broke the 1st and 2nd commandment.

Principle:  Our Daily choices turn us toward God or away from God.

On what are you making decisions?
Do you ask God to help and guide you in making decisions?

Exodus 32:7-14 – Moses’ Compassion

The Lord told Moses what the people were doing.  God called them “your” people, whom “you” brought up out of Egypt.   He said they had become corrupt and were quick to turn away from His commandments.  He called them stiff-necked people and told Moses to leave Him alone so His anger may not burn against them and destroy them.  God said, “I will make you into a great nation.” – Ex. 32:10.  Moses could have been tempted by what God said, but he did not.  He said to the Lord, “Why should your anger burn against your people, who you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’?  Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.” Ex. 32:11-12.  Then Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and their descendants.  The Lord responded by relenting and did not bring disaster on them.

Moses’ intercession changed God’s mine.  Moses is concerned about God’s reputation and reminds Him of His promises.  God was making a record that sin has consequences.  If we do not recognize our sin, when we don’t know what we are saved from.  The Bible says the wages of sin is death and the price has to be paid.  God never changes, but here He shows us that prayer really does matter.  He’s teaching us to pray. 

Principle:  Intercession based on God’s character is powerful in accomplishing God’s plan.

When you pray are you acknowledging His character?

We are to worry less and pray more.  God wants us to pray.  Moses interceded for the people and God listened and relented.  So prayer does matter!

Exodus 32:15-33:6 – Israel’s Consequences

So Moses went down the mountain with the 2 tablets from God.  “The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.”Ex. 32:16.   There Moses found the people dancing.  He became enraged and threw down the tablets and broke them.  He took the calf burned it, ground it into powder, scattered it on the water and made them drink it.  By breaking the tablets, it showed the people that they had broken God’s laws.  By destroying the calf, it showed that this god had no power.  It could not even save itself from 1 man.

Moses confronted Aaron.  Aaron was left in charge and he was to shepherd the people in Moses absence.  Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” Ex. 32:21.  Aaron made several excuses.  He blamed the people saying they were proned to evil and that he threw their gold jewelry into the fire and a calf came out.  He blamed the people and the fire, but not himself.  The people were out of control.  They were running wild and had become a laughingstock to their enemies.

What excuses do you make for your sin?
Do you blame others or your circumstances?
What idols do you make?
Will you reject whatever you know to be wrong?

Moses called to the people to come to him if they are for the Lord.  All the Levites rallied to him.  Then they were to take their sword and kill those who were against God.  They did as he said and about 3,000 died.  The Levites who were faithful to the Lord were set apart and blessed.  It all started with a little grumbling and ended in 3,000 deaths.  Sin was serious and requires serious consequences.

Moses tired to repair the peoples’ relationship with the Lord.  He went to God and offered his own salvation for the peoples’ sin.  He offered to die as a substitute for the people.  He was motivated by his love for them.  He asked God to spare them and block his name from the His book.  This is not the Lamb’s Book of Life talked about in Revelation.  It is the book of the living.  God said no, but He would still send His angel to go before them, but this time He said He will not go.  When the time comes, he will punish them for their sin. (Ex. 32:33-34)

When the people heard that God would not go with them, they mourned.  In other words, they repented.

Do you mourn because of your sin and your distance from God?

God sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice to die for us.  Sin separates us from God, but through Jesus we can have a relationship with Him.  Jesus is our mediator.  God accepted Jesus sacrifice for us.  Jesus is the only adequate substitute for sinners.

Principle:  God allows sin’s consequences to bring us to repentance and restoration.

How have you allowed Jesus to atone for your sins?
For whom do you intercede? 

He wants us to pray for others, to plead for the lost and intercede for sinners.

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