Since my PC has been down and I have not been able to post weekly, I am trying to catch up so I am combining lesson 12 and 13. Then I should be on track for the next lesson. However lesson 14 will not be posted until after the first of the year. BSF takes a Christmas break and we will not return to class until January 2015. So enjoy your Christmas and have a blessed holiday.
Exodus 33:7-34:1-35 – Lesson 12
Exodus 33:7-17 – God’s Presence
In the last lesson we learned that God was not willing to live among the Israelites since they had disobeyed and worshiped the golden calf. They had lost that privilege. Moses set up a temporary tent until a more permanent one could be built. This Tent of Meeting was outside the camp where he could go and worship God. The people stood at their tents and paid attention and watched Moses when he went into the tent. Each time Moses went into the tent the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance. When they saw this, they bowed down and worship. This showed the people were sorry for their disobedience of worshiping the golden calf and they repented.
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” – Ex. 33:11. God spoke directly to Moses probably not actually face to face, because the Bible says that no one can see God’s face and live (Ex. 33:20). It was more mouth to mouth, maybe feeling His presence and even seeing the form of the Lord. Moses made an appointment with God regularly. God wanted a relationship with Him as He does with us. He wants us to make an appointment with Him and keep it. You make hair appointments and you wouldn’t dare miss them, would you? So don’t miss your appointments with God. Set aside a time and a place and keep your appointment.
Moses yearned to know more of who God was. He asked God to teach him God’s ways so he could please God (Ex. 33:13). Moses said if He would go with them everyone would know that He was pleased with Moses and the Israelites. Moses wanted him and the people to be distinguished from other peoples of the earth (Ex. 33:16). Then the Lord said He would do all the Moses asked.
Do you know God? To know God we must listen to Him, study our Bible, and stay on our knees in prayer.
Will you commit to spend with time with God daily? Pray out loud and hear yourself worship Him.
Will you ask God to partner with you?
Does your character distinguish you from those who do not know God?
Principle: A believer’s greatest need is the awareness and leading of God’s presence.
Exodus 33:18-34:28 – God’s Glory
Moses got what he asked for and now he’s wanting more. He said show me your glory. The more you know about God the more you want to know. God gives Moses something better. The Lord then revealed Himself to Moses. He showed Moses His goodness by passing by him and protecting Moses by hiding him in the cleft of a rock as He passed by.
Then the Lord told Moses to chisel out 2 stone tables like the first ones and write on them the same words. God then revealed His attributes to Moses, “The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” – Ex. 34:6-7.
What does it mean to punish children to the third and fourth generation? It means that there are consequences to general sin. An example of this is when a parent is arrested for murder or theft and serves time in prison. Their children suffer. They are deprived of their fathers love and companionship.
Moses bowed down and worshiped God and asked forgiveness for him and the people and to take them as His inheritance. Then God renewed His covenant with the people. This reminded them of their faith and renewed their confidence for now God would be with them again. This covenant is known as the Ten Commandments.
Principle: God reveals His character and glory through His Word.
Exodus 34:29-35 – God’s Radiance
Moses was there on the mountain for 40 days and nights writing all the things the Lord had told him. When he came down from the mountain with the tablets, his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. Some of God’s radiance was passed onto him. The people were afraid when they saw him. Then he called to them and gave them the commands of the Lord.
They had a glimpse of God’s power. The golden calf did not show any change, but God’s power showed on Moses face.
Principle: God’s glory is reflected in believers who seek His presence.
Do others see God’s character in you?
This lesson teaches us about God’s character. He is loving and merciful. He is a forgiving God and is always ready to forgive when we ask Him. He wants to reveal Himself to us. He wants us to see His glory.
Exodus 35-40 – Lesson 13
Exodus 35-40:16 – God’s Instructions
Moses received instruction for the work of the tabernacle. The first command of God given before the people began their work was to work 6 days and rest on the 7th, the Sabbath. God wanted the people to set aside a day to worship Him. He wants us to worship Him, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week and in everything we do.
The people supplied all the materials needed for the tabernacle. God said if they were willing to bring offerings of gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet yarn and fine line, etc. (Ex. 35:4-9). They had so much offered that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing anymore. (Ex. 36:5-7). They gave joyfully and out of gratitude. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Cor. 9:7
Are you a cheerful giver?
Principle: God’s forgiveness changes duty into joyful obedience.
The Lord chose Bezalel and Oholiab and filled them with His Spirit and with skills, abilities, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts. He also filled Oholiab with the ability to teach others. The Lord also filled others who were willing with skills. Every person had a part to play in building the tabernacle.
This is a good lesson for us. God gives each one of us skills and abilities and He wants us to not waste them, but use them. When He calls, He also equips. God uses all kinds of people to do His work. If you think you are not sure just what your abilities are, ask God to show them to you. Then ask Him to show you how to put them to work for Him.
How do you use the skills and talents God has given you?
God repeats the details from Exodus 25-31. He does this to show the importance of the tabernacle. The tabernacle is the picture of Jesus’ work to come. He repeats the phrase “as the Lord commanded”. This phrase is repeated 8 times in these verses. The people had been ungrateful and disobedient by making the golden calf, but now their hearts were willing and they did what the Lord commanded and so Moses blessed them. Blessing always follows obedience.
In what ways do you do as the Lord commands?
Exodus 40:17-33 – Moses’ Inspection
Moses inspected the work and blessed the people, because they did just as the Lord commanded. It must be done His way to receive a blessing. It had to be done exactly His way for Him to dwell with them. They didn’t understand it, but Heb 8:5 says - “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle; ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’”.
They were set it up on the first day of the first month in the second year. This was the anniversary of the Passover, when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. God told Moses to set up the Ark of Testimony first. This was where God would dwell. God was fulfilling His plan. This is a picture of God’s design for salvation. We don’t get that from Exodus, but from Heb. 8-10.
What do you need to change to do just as God commands?
Principle: God’s biggest work is done in the hearts of people.
He wants to dwell in your heart. You are His tabernacle.
Exodus 40:34-38 – God’s Dwelling
When the tabernacle was fully assembled, the cloud covered it and was filled with the glory of the Lord. Moses could not enter the tabernacle, because God was so majestic and powerful that no man could enter. God kept His promise. He promised He would dwell among them and He did just that. Pentecost is equivalent of this event. There at Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled the early Christians. The Holy Spirit fills Christians today. “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your fins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38.
Has God given you the Holy Spirit?
We don’t have the cloud of glory, but we have something better. We have the Holy Spirit. God gives His Holy Spirit to each one who is His child through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God. He indwells in us. He guides and protects us. He is God’s voice. He gives us wisdom and understanding. He is God’s gracious gift to us.
The Lord promised to guide and protect them and He did just that. When the cloud was lifted the people could travel and when it did not lift they did not move. “So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their t ravels.” Ex. 40:38. The cloud protected them from the harsh desert conditions. It protected them for their enemies by shielding them as they traveled. We need to Holy Spirit for our protection.
The tabernacle points to the work of Jesus. Jesus is our Moses, our salvation. Jesus is our mediator before the Father. Jesus is the lamb that was sacrificed for our sins. Jesus is our way out of Egypt. Jesus is our bread in the wilderness. Jesus is the light on the lampstand bringing light to a dark world. Jesus is the basin of our cleansing that cleanses us from our sins. Jesus is our great High Priest interceding for us to the Father. Jesus is the blood on the mercy seat, the atonement that reconciles us to God.
God entered the finished work of the tabernacle. When God sees the work of Jesus, His presence enters us through the Holy Spirit. We are His tabernacle, the place when God is dwelling.
Principle: The Holy Spirit lives in us and glorifies God through us.
What changes do you need to make to prepare your tabernacle?
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