Exodus 34:17 - 36:7

Sunday Evening Bible Study

June 15, 1997 

Introduction

Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights, receiving the details of the Law from God, as well the blueprints for the portable worship center, the Tabernacle.

When he was finishing up with God, he came back down the mountain to find the people had backslid into idolatry, and were apparently having some kind of immoral party.

After smoothing things over with God for the people, Moses has gone back up to the mountain where God has been reiterating what He had told Moses earlier.

Exodus 34

:18 feast of unleavened bread

This was the Passover, celebrated in March/April.

:20 thou shalt redeem

The idea was that since the time of the Passover, all the firstborn belonged to God.

God claimed the lives of all the firstborn, and took the lives of the Egyptian firstborn to deliver Israel.

If you wanted to keep your firstborn son (this was not an option), you had to "buy" him back from God.

:21 in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest

earing - plowing time.

God was serious about the people learning to take a day off, even when it was their busiest time of the year.

Employers, don't work your people seven days a week!

:22 feast of weeks

This was Pentecost, which we discussed this morning (Acts 2).

This was prophetically fulfilled when the Holy Spirit fell on the church, and the "first fruits" of the gospel were brought into the kingdom with Peter's preaching.

By the way, Pentecost (First Fruits) would have been around last Tuesday (June 10) this year.

:22 feast of ingathering

Also known as the Feast of Tabernacles (around September/October). Both a celebration of God taking care of the Israelites in the wilderness, as well as a celebration for the harvest being over.

Some conjecture this might be fulfilled with the Rapture, others when Jesus comes again, and the harvest is complete.

:24 I will cast out the nations before thee,

Some pretty good promises God gives when His people show up in church!

Of course this was only for going three times a year! Ha!

Lesson:

Strength and victory comes when we worship together.

Sheep are protected from the wolves as long as they stay close in the flock.

A wolf will attack by driving a single sheep away from the flock, where it can be killed and eaten.

(Heb 10:24-25 KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

:27 Write thou these words

NIV -

Ex 34:27 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel."

It almost sounds as if God dictated the very words to Moses.

What about this book, "The Bible Code"?

Supposedly some men have taken the first five books, in their original consonantal Hebrew form, and searched through them using computers.

They claim to have found ways to "decode" it and have claimed to have found things like Yitzak Rabin's assassination, JFK's assassination, the 1929 stock market collapse, and many other historical things with this code.

Is it possible.

I wouldn't put it past the Lord to do something like that. The Bible is indeed an incredible book.

But I'm not so sure I'd stake my life on this "Bible Code" book.

I'd rather stake my life on what God has spoken to us clearly.

:28 he wrote upon the tables

Apparently God rewrites the tablets (cf. Ex. 34:1)

:29 the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

We talk about pregnant mothers having a "glow" about them.

Moses actually had a "glow" about him when he talked with God.

Cosmetics manufacturers are still trying to copy this!

I still think there's a sense that you can tell if somebody has been spending time with God.

There's a kind of radiance about them!

(Acts 4:13 KJV) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Lesson:

True beauty comes from the Lord.

(1 Pet 3:3-4 NNAS) Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; {4} but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

I don't think it's wrong that women wear makeup.

As I've heard Pastor Chuck say, "If the barn needs paint, paint it!"

But when a man or a woman spends all their time focusing on the outward appearance, whether it be makeup, clothing, jewelry, or dieting and exercise, it's only a shallow beauty.

The real beauty comes from letting God change the inner you.

This is the beauty that's precious in the sight of the Lord.

(Prov 31:30 KJV) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

:33 he put a veil on his face.

When Moses spoke to the people, he had a veil on.

When he spoke to God, he took the veil off.

:35 Moses put the veil upon his face again,

If you're not careful, you might get the impression that Moses is just trying to keep from showing off in front of the people, or perhaps he doesn't want them distracted with his appearance.

But Paul tells us that the real reason for the veil was so that the people wouldn't see that the "glow" faded! (2Cor. 3:13)

For extra credit homework, read 2 Cor 3:7-18, to see how Paul treats this veil on Moses.

Lesson:

Your glow depends on time spent with the Lord.

If you want to have that Holy Spirit glow about you, it only comes from spending time with the Lord.

There's no short cuts.

Exodus 35

:1 These are the words

Moses is now going to re-tell the people what God has said back on Mount Sinai.

:5-9 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart

This giving was for the building of the tabernacle.

It would take a lot of materials to put the whole thing together.

I am surprised that the issue of "giving" comes up as much as it does, but I am often asked about it.

Lesson #1:

Giving comes from a life given to God.

Paul wrote:

(2 Cor 8:1-5 KJV) Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; {2} How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. {3} For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; {4} Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. {5} And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

The poor churches in Macedonia had given a great deal to the poor in Jerusalem.

But they did it after they first gave themselves to God.

Giving should flow from a life given to God, not a sense that I'm "buying my way" closer to God.

Lesson #2:

Giving should come from a willing heart.

Paul wrote:

(2 Cor 9:7 KJV) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

If you can't give to the Lord out of cheerfulness and gratitude, then PLEASE don't give!

Don't give out of guilt, give out of gratitude.

:10 every wise hearted among you shall come, and make

We mentioned before that God had given wisdom and skill to several of the men, and these men would be used to build the tabernacle.

:11 Summarize vss. 11-19

Summarize - Moses lists all the things that are to be built.

:27 the rulers brought onyx stones

You kind of get the idea that all kinds of people pitched in with this project.

The men brought things.

The women brought things.

Even the rulers pitched in (after all, they were probably the wealthiest).

:29 a willing offering

God did not want His tabernacle built with gifts from unwilling, grudging people.

:31 he hath filled him with the spirit of God,

We saw this back in chapter 31, where God told Moses that he had called Bezaleel by name, and had equipped him for this ministry of craftsmanship.

:34 he hath put in his heart that he may teach,

Not only was Bezaleel and Aholiab supposed to be making all this stuff, but they were apparently going to be teaching others how to do it at the same time.

Lesson:

Pass it on.

Sometimes we can kind of get the idea, "If you want something done, you better do it yourself".

We get frustrated that others don't do it quite as well as we do.

But God wants us to go the extra mile and take others along with us as we serve Him.

He wants us to be teaching the next generation, raising up the next set of Sunday School teachers, training the next worship band, equipping the next generation of pastors.

Exodus 36

:2 every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work

Lesson:

Service for the Lord should come from a willing heart.

This was a hard one to learn when I was over the Children's Ministry at Anaheim.

It's very tempting when there are needs to be met, to go out and twist a few arms!

I've heard of churches where they require all the parents of children in the Nursery and Preschool classes, to sign up to help, or else they can't drop off their kids!

That sounds like a good idea! Kind of.

Yet God's standard is that service should come from a heart that WANTS to serve.

And so we follow Jesus' instructions and pray for more laborers:

(Mat 9:36-38 KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. {37} Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; {38} Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

:5 The people bring much more than enough

Lesson:

God-led-giving will be enough for God's work.

This is a hard lesson for the leadership in the church to learn.

The problems that often occur is that the leadership comes up with some incredible plans, but ones that aren't necessarily God's plans.

Then the people are lectured about how they aren't giving enough.

Maybe the work needs to be cut back to the level of giving.

Don't just think that it's only a really spiritual congregation that will be giving like it ought to.

Keep in mind, this is the nation of Israel, those stiff-necked people who had just been worshipping a golden calf a month ago!

:6 the people were restrained from bringing.

How many times have you heard THIS come from a preacher!

This reminds me of a joke

A guy from Tyson Foods arranges to visit the Pope. After receiving the papal blessing he whispers, "Your Eminence, do we have a deal for you. If you change The Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread....' to 'give us this day our daily chicken....' we will donate $500 million dollars to the Church". The Pope responds saying, "That is impossible. The Prayer is the Word of the Lord and it must not be changed". "Well," says the Tyson man, "we are prepared to donate $1billion to the Church if you change the Lord's Prayer from 'give us This day our daily bread....' to 'give us this day our daily chicken...." Again the Pope replies "That is impossible. The Prayer is the Word of the Lord and it must not be changed". Finally, the Tyson guy says, "This is our last offer. We will donate $5 billion to the church if you change the Lord's Prayer from give us this day our daily bread....' to 'give us this day our daily chicken....'" and he leaves. Next day the Pope meets with the College of Cardinals to say that he has good news and bad news. "The good news is that the Church has come into $5 billion". "The bad news is that we are losing The Wonderbread Account".

:8-38 Summarize

It's at this point we have a recounting of the things that are made for the tabernacle.

Since we pretty much went into detail on these things as Moses was receiving the plans from God, we'll skip over them, and you can read them for extra credit homework if you like.

If you've missed earlier parts of our study in Exodus, you might want to get the tapes from Exodus 25-31.

I believe these are kind of foundational studies, as they lay down the framework on which all of our worship and service is built upon.

In it we picked up some principles from the tabernacle design on how God wants to be worshipped.

Concepts of how God is to be approached through sacrifice and cleansing.

The concepts of prayer as sweet incense, fellowship with God, and being lights in a dark world.

We also saw some principles involved in ministry.

We looked at the priests' clothing and ordination.

We saw how we are to be cleansed with blood, and anointed with the Holy Spirit in all we do.

We saw how as priests, we are to learn to carry God's people on our shoulders and our heart as we approach God in prayer.

The rest of this chapter deals with the construction of the tent itself, with it's various curtains, loops, boards, sockets, and veils.

Exodus 37

In this chapter, we see Bezaleel making the items for the inside of the tabernacle:

He makes the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat with it's cherubim, the table of showbread, the golden candlestick, the golden altar of incense, the holy anointing oil, and the incense for the altar.

Exodus 38

In this chapter, Bezaleel makes the items for the courtyard of the Tabernacle.

He makes the bronze altar of burnt offering.

He makes the laver of brass for washing the priests' hands and feet.

:8 the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling,

This is a fascinating little insert into the passage, telling us where they got the brass to make the bronze laver out of.

Remember that the laver was a place for the priests to wash their hands and feet before ministry.

The laver was made out of the "lookingglasses" of the women.

In those days, hand mirrors weren't made out of glass, they were made out of polished metal, such as gold, silver, or brass.

A mirror is an item that we use out of vanity, because we care to make ourselves look good.

These women were willing to give up their thing of vanity, in order to make a place of cleansing.

To put it another way, the place of cleansing was made out of what these gals were willing to lay aside of their own selfish vanity.

From here, Bezaleel makes

The courtyard itself, the linen fence around the Tabernacle.

Then the chapter ends with a summary of all the gold, silver, and brass used in the tabernacle.

Wiersbe: Scholars have estimated that in the construction of the tabernacle, the people used nearly a ton of gold, about three and a quarter tons of silver, and two and a quarter tons of bronze. It was not an inexpensive structure!

Exodus 39

In this chapter, Bezaleel makes the garments for the priests.

The ephod, the breast-plate, the outer robe, caps, and crown.

:33 they brought the tabernacle unto Moses,

When the building is finished, everything is brought to Moses for inspection.

:43 they had done it as the LORD had commanded,

The workers had made everything just right.

 

Next week, we'll see what happens when the tabernacle is set up!