Exodus 23-25

Sunday Evening Bible Study

April 27, 1997

Introduction

After four hundred years, the descendants of Israel have been in brought out of the bondage in Egypt.

Now the process begins of bringing the nation into the Promised Land.

The journey in the wilderness begins.

It also includes a people coming to know what God's standards are like.

And so we have the giving of the Law.

Exodus 23

:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report

NIV - "Do not spread false reports"

:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil

Lesson:

Don't use the cliff jumping idea!

Parents - you've been looking for this verse!

When your child says to you, "But everyone else does it", fight the urge and don't respond with "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?"

Instead, use this verse!

Avoiding the "crowd mentality" - if everyone else is doing wrong, that's no excuse for you to do it.

Such a common excuse for things like premarital sex, living together, doing drugs, etc. - "everyone else is doing it".

Chuck Smith's mom: "Any old dead fish can float down stream, it takes a live one to swim against the current."

:3 countenance a poor man

Showing favoritism to a poor man, just because he's poor.

We think that favoritism against rich people is wrong, but favoritism to pervert justice in any case is wrong.

:4 thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray,

We're to do what's right, whether we like the person or not.

If their ox is lost, return it.

If their donkey has fallen under a load, help it out.

:7 the innocent and righteous slay thou not

Don't be putting innocent people to death.

:8 thou shalt take no gift

The idea is a "bribe".

Lesson:

Beware of strings attached to gifts.

When people give you things, if you're not careful, they can tend to want you to be obligated to them.

This is where the idea of people paying large sums to political parties, and then getting to sleep overnight at the White House comes in.

This is one reason why I don't like to know who gives how much in the church.

I've heard of too many pastors being extra special nice to those who give large amounts, instead of being impartial and treating everybody the same.

:11 the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still;

The sabbath year - letting the field rest.

Agriculture today - importance of rotating crops, not depleting the soil.

One of the reasons for Israel's captivity, to allow the land to rest for it's missed sabbath's. (Lev.26:34-35)

They were in the land for 490 years, missing 70 sabbaths, and so were in captivity for 70 years.

Reason for sabbath year - to feed the needy.

Israel's "welfare" system was a "work-fare" system. The poor were supposed to be able to glean in these fallow fields and harvest what was left. They had to work for their food.

:15 the feast of unleavened bread

A feast that was tied to the Passover.

Occurred Nisan (Abib) 14-21, roughly our March-April.

For us this year, Passover started last Monday evening, we're still in the feast of Unleavened Bread.

:16 the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of they labours

They were to celebrate at the beginning of the harvest.

Also called Feast of First Fruits, and also Pentecost, because it took place roughly 50 days (pente) after Passover. Also called the Feast of Weeks, taking place a week of weeks plus a day (7x7+1).

Sivan 6th, in our May-June

:16 the feast of ingathering

Also called the feast of Tabernacles or Booths.

Also used to celebrate the fact that the people lived in tents (tabernacles) in the wilderness.

Took place 15-22 of Tishri, our September-October.

:17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD

These were three special feasts where all Jewish males were to come and worship God.

There was something built in here I believe.

God wanted the people to get to know the ideas behind these feasts.

And they contained a prophetic nature as well.

Paul wrote,

COL 2:16-17 Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- 17 things which are a {mere} shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

These feasts foreshadowed future events -

The Passover told of Jesus dying as the Lamb of God.

Pentecost was a picture of the first fruits of the gospel, the birth of the church.

Tabernacles foreshadows a day yet in the future, when we will live and reign with Christ for 1,000 years.

:18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread;

The sacrifices were to be very specific, following God's instructions.

They were to teach us principles in worship.

Lesson:

Don't mix worship with sin.

Leaven is always a picture of sin in Scripture.

Could cover several things:

The guy that goes to church solely for the purpose of seeing some girl that makes his heart beat a little stronger.

The worship leader that is up on stage to get attention or admiration.

The guitar player that plays that extra hard lick so some girl will think he's a hot musician.

:18 neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning

Here, the idea is:

Don't be slow about your worship and offerings to God.

Don't keep putting off God.

Give Him the worship that's due Him.

I've heard people express that if they're in a bad mood, they won't come to church, because they don't want to be a hypocrite.

God would say to us, "Get over your attitude and give me worship!"

Don't wait until your heart is right, you may never get to church.

:19 seethe a kid in his mother's milk

Donít boil a baby goat in it's own mother's milk.

Some say this is the reason behind the Jewish law against mixing diary and meat products.

You won't find cheeseburgers in a good Jewish delicatessen.

:20 I send an Angel before thee

I believe this is Jesus Himself.

:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice,

From here, we see the blessings of obedience.

1. God will fight for them. (vs.22)

2. Physical blessings - bread, water, no sickness, healthy pregnancies.

3. God will drive the enemies out, with hornets (those small cars built by AMC???).

4. God will fix their boundaries. Egypt to Euphrates. Red Sea and Mediterranean (Philistine).

:29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year;

God wasn't going to give them an overnight victory over their enemies, because they wouldn't be able to take care of all the land all at once.

Lesson:

Victory doesn't always come overnight.

Sometimes that's a real blessing, because we couldn't handle all the pressure at once.

:33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me:

Lesson:

Don't be unequally yoked.

Here we see what happens when we get too close to unbelievers, the idea of being "unequally yoked".

It's not the unbelievers who usually change.

It's usually the believers who backslide.

Household Principles - Lamentations of a mother from the book DeuteroMOMy

On Screaming

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to you nose. For even not I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

Exodus 24

:1 Come up unto the LORD

God and the people are going to set up a "covenant", a "treaty" between God and the nation of Israel.

:4 Moses wrote all the words of the LORD,

He takes the time to write down everything we've read from Exodus 20-23.

:7 All that the LORD hath said will we do,

The people promise that they're going to obey God's laws.

Yeah, right.

:8 Behold the blood of the covenant,

According to ancient traditions, treaties like this had to have the shedding of blood involved.

The writer to Hebrews tells us that this was the ratifying of the agreement between God and Israel:

(Heb 9:18-20 KJV) Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. {19} For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, {20} Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

In contrast, we are now under a new "covenant" or "new testament".

It too was ratified by the shedding and sprinkling of blood (Jesus' own blood):

(Mat 26:28 KJV) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

:10 they saw the God of Israel:

They didn't actually see Him up close and personal, but only seeing His glory from a distance.

Later on, God will tell Moses:

(Exo 33:20 KJV) And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

:10 under his feet Ö

(Exo 24:10 NIV) and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.

:11 they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Instead of seeing God and dying, they were able to see God, live, and eat and drink in God's presence, because of the blood on the altar that Moses had already sprinkled.

It was kind of like a grand state dinner with the Ambassadors of Israel dining with the King of the Universe.

:12 Come up to me

Moses is going to get a little closer to God, to get a little more further instructions.

:14 Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.

Moses is going to leave the people with Aaron and Hur in charge.

Oops.

:18 Moses went into the midst of the cloud,

What courage.

Would you have gone?

:18 forty days and forty nights

Moses is going to spend all this time with God, receiving all the things written down from chapters 25-31.

Exodus 25

:1-9 The offering

:2 of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart

Lesson:

Give God's way.

This is God's desire about giving, that we would learn to give willingly, not grudgingly, and that it would come from our heart, that it would be done in love.

Paul said it this way:

(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.

Nobody should be twisting your arm to give, that is, nobody except God.

Illustration

A man called at the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, "Who?"

The man replied, "I want to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough!"

Sure now that she had heard correctly, the secretary said, "Sir, if you mean our pastor, you will have to treat him with more respect--and ask for 'The Reverend' or 'The Pastor.' But certainly you cannot refer to him as the Head Hog at the Trough!"

At this, the man came back, "Oh, I see. Well, I have ten thousand dollars I was thinking about donating to the Building Fund."

Secretary: "Hold the line--I think the Big Pig just walked in the door."

Sorry, it had nothing to do with the point, but it sure was funny!

:3 this is the offering

God is now going to give a "materials list", a list of things needed to build the tabernacle.

I don't think it's wrong to let people know what the needs are.

:8 let them make me a sanctuary

Moses is going to be overseeing the construction of a portable "worship center" where God will be meeting with His people.

This whole project is what we call the "tabernacle", meaning, "the tent".

:9 after the pattern Ö

God is going to give Moses a glimpse of something special while on the mountain, and Moses is going to be asked to make a copy of it in the building of the tabernacle.

Moses was going to build a model of heaven.

(Heb 8:5 KJV) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.

:10-22 The Ark of the Covenant

:10 an ark of shittim wood

Here's the very center piece of the tabernacle.

An "ark" is just another fancy name for a box, a box made out of "acacia" wood, and covered with gold.

It was a box that would be built to contain the two stone tablets that God was going to write the ten commandments upon with His finger.

It would be placed in the inner room of the tabernacle, the second room, known as the "holy of holies". It was the only thing in the inner room.

:10 cubits

A cubit was roughly 1 1/2 feet, the distance from your elbow to the tip of your fingers.

:14 put the staves into the rings

This was how the ark was designed to be carried.

The gold covered bars would be inserted in the golden rings, and the priests were to carry it.

This little bit of knowledge will come in handy if you're reading in 2Sam.6 how the ark was being transported on an ox cart, and why Uzzah the priest was killed in the incident.

:16 put into the ark the testimony

Meaning the stone tablets with the ten commandments on them.

:17 a mercy seat of pure gold

This was essentially the lid to the box, but if formed a kind of chair, a throne for God.

I believe this is what the writer to Hebrews is talking about:

(Heb 4:15-16 KJV) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. {16} Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

:18 two cherubims of gold

These two angelic beings would be made to be attached to the mercy seat.

These are the same as the four "beasts" or "living beings" mentioned in Revelation 4-5, the ones with four faces, six wings, covered with eyes, and which hover around God's throne calling out "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, which was, which is, and which is to come".

:20 toward the mercy seat shall the faces

The cherubim would be looking downward at the mercy seat, facing God's throne.

:22 there I will meet with thee

This is where God would meet with Moses, at the ark, from the mercy seat.

This is the very picture we see in Revelation 4-5, Isaiah 6, and Ezekiel 1, the throne of God.

:23-30 The Table of Shewbread

:23 a table of shittim wood

This gold covered table would be one of the articles placed in the "holy place", inside the first room of the tabernacle.

:30 set upon the table shewbread

Or, "the bread of the presence"

Upon this special gold covered table, there were to be twelve loaves of unleavened bread, baked fresh weekly, and placed in rows on the table.

Each week the old bread was taken out of the tabernacle, replaced by fresh bread, and the old bread was eaten by the priests.

There are different ways of looking at this table -

Some see this as a picture of a continual thank offering to God for His provision in the wilderness.

Some see it as the presence of God's people in the tabernacle, one loaf for each tribe...

Some see this as a picture of God's provision itself. God provides for our needs.

(John 6:48 KJV) I am that bread of life.

In fact, this brings up the fact that many see just about everything in the tabernacle as being a picture of Jesus.

I think there's truth to this, but don't miss the fact that Hebrews tells us that the tabernacle was a model of heaven.

I like to see it as a picture of our fellowship with God.

It represents our communing, our meeting with Him.

Matthew Henry: "In the royal palace it was fit that there should be a royal table."

Is there a table in heaven?

(Luke 22:29-30 KJV) And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; {30} That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

(Rev 3:20 KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

:31-40 The Golden Candlestick

:31 a candlestick of pure gold

This seven branched lamp was to be cleaned out every day, the wicks trimmed, and the lamp refilled with fresh oil, and then lit every evening, to burn all night long, giving light during the night.

What does this represent?

Again, some would say it's Jesus ("I am the Light of the World")

I think it's more proper to see the lamp as representing God's people.

Jesus told us that we were the "lights of the world" (Mat 5).

In heaven, there are seven candlesticks (Rev. 1) which are representative of the seven churches in heaven.

As lamps, we are to be filled with fresh oil (the Holy Spirit), and set on fire, to bring light in this dark world.:39 of a talent of pure gold

About 75 pounds of gold.

Wow!Household Principles - Lamentations of a mother from the book DeuteroMOMy

Concerning Face and Hands

Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice thereon. And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand. Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

Complaints and Lamentations

O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and even sometime do you spit, and shout "stupid-head" and other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner. And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger. But upon being sent to the corner you ask straight-away, "Can I come out?" and I reply, "No, you may not come out." And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out. Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they mount higher than before. For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you cannot know. For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and moan. And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and unfairness of it, and mourn with wine and ashtrays, and rend my receipts. And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath, O children of me.