Sunday, September 26, 2010

Exodus 40

Jehovah commands construction and anointing of the tabernacle (vs. 1-16)--Time to build and anoint. The Lord tells Moses to do it "on the first day of the first month"--He gets the first, and the best. All the details are again related here. The ark, the veil, the table of showbread, lampstand, altar of incense, etc. etc., where they all go. It's all here once more. Once again "the altar shall be most holy" (v. 10). And all of it, including Aaron and his sons, were to be anointed with the oil the Lord had prescribed. "Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did" (v. 16). As noted in the last chapter, eight times some such statement is found in this chapter. Jehovah commands, we obey. At least Moses did.

Moses obeys (vs. 17-33)--And that obedience is the subject of the next section. "And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up" (v. 17). The very first thing that happened that year was the construction of the abode of God--with the best materials possible. That thought--the first and the best--runs all through the Old Testament law. And it's not surprising, it's exactly what was owed to Him. And if under the imperfect law such was true, how much more so under the perfect law of liberty? Why do we give Him sloppy, half-measures? What an insult to Him that must be.

This section chronicles how, step-by-step, "as the Lord had commanded Moses" (v. 19), the man of God fulfilled Jehovah's word. This section does omit the anointing process, but that is so important, that it is saved for a later section in the law. Seven times in this section we read "as the Lord had commanded Moses." I suppose I've made that point before, but I haven't made it as many times as God did in these final two chapters of Exodus.

The cloud (vs. 34-38)--The Lord often showed His glory and His coming in a cloud. That thought carries all through the Bible. When the tabernacle was completed, a cloud covered it (v. 34). Moses could not enter the tabernacle as long as it was there--"the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (v. 35). The book then closes by discussing the travel of Israel through the wilderness. When the cloud rested on the tabernacle, they did not journey. When the cloud was taken up, they would proceed, led by the cloud during the day and fire at night (v. 38). Exodus closes with an open ending, in anticipation of more to come. Indeed, much more about the law would be delivered before it was completed.

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