Exodus part 2: The God who dwells among us.

Edited to add: This is the ONLY post which I finished in one sitting!!!! A big shout out to my husband who watched the kids on a Saturday while I was elsewhere and finished the whole thing over several hours. 

In the previous post, I wrote about chapters 1-20. I don’t know if I was stressed, worried, under attack or just exhausted but it took me longer to finish than I thought. We’ll continue with chapters 20-40 here. I hope to instill in you a love of His Word and a joy in reading it that will take you closer to Him and deeper in your faith. I’ve mentioned before that writing is my act of worship to Christ. Usually when I write ( and especially topics from the Bible), I’m reading and re-reading the Bible/passage constantly and then I see details I’ve missed before. When I put into words , I’m focusing on Him and asking for guidance on what I should share. I need to point out as well, that what I find important is based on where I am in my personal life, my up-bringing, my church’s doctrine and theology  taught by my pastor/s. It may be different for you. The only way for you to find out what you like and what is important for you is to read the Bible yourself.

RELATED POST : Exodus part 1: A God who speaks.

Continuing with the journey………

In chapters 21-22: God gives provisions for slaves., male and female, bought or born in service. God says He will designate cities of refuge where those who un-intentionally kill someone can go while those who plotted deliberately must die. He further gives other instances where the crimes deserve death (attacks their father/mother, kidnaps someone, curses their father/mother). God gives guidelines for personal injury, for injury/death done to slaves, for injury/death done by animals owned, for personal property, for things that have been lost/damaged when borrowed. God talks about a man’s responsibility if he seduces a virgin. God talks about being kind to the foreigner, being just with a brother/kin when they borrow, being compassionate to the widows and the fatherless for When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. God further tells the people to abstain from worship of idols, from sorcery, from blaspheming God.

In chapter 23: Here God gives them guidelines about taking Cannan. He’ll send His angel ahead of them, the Israelites are to follow his instructions and listen to him, for God’s name is in him. God will give the Israelites Canaan little by little, while He will drive out all the inhabitants of the land, He won’t do so all at once otherwise the land will become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for them. God also gives them further instructions about being just and merciful in their laws. He gives them rules for obeying the Sabbath ( day and year- the 7th year is to be a Sabbath year where they are not to plant anything or till the ground, but to allow the land to rest). God institutes three annual festivals where all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

In chapter 24: God invites specific people to come up to Him on the mountain. Before going up Moses builds an altar with 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Moses sent young Israelite men who sacrificed fellowship and burnt offerings. Moses uses half the blood to consecrate the altar and the other half to consecrate the people. Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank. Moses and Joshua go up further, where they see the glory of God cover the mountain ( it looked like a cloud of fire) for 6 days, on the 7th day God invites Moses into the cloud.

In chapter 25: God asks Moses to accept offerings from the people for the tabernacle (gold, silver, precious stones, dyed skins etc, remember they plundered the Egyptians when they left). He tells Moses  “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. God then gives Moses detailed instructions regarding making an ark, a table for the ark of the covenant,  gold dishes to place the bread of the Presence on and a lampstand which you can read  about here.

Do your friends see God dwelling among and in you? –Tweet this!

In chapter 26: God gives very detailed instructions about building a tabernacle which you can read here.

In chapter 27: God tells Moses to make an altar for the burnt offerings Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were *shown on the mountain and with rings attached to it and poles that slide through them to carry it. He tells him to make a courtyard for the tabernacle and gives instructions about the oil to be used in the lampstand, you can reads it here. Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamp buring continually before the Lord.

In chapter 28: God tells Moses to Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. These priestly garments will be made by the ones to whom God has given wisdom and skill. They are to make an Ephod, a Breast-piece, a gold plate which has Holy to the Lord engraved on it, a turban onto which they attach the gold plate, tunics, sashes and caps made of linen , and linen undergarments. You can read the details here.

In chapter 29: The consecration of Aaron and his sons take place. The Lord gives very detailed instructions which you can read here. He tells Moses that the priestly duties belong to Aaron’s descendants as a lasting ordinance. He tells Moses to sacrifice several offerings which include a sin offering, a burnt offering and a wave offering. The reason that God will dwell in their amidst is so that 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

In chapter 30: God gives instructions for building an altar of incense ( again with gold rings attached to allow poles to slip through for carrying it). The Lord tells Moses  “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. Those older than 20 years are to counted and the money collected used in the service of the tent/tabernacle. A bronze basin is to be used for ceremonial washing. The ingredients to be used for the anointing oil and the incense are given and are not to be used for any other purpose.

In chapter 31: Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you. God reminds Moses again to tell the people to observe the Sabbath day ( a day of doing no work, but to keep it Holy because God is Holy).

In chapter 32: Moses is long in coming down from the mountain, the people get restless and want other gods, Aaron takes their gold ear-rings and makes a golden calf and the people worship it. God’s anger burns and He tells Moses that He will destroy them all and start afresh with Moses. But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. Moses reminds God of His covenant and His promises to the people. 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Moses goes down with the two tablets of stone which were 16 the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. We see Joshua is with Moses. Moses throws the tablets breaking them into pieces at the foot of the mountain, He burns the calf, grinds it to powder, scatters it over the water and makes the Israelites drink it. Aaron makes excuses. Moses26  stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. They strap on a sword and go and kill nearly 3000 of their fellow men and brothers. Moses tells them You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.” The next day Moses goes back up to the mountain and pleads with the Lord to forgive their sin or blot his(Moses’) name from the book. The Lord says He’ll only blot those names who sinned against Him. He tells Moses to continue to lead the people, His angel will go before them, and He’ll punish the people later.

   Do you seek the favour of the Lord your God on behalf of those you know, like Moses did?- Tweet this!

In chapter 33: God tells the people He won’t lead them into the promised land, they mourn and take off all their jewels at Mount Horeb(Sinai). Moses had pitched a tent outside of camp where he would go to speak with God. When the Glory of God came down, a pillar of smoke would cover the tent. The Israelites stood at the entrance of their tents and watched Moses go. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Moses pleads with God to lead them and  The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses asks to see God’s glory And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

In chapter 34: God tells Moses to chisel 2 more tablets just like the first and come up to the mountain. And he(the Lord) passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to 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 parents to the third and fourth generation.”. In addition to the 10 commandments, God gives Moses other commandments that he is to tell the people to follow. When Moses comes down from the mountain, his face is radiant, so when speaking to the people he puts a veil over his face, and takes it off when he is in the presence of the Lord.

In chapter 35: Moses tells the people what God had commanded him regarding Sabbath regulations, materials for the tabernacle and Bezalel and Oholiab . You can read the complete list here.

In chapter 36: So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” The people bring so much for the tabernacle that is more than enough. The workers tell Moses who in turn asks the people to stop bringing offerings for the tabernacle.

tabernacle

In chapters 37-38: At the end of the previous chapter and in these ones, we see the skilled workers making the tabernacle, the ark, the table, the lampstand and the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering, the basin for washing, the courtyard and the measurements of the materials used.

In chapter 39: The priestly garments are made. The Ephod, the Breast-plate and the other priestly garments. Moses inspects the tabernacle.

In chapter 40:  Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant law and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.“Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 10 Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them. Then Moses consecrates Aaron and his sons and dresses them in the priestly garments. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. When the cloud lifted, the Israelites travelled, when they cloud stayed on the tabernacle, the Israelites camped.

*I love the fact that God shows Moses on the mountain what the tabernacle will look like, but still takes the time to give Moses detailed instructions.

I started writing he post with the intention of making it shorter than the previous one, but it still ended up being over 2000 words! Sorry!!! I hope you’ll take the time to read the Bible yourself. Start somewhere. Start small. Read a devotional with a verse, go up to a chapter, then a few chapters, then read commentaries and go deeper. May God who dwells among us make Himself known to you in a way you will not forget.

Love,

Vanessa.

 

 

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