1 You are to make an altar to burn incense on: make it of acacia wood. 2 A foot and a half long, and a foot and a half wide; make it square, two feet high: the horns will be made from itself. 3 And you will overlay the top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you will make a crown of gold all round it. 4 And make two golden rings for it under its crown, by its two corners on its two sides for places for the poles to carry it. 5 And make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
- Acacia wood is a hardwood of the desert that is resistant to disease.
- The gold represents deity or that which is of highest worth.
- And the wood represents humanity.
- The combination of the gold over the wood pictures Jesus Christ.
- God became man to bring us back to Himself.
God met with them from the mercy seat
6 And put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is opposite the testimony, where I will meet with you. 7 And Aaron will burn incense of spices on it every morning: he will burn incense on it when he dresses the lamps. 8 And he will burn incense on it when Aaron lights the lamps at evening, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
- Imagine, the Lord and Maker of the universe met with them.
- Burning incense is a picture of prayer.
- To dress the lamps Aaron had to trim the seven wicks.
- The used part was no longer useful. In our lives, some things are used and then no longer are useful and have to be removed before our light can burn brightly.
- Psalm 65:2O You that hear prayer, all flesh will come to You.
- Revelation 8:3 another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense for him to offer with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
9 You will not offer foreign incense on it, or burnt sacrifice, or other gift; you are not to pour a drink offering on it. 10 And Aaron will make atonement on the horns of it once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once a year he will make atonement on it throughout your generations: it is most holy to the LORD.
- In God’s universe we do things God’s way.
- When you can make a universe, then you can make the rules.
- Nothing was to be offered that was not according to God’s directions.
- Unwillingness to follow God’s directions comes from pride.
- The atonement shows Christ’s once for all death for sin.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
11 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 12 When you take the sum of the children of Israel according their number, then every man is to give a ransom for his soul to the LORD when you number them; so that there be no plague/bloe/striking among them when you number them. 13 This is what they are to give, every one that passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) a half shekel will be the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passes among them that are numbered from twenty years old and above, will give an offering to the LORD. 15 The rich will not give more, and the poor will not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering to the LORD to make atonement for your souls. 16 And take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and give it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial to the children of Israel before the LORD to make atonement/covering for your souls.
- This ransom was to prevent a plague.
- That sounds scary, but God knows that man’s sinful nature needs strong deterrents to keep on a path of obedience.
- The ransom for the soul was a picture of God buying us back to Himself through the blood of His Son.
- The numbering was a census of the men able to go out to war (Numbers 1:1-3).
- Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man did not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
- 1Peter 1:18… you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your empty way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
17 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 18 You will also make a basin of bronze with its stand of bronze, for washing: and you will put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and you will put water in it. 19 For Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and their feet there: 20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they will wash with water, so that they not die; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire to the LORD: 21 they will wash their hands and their feet, that they not die: and it will be a statute forever to them to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
- The priests were to be outwardly clean when they came to worship and serve God.
- Take a bath before church.
- This was important as a symbol of inward cleansing.
- God’s word cleanses our heart from evil and sin if we will learn it and believe it.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word that I have spoken to you.
22 Moreover the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 23 Also, take excellent spices, 500 shekels of pure myrrh, and half as much sweet cinnamon, 250 shekels, and 250 shekels of sweet calamus, 24 And 500 shekels of cassia, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and six pints of oil olive: 25 And you will make it into an oil of holy anointing, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer: it will be a holy anointing oil. 26 And you will anoint the tabernacle of the congregation with it, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all its utensils, and the candlestick and its utensils and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand. 29 And you are to sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatever touches them will be holy. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them to minister to me in the priest’s office. 31 And speak to the children of Israel saying, This will be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. 32 It will not be poured on man’s flesh, neither will you make any other like it, like the composition of it: it is holy, and it will be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a foreigner will be cut off from his people.
- Oil was the symbol of the Holy Spirit.
- ‘Myrrh symbolized meekness, cinnamon symbolized goodness, and calamus symbolized gentleness.’ From Mountain of Spices by Hannah Humard
34 And the LORD said to Moses, Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: equal weights of each: 35 And you will make it into incense, an ointment, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure and holy: 36 And you will beat some of it very small and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I meet with you: it will be most holy to you. 37 And as for the incense that you will make, you will not make for yourselves anything like its proportions: it will be holy unto you for the LORD. 38Whoever makes any like it to smell it will be cut off from his people.
- We honor and give special privileges to our President.
- God is much higher than our President.
- He made our President, the world, and the universe.
- Most of us will never meet the President.
- All of us will stand before God. God invites us into His presence continually.
- We are not to be sloppy about it but clean and reverent.
- Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will feast with him, and he with me.
The Maker of heaven and earth sets us apart for Himself
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, from the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship, 4 To devise skillful works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all kinds of workmanship. 6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, so that they can make all that I have commanded you;
- God calls some to do specific works for Him.
- He fills with His Spirit, wisdom, understanding and knowledge to do the work He gives them.
- He gives helpers in that work.
7 The tabernacle of the congregation, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle: 8 the table and its furniture, the pure candlestick with all its furniture, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, the basin and its stand, 10 the clothes for service, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, 11 the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: they will do all that I have commanded you.
- In Exodus 25 God asked for a freewill offering from among the people to make a tent for Him to live in among them.
- God asked for this after He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt with great wealth and abundance.
- He gave Moses the instructions for His tent and its furnishings on Mt. Sinai after giving the Ten Commandments.
- Here we see that He chose the craftsmen and gave them the ability necessary to do what He required.
12 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 13 Also speak to the children of Israel saying, You will certainly keep my sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you will keep the sabbath; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it will definitely be put to death: for whoever does any work in it, that soul will be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days work may be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy/set apart to the LORD: whoever does any work in the sabbath day, he will definitely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel will keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
- God commanded resting on the Sabbath so that they might know the He is the Lord that sanctifies or sets them apart to Himself, the Maker of the universe.
- This helps focus on the One who made and gives us life and breath and all things (Acts 17:25).
- Breaking the Sabbath was a capital crime punishable by death.
- If we don’t follow God, we are following evil.
- Following evil leads to eternal death.
- It took the threat of death to get some to observe the Sabbath so that they might recognize their Maker and therefore live eternally.
God made the heaven and earth in six days
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. 18 And when he had made an end of communing with him on mount Sinai, he gave to Moses two tablets of testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.
- God wrote the law for Israel with His own finger.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not ever pass away.
The Lord blots out those that sin against Him
1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, Up, make gods for us to go before us; as for this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 2 And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings that are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, of your daughters, and bring them to me. 3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he took it from their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, after he had made it into a molten calf: and they said, These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt.
- These ornaments Aaron used to make the idol had symbols of false gods on them.
- The calf Aaron made was Amphus (ah pees), the bull god of Egypt.
- God had just delivered them from this evil.
- If man can make it, it isn’t god.
- God made us in His image, not the other way around.
- Anything we make cannot create the universe, heavens and earth.
- Why would we bow down to something we make when we can’t even make a breath of air or a blade of grass?
- Did this golden calf bring them up out of Egypt? No! That’s was a lie. It will lead many of them to death.
5 And when Aaron saw it he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 7 And the LORD said to Moses, Go down; for your people that you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves: 8 They have quickly turned aside out of the way that I commanded them: they have made themselves a molten calf and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed to it and said, These are your gods, O Israel that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
- This was high insult to God who had just delivered them by many signs and wonders.
- He is jealous.
- Fornication was part of their heathen worship ceremonies.
- When they ‘rose up to play’ they were fornicating.
- They quickly lost consciousness of God and tried to put other things into the empty space.
- Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You will have no other gods but me.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Exodus 34:14 you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
9 And the LORD said to Moses, I have seen this people, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of you a great nation. 11 And Moses begged the LORD his God and said, LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people that you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, With evil intent he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self and said to them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they will inherit it forever.
- Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore; and your seed will possess the gate of his enemies;
- Ezekiel 20:6… I lifted up my hand to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
- Deuteronomy 8:7 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
The Lord turned from the evil that he planned to do to the idolaters
14 So the LORD repented of the evil that he thought to do to his people. 15 And Moses turned, and went down the mountain, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tablets were written on both their sides; they were written on the one side and on the other. 16 And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted he said to Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, This is not the voice of those that shout for victory, nor is it the voice of those that cry in defeat: I hear the noise of singing. 19 And as soon as he came near the camp he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses’ anger burned hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain. 20 And he took the calf that they had made and burnt it in the fire and ground it to powder and spread it on the water and made the children of Israel drink of it.
- God’s anger was hot.
- Moses prayed and God turned from His anger against the people.
- But when Moses saw what they’re doing his anger burned hot.
- Anything Moses could burn and grind to powder isn’t God.
- In Numbers 5 the spirit of jealousy is dealt with in a similar way.
- Dust from the floor of the tabernacle was put in water and drank by the person accused of adultery.
- The dust of the sanctuary was used because the sanctity of the marriage had been trampled under foot.
- Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, says the LORD; for I am married unto you…
21 And Moses said to Aaron, What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Do not let the anger of my lord burn hot: you know the people; they are set on evil. 23 They said to me, Make us gods, which will go before us: as for this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 24 And I said to them, Whoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me: then I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.
- Verse 4 says that Aaron asked for the gold and then fashioned it with an engraving tool—not ‘out came this calf.’
- Remember the Garden of Eden where evil entered the world at the choice of the woman and then the man.
- Well, this was the same. They followed evil rather than God, by choice.
25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked to their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? Let him come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, The LORD God of Israel says this, Every man put on his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and about 3,000 men of the people fell that day.
- What enemies were there? All the forces of evil.
- Idolatry causes God’s hedge of protection around us to be removed. That is the meaning of ‘naked.’
- When we follow evil, God cannot fight for us until we return to Him.
- The sons of Levi stood with God.
- God cut away the cancer of false worship and false gods because they lead to eternal death.
- Ephesians 6:12 We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to the LORD today, because every one has been against his son and against his brother; so that he may bestow on you a blessing today. 30 And it happened the next day that Moses said to the people, You have sinned a great sin: now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin. 31 And Moses returned to the LORD and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if you will forgive their sin…and if not, please also blot me out of your book that you have written.
- Christ paid the horribleprice for sin in our behalf.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your empty way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
- Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
33 And the LORD said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book. 34 Therefore go now, lead the people to the place that I have said to you: behold, my Angel will go before you: nevertheless in the day when I visit you, I will visit their sin on them. 35 And the LORD sent a great plague on the people because they made the calf that Aaron made.
- Jeremiah 30:11 For I am with you, says the LORD, to save you: … I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished.
- Revelation 3:5 He that overcomes, the same will be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
SUMMARY: Exodus 30-32
- God met with them at the mercy seat
- The Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, sets us apart for Himself
- He made heaven and earth is six days
- He blots out those that sin against him
- He turned from the evil that he planned to do to the idolaters