Friday, November 22, 2013

An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday November 24, 2013

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(GOD seeks worship from HIS people)
(Exodus 40)

It is for the purpose of GOD, that the Christian is called. It is by the work of the HOLY SPIRIT, that a person’s life is hallowed towards GOD. It is by the sprinkling of the blood of JESUS CHRIST, that past sins are forgiven, and we look forward to a future of obedience to GOD.
In Exodus 40, verses 1-33, Moses chronicles for us, a vivid description and account of how GOD instructed him to set up, and furnish the newly constructed “Tabernacle of the LORD”. It was to be the place of “the highest form of corporate worship of GOD on earth”. In fact, the LORD HIMSELF was to come down and grace this holiest of places. Basically, those instructions entailed these three things;

·         The physical arrangement of the sanctuary’s interior and exterior parts, and, the courtyard curtains (v. 1-8)
·         The “consecration”, or “setting aside for holy use”, of the Tabernacle and its contents (v. 9-11)
·         The washing, dressing, and anointing of the “Priesthood”, namely, Aaron and his sons, to serve GOD and the people in the sanctuary (v. 12-16).

The Tabernacle was completed within a year of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt. They had arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai about three months after leaving Egypt. Immediately following the Israelites acceptance of the “LORD’s Covenant” (Exodus 24:18), Moses, then went into the mountains of Sinai for 40 days. He also spent another 40 days on the mountain for “covenant renewal”, or the recording of the “Ten Commandments” on stone tablets (Exodus 34:28). That left approximately 6 ½ months, to collect the materials needed, and, to construct the Tabernacle itself.
This passage serves as a clear indicator that the LORD does not want HIS people to go for a long period of time, without our corporate worship of HIM.  HE also seems to want it to be done in a formal setting, pre-designed in detail, by HIM. We have to learn “how” to worship GOD, just as we have to learn any other spiritual principals. The examples of worship given to us in this passage of Exodus are, quite literally, designed into the Tabernacle. For instance, we see the golden lampstand symbolizing GOD’s Glory, which should be at the desire of every Christian. We also see the spiritually strategic location of the “Ark of the Covenant” in the “innermost” Holy place in the Tabernacle, symbolizing where GOD was to meet HIS people.
The Tabernacle’s central importance in the lives of the Israelites is graphically depicted in the Old Testament Book of Numbers. When the Israelites set up camp in the wilderness, the temporary Tabernacle tent, or, “Tabernacle of the Congregation” was always placed in the center of the camp, with the Levites camping right next to it (Numbers 1:53). However, after this permanent structure was erected at Shiloh, it remained there throughout the “period of the Judges” in Israel, from the time of Joshua, until the time of Samuel.
In the New Testament Greek, the word used for “dwelt”, by the Apostle John (John 1:14) is “skenoo” (shay-no-o), and it means “tabernacled”, which means “occupied, resided, or “lived in”. This is the only place in Scripture where this particular word is found, and it speaks to the importance that GOD places on man’s worship of HIM. It says, in effect, that, we should actually “live” our perpetual lives in full-time worship of GOD, because HE is worthy to be worshiped and praised continuously.
GOD’s instructions, as to how we should worship HIM, must be adhered to, in our generation, just as it was in the time of Moses, or Joshua, or all of the other judges of Israel. Our purpose is not to set new standards and ways of the worship of GOD, but rather, we should cleave to the guidelines that HE has already set and established. So let us always aspire to “worship GOD in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to HIM”, not us, and let us always seek to guard against letting “sin” and “culture” dictate GOD’s Christian doctrine in HIS church. That way, the LORD’s glory can bless and fill our modern-day sanctuaries, and we can once again sense the difference between the “professed Christian Church”, and “the World”.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website
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