The Tabernacle, The Materials For The Tabernacle Part 3 - Lesson 12
The Bible tells us that God told Moses that He intended to dwell among His people, people who He has redeemed from slavery in Egypt.
God intended to dwell with them in a promised land, a large land, a land said to be flowing with milk and honey.
Within this plan for a dwelling place God intended to instruct His people about Himself, and His purpose for them and their children.
And in this instruction there is much to be learned about God’s character simply in the materials called for in the construction of the tabernacle.
The first lesson we learned is that God intends to instruct His people simply by giving them responsibility to be co-laborers in the construction of His dwelling place.
God will do His part but He also decides that His people are to also have a part so therefore He provides them the materials to do so.
If God assigns you a task you can be sure that He will do His part and provide the wherewithal for you to do your part.
Now our God is a God of raw materials, materials given to His children for their perfection, their completion.
Our God, our Father, will not hand over things to His children on a silver platter, ready prepared, ready to eat for He intends in the very preparation of the tabernacle to teach His children about Himself.
And that is one of the gifts of making things yourself for in the making of it much is learned, character is formed, self confidence is enhanced, imagination and creativity is rewarded and encouraged, and value is realized.
In Exodus 31 we are given the desire of God in that His people enter into the task at the raw material level for He calls Bezaleel and Aholiab who are filled with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.
They are called to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
You see the principle of God here is that his economy is one of co-laborship with Himself providing the raw materials and His people providing working hands to perfect those materials into finished products.
It is easy to see in our world that even in this detail Satan is against this economy as he turns it upside down so that we live in an age of ready mix, ready prepared everything, things already made, so that craftsmanship is becoming a thing of the past whether it be in the kitchen, the shop, or the field.
Things are not built by individuals anymore as machines push individuals out and hands are becoming simply parts installers instead of raw material perfectors.
We are becoming walking brand names instead of individuals as God intends for us to be.
I remember this demonstrated when a lady who lovingly makes her own greeting cards told me of the reception she received from one recipient who asked her if she couldn’t afford Hallmark.
What happened to the time when hand made things were valued?
I remember my mother and my sister Irene’s mother-in-law, Edie Schutz, bless their names, who joined in the labors when we were building our Children’s Boarding Home.
They asked what they could do to help so I had them cleaning the mortar off used chimney brick, mind you and they did it with joy.
They even grabbed shovels and willingly backfilled our septic drain field.
I have pictures of them when they did this in their seventies but they were of a kind who did not mind getting their hands dirty.
Both of these ladies lived into their 90’s.
I look at our home today and each brick was cleaned by hand and many of them were cleaned by their hands.
They were the kind who spent long hours making quilts with their hands to send to the Indians in the west.
What they sent was valued.
Now we are simply told that prepaid credit cards are the thing to give and giving something home made indicates cheapness.
But God does not think this way for he has indeed given hands for hand work and this study of the building of the tabernacle brings this out.
God gave hands to be exercised in craftsmanship, and not subjugated to only be simply installers.
He begins this teaching in Exodus 25:1-9 by bringing his people into the process as He calls for materials to be used in the construction of the tabernacle.
Exodus 25:1-9, And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 5And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, 6Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
In our last lesson we discussed the first material required of God, the element in the metal family called Gold, aurum in Latin from which it gets its element abbreviation, AU.
Gold of course, has always been a symbol of great value and God communicates that, in His Word, for he tells us to buy gold tried in the fire for the gold of this world, the gold that you can hold in your hand will melt away in the post millennial refining fires of God.
We learned that the Gold in the Bible is a symbol of the heavenly, that which is eternal.
It speaks of the righteousness of God, the Glory of His Person hood and His Mercy.
It speaks of the Deity and Kingship of Jesus Christ who is God yet also is man.
The second material required by God was silver, which was the metal most used in the purchase of things.
Jesus Christ was purchased by the hierarchy of the Jews for thirty pieces of silver.
Matthew 26:14-15, Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
The chief priests could not pay less than 30 pieces of silver for that was the price of a slave as we learn from Exodus 21:32.
No person was to be worth less than 30 pieces of silver and they put Jesus Christ into the category of worthless.
Here are thirty pieces of silver for this is the worth of our Lord in the minds of corrupt men.
The face value of these 30 silver quarters is $7.50 but the melt value of this silver today is $154.95.
Up until 1964 our dimes, quarters, and half dollars were made of 90% silver.
A 1932 to 1964 silver quarter today weighing 6.25 grams has a melt value of $5.24 since the price of silver has risen so highly since then.
Silver is a symbol of redemption, of the soul being ransomed or purchased by the atonement money.
God required of every man a ransom for his soul in payment for deliverance from Egypt and that ransom was a half shekel which was made from silver.
Exodus 30:12-13, 16, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
16And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
Read of the use of silver as the payment to the Messianic Shepherd in:
Zechariah 11:12-13, And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
Zechariah, taking the role of the messianic shepherd, requested his wages for service rendered.
His wage was calculated as thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Ex. 21:32).
The third metal required of God is Bronze.
Gold and silver are pure elements, but Bronze is an alloy, which means it is composed of more than one element.
Now today’s definition of bronze is that it is a metal alloy consisting of copper, an element, with tin, also an element, as a main additive.
The Hebrew word for bronze is nekh-o'-sheth which means something made of copper.
Bronze is made of copper and tin.
Brass is made of copper and zinc.
So what God describes as bronze is an metal alloy with copper as its main ingredient, with tin or zinc determining if it is called bronze or brass.
Bronze, or Copper, or Brass is a symbol of strength, and judgment in respect to the judgment God placed on Christ for our sins.
This will be seen in the brazen altar, the place where the lamb was slain as the sacrificial offering on behalf of the people.
God tells us if we do not listen the heavens will be to us as BRASS.
Not listening to God’s word brings judgment.
In the first chapter of the book of Revelation Jesus was seen of John on the Isle of Patmos as having feet of BRASS and in Revelation 19 we see those feet treading the windpress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Brass speaks of judgment upon sin.
The fourth material that God required of the children of Israel was fine linen, linen of blue, purple and scarlet yarn.
This combination of colors was the main color scheme used in the Tabernacle.
These main colors are mentioned about 25 times in the Book of Exodus alone.
Blue is the color of the heavens, it is said to be a symbol of the heavenly character of Christ that lives within us.
It speaks of the SON SHIP of Jesus.
He came from heaven to redeem fallen humanity.
That which is of Him is from ABOVE, not earthly.
This ties into the Gospel of John’s narrative of the Master.
In John He is the Son of God.
In John 8:23, …..he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Purple was the most precious of the colors of ancient times and speaks to us of royalty and KINGSHIP; there it is a symbol of the KINGSHIP of CHRIST as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This color ties into the Gospel of Matthew’s account of Jesus.
In Matthew, He is the KING.
Scarlet Yarn symbolizes sacrifice, picturing the entire scene of sacrifice and redemption.
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the One sacrificed to take away the sins of man.
It speaks of His servant hood and redemptive work in the Atonement when He shed His blood for humanity.
Scarlet speaks to us of the Gospel of MARK, which portrays Jesus as the SERVANT.
Hebrews 9:13-14, For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
And the Architect also specifies fine linen which means white linen.
White Linen symbolizes purity and righteousness, the purity, righteousness, and holiness of God and the purity and righteousness demanded by God.
It is the attire, the clothing of the saints:
Revelation 19:8, And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Revelation 3:5, He that overcomes, the same shall 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.
Revelation 3:18, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation 4:4, And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Revelation 7:9, After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
The next material required of God was hair from goats..
Goat hair would be used for the tent’s covering.
Exodus 26:7, And thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
These curtains of goat hair were most likely black in color.
A set of eleven curtains was joined together to make one great covering for the tent.
There seems to be a direct connection between the goat’s hair and Christ’s connection to sin, pointing to Christ as the sin-bearer, appointed by God to bear the sins of the world.
The goat, in scripture, is mentioned in connection with the sin offering and sinners.
Here are portions of Leviticus 16,
And he (Aaron) shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering……. ………And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.  But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. …….And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:  And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
Jesus became the "scape-goat" for the world.
In general scapegoating is the practice of singling out one child, employee, member of a group of peers, ethnic or religious group, or country for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
Instead of allowing the sting of sin to rest upon sinners, Jesus Christ offered Himself as a Sacrifice, as the Substitute and Saviour of the world.
HE is the SIN-BEARER for all people for all generations, past, present and future.
My Jesus is the blame taker! Any fingers pointed at me are turned to Him for I cannot be blamed for Jesus Christ takes the blame for me.
Isaiah 53:12, Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
God choose goat’s hair to completely cover the structure to tell us of his plan to provide a scapegoat.