The Tabernacle, The Materials For The Tabernacle, Part 5 - Lesson 14
We have learned from Exodus 25 that God calls his people to co-labor with him in the building of His dwelling place.
Of course this is a shadow of the eternal truth that is told to us in the New Testament where we learn that Godís dwelling place is in the hearts of men.
For I Corinthians 3:16 says, Know ye not that ye are the temple (tabernacle) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
And in the same way as in the building of the physical tabernacle we are to be co-laborers with God in the building of the bodily tabernacle in which Godís Spirit dwells.
We are to entrust our spirit to Godís Spirit toward the bringing forth of the fruit of the Spirit.
For in the uniting of the Spirits comes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance:
As the children of Israel were co-laborers in the building of the tabernacle we also are co-laborers with God in the building of the dwelling place of His Spirit.
They were to bring the raw materials of gold, silver, brass, linen, animal skins, wood, oil, spices and gems.
We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service.
We are not to be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God that his dwelling place continue to be pure and holy and suitable for him.
We are not to grieve the Spirit by corrupting his dwelling place.
His specifications, with regard to the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, are exacting.
And before this truth of the New Testament the children of Israel were taught by God in the building of the tabernacle that his specifications were to be followed exactly in accordance with the instructions given to Moses.
There was no artistic freedom given by God, for God was the Architect, the perfect Architect, and no change orders were needed, and none would be entertained.
In the New Testament we learn that in the building of Godís dwelling place in the hearts of men there is also no need to have change orders proposed.
For God has ordained that his dwelling place in men be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus is not a changing mind but a constant eternal mind.
This is an absolute specification that God has declared in order for his dwelling place to be complete.
There is no creative freedom here as religion today proclaims.
Satan again comes in and proclaims change orders to Godís plan for his dwelling place but God does not dwell in those who desire creative freedom and thus furnish a dwelling place according to their wants and in so doing reject the Word of God.
In the building of the tabernacle God called for gold which pictured the eternal, silver, a symbol of redemption, brass, which told of Godís strength, and judgment.
And linens, blue for the near heavens reminding us of Christís coming from above, purple telling us of the royalty of Christ and his coming kingdom on earth, scarlet, of the blood of Christ which makes our participation in that kingdom possible.
The goatís hair which was to cover the structure of the tabernacle tells us of Godís plan for a scapegoat.
So the next material the children of Israel were to bring was Ramsí Skin Dyed Red.
Exodus 36:19, And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
The Israelites would have no difficulty in supplying this material, since they were rich in flocks and herds.
Ramsí Skin Dyed Red have been described by scholars as skins that had all the wool removed and then were dyed red similar to morocco leather.
The purpose of these tanned ram skins was to provide protective covering for the tent.
It was layered between the goat hair and badger skins.
Abraham used a Ram as a substitute for Isaac.
Since the ram was a substitute for Isaac, we believe that ramsí skin dyed red speaks of substitution, the red speaking of the blood that is required of the substitute.
Atop the ramís skin covering was another skin covering made of what the King James version of the Bible calls badgersí skins.
There is disagreement as to what animal is actually being referred to here for the Hebrew word for this is: takh'-ash.
Takh'-ash is described in Strongís Hebrew and Greek Dictionary as probably of foreign derivation; a (clean) animal with fur, probably a species of antelope: ó badger.
Various Versions of Exodus 26:14,
King James Version: And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
American Standard Version: And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of sealskins above.
New American Standard Version: You shall make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red and a covering of porpoise skins above.
New International Version: Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of hides of sea cows.
So this skin is what the outside observer saw as it was the outside covering of the structure.
Commentators say the skin most likely came from an animal from the Red Sea.
So we are not exactly sure what this covering was made of but it was the outer covering so it had to be a very durable weather resistant skin.
A skin capable of bearing up during the hot sun, drenching rains and high winds with dust and sand storms that swept across the desert.
What this appearance speaks of is not clear but some think it was a rough hewn appearance indicating the humanity of Christ and how he is portrayed in Isaiah 53.
Isaiah 53:2, For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
According to Isaiah, His earthly body had no form or beauty that men should desire Him outwardly.
But God looketh on the heart.
Even though He doesnít have outward beauty, He protects us, we who are the New Testament Tabernacle, the believer, from the elements of fear, guilt, sin, evil, death, loneliness, emptiness and the enemy.
He is our protective separation from the world.
He does this by setting us apart to God, sanctifying us with His Word, watching over us with His loving eyes, and surrounding us with His presence.
Our next God required tabernacle material is shittim wood, known as acacia wood.
This wood was used extensively throughout the tabernacle as an underlayment in much of the furniture, the upright boards, the bars and the altar.
Shittim wood came from Shittim, an area in the plains of Moab, slightly northeast of the Dead Sea.
Acacia was an extremely hard wood that was a mixture of brown and orange in color, a tree that flourished in the wilderness.
The tree was very plentiful in Old Testament times and grew in groves next to fast-moving bodies of water.
It was the craftsmanís prime choice for furniture because of its durability.
It is interpreted in the Greek as "incorruptible wood."
This wood speaks of the sinless Humanity of Christ while He was here on earth.
In a world filled with corruption, Jesus Christ is the only person who is incorruptible.
Because of him in us we are changing from corruption to incorruption.
I Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
As the shittim or acacia tree speaks of durability, strength and incorruption Jesus is the perfect picture of these qualities.
The next material required for the tabernacle was Oil for the light.
The oil was made by crushing olives and was to be used to provide fuel for continuous light in the sanctuary coming from the golden lamp stand.
Exodus 27:20, And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
Throughout the scriptures; the olive tree is a symbol of fullness and fruitfulness, a choice tree among people.
It is a symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the fullness and fruitfulness it produces in our lives as believers.
In the Tabernacle the oil was used in the Lampstand, which illuminated the inner court, the Holy place.
The Holy place is the place of believers, the place where the believer receives the light, receives the bread of life, the place of prayer offered up to God.
It is the place of the Holy Spirit for the lampstand where the olive oil burns illustrates his work as he illuminates Godís Word to the believer who occupies the Holy Place.
John explained this further in 1 John 2:27, But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
The next required materials were the spices for the Anointing Oil and for Sweet Incense.
These spices and incense speak to us of prayer that ascends unto the Lord as incense ascends upward.
Incense always moves from man to God for that is the direction of prayer for God never prays to us.
David used this illustration of incense in Psalms 141:2, Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
The spices for this sweet incense would include the various aspects or types of prayer, intercession, praise, worship, and travail.
Onyx stones, the next material, are semi-precious stones required of God for those who served in the tabernacle.
The color of these stones is uncertain but their purpose was to be used on the priestís breastplate and ephod.
The Hebrew word for "onyx" (shoh-ham) comes from a root word meaning a flashing forth of splendor.
The names of the 12 tribes of Israel were to be inscribed on the two onyx stones.
Exodus 28:9, And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.
The picture is this: in Godís eyes, His people shine forth in splendor, as precious gems.
And the last material called for by God was stones or gems set in the Priestí Ephod and Breastplate.
Exodus 28:15, 21, And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. 17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. 21And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
The Priest was to carry the names of Godís children on his chest in front of his heart before God in the Holy place at all times.
We are part of the New Covenant Priesthood unto God.
As our Mediator before God, Jesus bears our names on His chest as the gems and precious stones bore the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on the Great High Priest.
He is always interceding for us before the Father in Heaven as the Holy Spirit intercedes for us on earth.
Next week Lord willing, we will have a lesson concerning the building of the Ark of the Covenant
Exodus 25:10-22, And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.