The Tabernacle, The Framework Of The Tabernacle, Exodus 26:15-30, Part 1 - Lesson 33
In our study thus far we have dealt primarily with the furniture inside the Tabernacle.
We have studied the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat, which sat within the Holy Of Holies as well as the three articles of furniture, The Table of Shewbread, The Golden Lampstand and the Altar of Incense, located in the second compartment of the Tabernacle called the Holy Place.
From God's perspective He instructed Moses to build the articles of the Holy Places first then He proceeded to give instructions on each piece of the tabernacle going from inside to the outside.
The clear picture in this whole structure shows us that everything begins with God and flows from God!
The only way a man or woman, boy or girl, can find God is to proceed on the path defined by God and that path is Jesus Christ who told us He is the way.
Now when we end this study we will be at the outer court, which will show us, how man must approach God beginning at the brazen altar of sacrifice which symbolizes Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary.
For anyone to reach God, he or she must first be washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for there is none other name given among men whereby ye must be saved!
Another evidence of the exclusiveness of God.
The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies were both contained in a building, which led to the Outer Court.
So today we will take a look at the framework of that building called the tabernacle.
From a construction standpoint it is an unusually constructed building but everything God does is purposeful and given to teach about Himself, His Son and his Spirit.
We read of this framework in Exodus 26:15-30, And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up. 16Ten cubits (15 feet) shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half (27 inches) shall be the breadth of one board. 17Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 18And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. 19And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 20And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards: 21And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 22And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. 24And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. 28And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. 29And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold. 30And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.
So Godís word tells us that the Tabernacle consisted of a framework of 48 boards overlaid with GOLD.
20 boards on the north and south sides, 6 boards on the west side, and two corner boards.
These 48 boards stood in 96 sockets of silver and were braced by five bars on each of its three closed sides.
At the entrance of the open side, the east side of the Tabernacle there was a hanging called "the Door of the Tabernacle."
The Door was made of fine linen and was upheld by five pillars.
This Door gave access to the Holy Place.
At the end of the Holy Place there was another hanging curtain.
This was the Veil, which was upheld by four pillars and guarded the entrance to the Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies.
This curtain is often referred to as the "second veil."
Over this whole structure there were other curtains and coverings, which provided for the ceiling and roof of the Tabernacle.
Exodus 26:15 tells us these boards, 10 cubits long, and one and one half cubits wide were to be made standing on end.
And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
The boards being made of shittim wood speaks to us as it has in other lessons of the incorruptible nature of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He is referred to as "THE BRANCH," who was cut off in the land of the living.
Because this wood would be shaped into boards, it had to be cut off from the land of the living.
Christ is that ROOT out of dry ground who was cut off to become God's Tabernacle and in turn make us vessels and tabernacles as well!
This is clearly given in Isaiah 53:1-2, Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:
Christ is the one and only meeting place between God and man.
The wood also speaks to us of Christ's sinless nature.
His manhood was untainted by sin.
As He became flesh He tabernacled among us!
He did not sin nor did the Father allow Him to see corruption in the grave.
In relation to the Church, the boards of shittim wood speak to us of our redeemed nature.
When God found us, we were knarled, knotted, and twisted like this desert wood growing in a parched land.
In Christ, through the new birth, we are taken through the process that these boards experienced.
The sinner is cut off from the former old life of the world, and he is shaped into conformance to Godís Son who is the true tabernacle.
We are designed to fit together into one body to be tabernacled by Godís Spirit
Peter captures this tabernacle picture in:
1 Peter 2:5, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
by Jesus Christ.
Each of the 48 boards was to be standing up or upright before the Lord.
We can look at these standing boards, 48 of them in all, as representing men, surrounding the Holy Places.
As a group they can be seen as the body of Christ composed of individual boards, men as it were, in which the Spirit of God dwells.
The Bible promises that "the upright shall dwell in the Presence" of the Almighty.
Psalm 140:13, Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name:
the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Paul also tells us that having done all we are to stand.
Ephes. 6:13, Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye
may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
This is all we are told to do against Satan.
Christ has already won the battle; all we must do is stand in the victory already accomplished at Calvary:
Each of the 48 boards measured 10 cubits in height and 1 1/2 cubits in width.
Exodus 26:16, Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit
and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
Each of these Boards was to be overlaid with Gold, another reminder of that which is from the earth becoming that which is of heaven.
All of the Boards were to measure up to this Divine Standard in order to qualify as a Board in God's Tabernacle.
There was only one standard for all the Boards.
God has but one standard for the Church, our blessed and most Holy Lord Jesus Christ!
So many times we hear of those who refuse the Gospel message by saying there are too many hypocrites in the church.
This is a horrible deception of Satan who brings into the picture the delusion of measuring and comparing ourselves among ourselves.
How many times do we hear children say when they are confronted with an offense - "Well everybody is doing it!" comparing themselves among themselves.
Just think of standing before the great white throne judgment and spouting this argument for not responding to Godís call.
One verse in scripture casts any argument that is based upon this premise aside for the man and only the man Christ Jesus is the pattern and standard for living.
For He is the one to whom we are being conformed.
Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
In Ezekiel 43:10 where God is speaking of the millennial temple which is again a picture of Christ He tells Israel to measure themselves against the pattern that they may be ashamed of their iniquities.
This instruction is again given to us in the New Testament where we are told to study Godís word which is the pattern against which we are to compare ourselves.
II Timothy 2:15, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I am not to spend my time studying you if I expect to be approved unto God.
Now the Boards were to be ten cubits high, 15 feet.
Remember the dimensions of the Most Holy Place were 10 by 10 by 10 cubits, a volume of 1000 cubed cubits.
The number ten speaks to us of trial and testing, law, order and responsibility.
In Scripture there are:
∑ 10 Commandments
∑ 10 Talents
∑ 10 Virgins
This speaks to us of our responsibility before God.
The Lord will have a building made up of those who are tried and tested, who have submitted to His Divine law and order and who are not afraid to take responsibility before Him.
Another interesting measurement of these boards was their width - 1 1/2 cubits wide.
As we have already seen, the Grate Of The Brazen Altar, the Table of Shewbread and the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant all shared this dimension of 1 1/2 cubits cubits
As we see all of these in connection with the Tabernacle, we see that the believer must have met Christ at the Brazen Altar (THE CROSS), he must have been to the Mercy Seat (THE THRONE OF GRACE), and he must be in fellowship at the Table of Showbread (COMMUNION) to find his proper place in the structure of the Tabernacle.
Now each of the 48 boards were to be built with two tenons each.
Exodus 26:17, Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order
one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
We usually think of a mortise and tenon connection which is basically a square or rectangular hole (mortise) into which is inserted a correspondingly shaped member (tenon) made to fit the hole exactly.
These tenons were instrumental in holding the structure together.
Each Board had its two tenons.
I believe the boards speak of believers and that the two tenons could speak of those two foundational facts that hold us together in fellowship.
They are the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the two pillars of our faith.
Believers must see that Christ died for us and that He also lives for us.
The boards were to be set in order one against the other.
Exodus 26:18, And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle,
twenty boards on the south side southward.
The Boards were to stand upright on their own and yet they were to stand collectively to make up a dwelling place for the Lord.
No individual Board could make up a fit dwelling place for the Lord God.
It was only as the many Boards came together and, as we will see later, were held together by the bars that the structure became stable and functional.
All the boards together were designed to stand on the earth but they were not tied to the earth.
No boards were buried in the earth but only stood upon sockets which provided their foundations.
It was a pilgrim structure designed to be moved from place to place.
It symbolized the believerís admonition to love not the world, neither the things of the world.
When every Board was in its place the Tabernacle was complete and the Glory of God could dwell within.
The Church is one body, yet many "boards," or members.
God respects the assembly of believers when they dwell together in one accord and in one place.
It is a very "pleasant" thing for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Acts 2:1, And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were
all with one accord in one place.