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13. God’s Dwelling Place; His Tabernacle

June 26, 2009

Text:   Exodus 24:12-31:18

Key Verse:   Exodus 31:12

Outline:                I. Moses Ascends Mt. Sinai      Ex. 24:12-18

                                II. God Defines His Tabernacle      Ex. 25:1-31:11

                               III. Remember the Sabbath      Ex. 31:12-18


     This is a significant portion of Scripture defining the design of God’s Tabernacle. The building of this tabernacle is analogous to Israel taking Mt. Sinai with them to the Promised Land where it will eventually rest in Jerusalem on Mt. Moriah during King Solomon’s reign. Mt. Sinai was declared holy and so is God’s Tabernacle.

     God calls Moses to come further up Mt. Sinai to receive God’s Law which He has written in stone. Joshua, Moses aid, goes along. Aaron and Hur, Israel’s elders, are left in charge. These two evidently are #2 and #3 in command. A cloud covers the mountain and God’s glory comes onto it as fire. Moses remained on the mountain for 40 days and nights.

     Moses is to collect a free will offering to provide materials and to fund the building of the Tabernacle. Most of this came from the Egyptians as Israel left Egypt. All the articles within the Tabernacle, including the Tabernacle itself are described in detail. Even the incense, the oil, and the Priest’s garments are described in detail. Before any worship can begin, the priests and the Tabernacle and all its’ furnishings must be consecrated to make it holy. God has gifted two Israelites with His Spirit and given them all the skills and knowledge needed to build His Tabernacle. Thus, God has provided the materials, the supervision, and the skilled labor to build His Tabernacle.

     Most Study Bible have excellent drawings of the Tabernacle and its’ furnishings. One of the best books I have found which details these chapters is the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Timelines by Rose Publishing.

     God closes His discussion with Moses by emphasizing just how important it is for Israel to observe the Sabbath so they can remember that God is the Lord who makes them holy. Failure to observe the Sabbath brings death and removal as members of God’s people. Work is to cease and they are to rest in holy worship and celebration/praise to the Creator God.

     So God has announced His Ten Commandments and given them direction on observing His last six commandments through what I have called Israel’s Civil Law. Here God is laying the groundwork for observing His first four commandments which outlines the relationship Israel is to have with God.


     1. Don’t expect instantaneous answers or direction from God. Sometimes lengthy preparation is required on our part to enable us to clearly hear and understand His Will. Wait before the Lord. The Lord speaks loudest and clearest when we express a quiet humility before Him in holy worship.

     2. God promises to dwell among His people. His Tabernacle was His dwelling place for Israel. Now God dwells in our hearts through His Holy Spirit. Our hearts are His Tabernacle. But for God to dwell in us, we must open our hearts to Him and let His blood cleanse us from sin, making us holy.

     3. Failure to worship Him will result in our failure to honor Him which results in our failure to acknowledge He is God which results in our spiritual death.


The Holy God

desires to

Have a Holy People

with which He can

Have a Holy Fellowship.


Keep the Sabbath Holy;

Worship the Lord God only.


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