|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||Walking by Fate or Faith?||Lesson 12|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|November 18 2001||Bible Lessons
The subject of the Tabernacle is far more than a piece of Jewish history. The subject of the Tabernacle and its service is far more than just an account of a religious order. The Tabernacle and its service is God's "illustrated text book" of redemption past, present, and future. God uses the structure of the tabernacle, and the physical ceremonies accompanying it as illustrations and shadows of Spiritual truths, and things to come.
Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
All of the things, mentioned in this v. 16, have reference to some aspect of the service or ritual of the Tabernacle. The Holy Spirit through Paul tells us that these are shadows of the REAL substance in and of Christ.
Hebrews 8:4-5 For if He (Christ) were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."
Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
These and other passages clearly declare that the Tabernacle and its service had a twofold purpose even from the beginning. This twofold purpose was not an afterthought with God. God did not institute the Tabernacle and its worship, and then say to Himself, "Self, that's a real good deal. If I work it right, this will turn out to be a worship order for the Israelites, AND examples to the Christians who will follow."
NO!!! God, knowing that the Spiritual life and the reality of godliness could not be comprehended by the natural mind, planned even before the foundations of the world to establish a physical "pattern" that could be observed by the human mind. The Holy Spirit uses the "pattern" to teach those who will:
1 Corinthians 10:5-12 But with most of them (Israelites in the wilderness) God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Not only did God give the Tabernacle and its service a twofold purpose, the things that happened to the Israelites, and were recorded also had a twofold purpose.
For the Believer, the purpose and the recording of those events are to help us avoid sinning in a similar manner. Therefore, the events leading up to, surrounding and following the establishment of the tabernacle CANNOT be separated from the facts of the Tabernacle, itself. The events and Tabernacle together are examples to us "on whom the ends of the ages have come" v.11.
Therefore, in this type of Biblical study, as well as any Biblical study, we cannot take one part of the tabernacle or one event connected to the Tabernacle, and gain its lessons on its own merit. Each part and each event must be seen in the light of the total. This fact should be expected in God's presentation of the Tabernacle, its service and the events surrounding it, BECAUSE that is the way the Holy Spirit teaches, AND the Holy Spirit was the author of the Bible.
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Because of those facts, I have chosen for the introduction to this study, the "snap shot" method. "Snap shot" is not a Biblical term, BUT the process is VERY Biblical. I have chosen the "snap shot" method rather than the "movie" method because:
By the way, this style or method is used in making most professional movies. In making a movie, the director and producer use still scenes often placed on what is called a "storyboard" or other various names. As they establish, the main scenes they begin to fill in the actions needed to properly take the viewer from one scene to another. When they have carefully put together all the fine details of the main scenes in still life, then the action between those main scenes will properly harmonize and lead the viewer to the key factors.
When a proper movie production is completed and we view it, we feel that we had been a part of the action, and we say, "Wow! What a movie!" When the scenes do not properly flow together, we feel that we have observed someone trying to do something that they could not do, and we walk away and say, "What a bummer!"
We are not trying to make a movie of the Old Testament events, BUT we are trying to properly see and understand a "movie" that God put together one frame at a time. Therefore, we need to "view" this movie in the same manner as God put it together.
However, we humans are very limited when it comes to our mental abilities. God is omniscient, and we are totally finite in our knowledge and understanding. Therefore, if we are to study God's "movie", we must learn its many details, and constantly keep each of those details in a proper relationship with each other detail and with the whole.
In this and other areas, these "snap shots" become a very handy tool. We can, as we did in the last lesson, take a wide panoramic "snap shot". OR we can "zoom in" and take a "snap" of some very minute, out of the way event. However, when that seemly incidental event is seen in light of the whole, we can see God's purpose and His teaching for us.
In the last lesson, we took a quick look at the "BIG" picture, all the way from the captivity in Egypt to possessing the Promised Land. From that overview, we looked at some examples pointed out by the Holy Spirit. In that "BIG" picture we saw:
If we keep in mind the progression of the "BIG" picture, we won't get lost in the wilderness of facts and events when we begin to look at the details. Let's move back even further in the total context of the Tabernacle. In this context, we see that just as in the real experience, so is the shadow, or example.
Exodus 1:8-10 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 "come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land."
There are many examples and shadows, sometime referred to as types. There are some technical differences between an example, a shadow, and a type. However, for this survey study, we will "lump" them all into the same package. At a later more in depth study, it would be interesting to look at the differences in these three.
We don't have time to go back
Before we move into this account, let's establish the fact of several other shadows or examples.
Egypt is an example of world. The Israelites in slavery are an example of the human race in slavery to sin and Satan. It would follow that the king of Egypt is an example of Satan, who is the god of this world.
That sets the scene and the cast of characters. Now, let's see some of the events that the Holy Spirit recorded, so we would have shadows and examples in order to better understand His person, His plan and so we would live within each.
You remember the story. Jacob and whole family moved to Egypt, and there things seemed to be going oh so very good.
Let me stop for a moment, and remind you of something that most know. In a Biblical example or type, we can't force the type to match all aspects of the reality. Instead, we must see the reality, and then we can understand to what part of the reality the example or type applies. We must not start with the type and try to make reality "fit" the type. That is known as "spiritualizing". A bad term, but none the less, it is one that is used to describe this process.
Once we know what part of the example or type applies to the event, THEN we can go back to the example, and allow it to bring to our minds a much fuller understanding of the Spiritual truth it was designed to teach.
We will not spend too much time on the first part of this story, because the examples brought out are well known, to most. Plus, the truths taught by these first examples are not vital to our understanding of the Tabernacle and its service. However, as background to the plan of redemption, these first examples are vital.
Just as when the Jews first came to Egypt, things were good. Likewise, when the human race was first placed on the earth, all was "very good".
In the example, a different king entered the scene, the type of Satan. The new king did not know or give proper honor and recognition to Joseph. Joseph being the type of Christ.
In reality, Satan entered the Garden. He, likewise, did not give Christ the honor and recognition He deserved.
The Jews, because of Joseph (type of Christ), were honored by the former king of Egypt when they first arrived. Likewise, the human race, in Adam and Eve, were honored by God when they first came to the Garden.
The new king of Egypt stripped the Jews of their honor and made them slaves. Through his craftiness, he attempted to make it impossible for them to leave that place of slavery. From the very outset, the purpose and plan of this "new" king of Egypt was to make it impossible for the Israelites, on their own, to "go up out of the land" v.10. By the way, that fact will come in real handy when you try to reconcile the hardening of Pharaoh's heart at the Exodus.
In similar manner, Satan takes the human race captive because of their own sin, and places them in slavery where it is impossible for them to escape, on their own. It is in this hopeless scene of Israel's dark night, that the story of redemption is brought to light (by the example) through the deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
John 14:30 "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
Ephesians 2:1-7 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Exodus 1:13-14 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage-- in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
Look at a truth found in this example. It is so very easy to become content with our life of sin. So content that we do not want deliverance from the works of unrighteousness. Sometimes, in God's grace, He must allow us to have lives of bitter and hard bondage, before freedom is even a desire. This is tragically true of Believers, just as it is of the unsaved. The physical cost of holiness seem too great, at the time. Therefore, we are content to live a life somewhere between mediocrity and causal sin...or worse.
God, through His grace, often allows us to enter times of bitterness and rigor to create the desire for holiness. When the slavery to sin is unpleasant enough, then we are open to hear about God's freedom. Even after hearing and knowing about God's best, it sometimes takes a LONG time before we are willing to accept the process needed to receive God's high calling.
Where you live, and what you have to live with, are not solely for your comfort and satisfaction. God allows you to have what you have for many reasons. One of those reasons is so you will reach out to God for the life He provided on the cross. By the way, what you have to live with, and where you live can change at the drop of a hat, or less.
Acts 17:26-27 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
Listen, my friend. God put you where you are, and with what you have, so you will seek the Lord. You see, God can cause the place and type of your habitation to change. That change can come through many sources such as; layoffs, sickness, war, etc., etc.
Whatever you have and wherever you might be, you are there by the appointment of God, SO you will seek Him. Are you fulfilling the purpose for which God placed you in your habitation???? Are you living the life to which God called you?
No Believer, during time, will arrive at the place in life when they do not need to adjust their lives, their time, their activities, their friends, their expenses, etc. so they can better seek God. It is also all right to adjust your life, time, activities, friends and expenses to enhance your comfort, UNLESS that comfort becomes the object of your living, INSTEAD of godliness.
God has not put you where your are and with what you have just so you will be more comfortable, have more things for your kids, etc., BUT so you will seek God!! Some of these other "things" may come along in the process of first seeking God.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
It would behoove each of us to start every day with, "What can I do to better walk the walk of holiness?" Yes, it would be very good, if we would make that evaluation several times a day!
Romans 2:2-6 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
Are you experiencing the
Someday, in this life or at the Judgment, God will open the doors of the "Storehouse of Wrath", and allow you to experience "falling into hands of a living God". Look at another example from events of the Israelites in the wilderness.
Hebrews 10:28-31 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
If God had not allowed the Israelites to know bitter anguish, they would have NEVER cried out to God for deliverance. Therefore, they would have been content to stay in Egypt making bricks.
It would be much better to change your mind and actions on many things, while the goodness of God is yours. The goodness of God is far better than bitter anguish, and both are designed to bring about the same thing in your life. The purpose of living, and all we are to accomplish by that living is to mold us into the image of Christ, not to be comfortable living on a pile of "sin-bricks" so we can have my own way.
Continue thinking through the story of Israel in Egypt. We will skip MANY good lessons. Possibly we can return for a second look, later.
Moses was saved from death because his mother placed him in a basket and trusted him to the Lord's keeping. A lesson parents need to learn well. When in God's will, your children (or you) are just as safe in a basket on the Nile, as in a bassinet in the bedroom.
You remember the story. Pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the basket and raised him in the king's palace. Our children are on loan from God. Make sure we understand and see to it that they are for God's purpose, NOT just our pleasure.
By faith Moses
Hebrews 11:23-27 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command. 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
Simple logic tells us that Moses made a mistake when he traded in the kingly crown for a shepherd's staff. After all, it was relief from suffering and slavery that the people of Israel wanted and were praying for, and Moses had been placed in this position by a providential act like no other.
Could it not be assumed that Moses should have occupied the throne and used his kingly influence on behalf of his people?? IF Moses had stayed in his position as the son of the king's daughter, he could have risen to power and could have decreed their slavery over.
Such a solution would have taken care of a lot of problems. After all, it was "providence" that placed him in the kingly line. It was not his choice to be there. So... he should have stayed and taken advantage of his blessings. Right? What a lesson we can learn from this.
For many Believers, the motto is "Fate Rules". If the circumstances are favorable to my comfort and liking, then it's God's blessing. If the circumstance require sacrifice and discomfort...well then... someone else must have caused the suffering.
Faith deals with things not seen, and actions not based on human rationale. Faith is based on: "God said it. I believe it. Therefore, I act on it!" Faith rests entirely on the person and promises of God. If God gives instructions in His Word to act or think in a certain manner, THEN faith acts in that manner.., EVEN if it costs my comfort, or life!!!!
No the god of this world can never be engaged as the provider for or protector of God's people. We can not use the philosophy of this age to prepare for the ages to come. We should not, nor cannot accept the protection of this worldly system in the place of God's sheltering wings.
Faith has God as its object, and it must be identified with God's plan, person and word, only. Any coalition with the worldly system can only bring Spiritual disaster, at best.
No!! If Moses was to be a servant of God, and if he was to be of any Spiritual benefit to the people of Israel, then he had to act by faith alone, and be separate from the world
Moses, operating by the energy of flesh and through the influence of the world, might have been able to affect some relief for the people, and possibly even bring grandeur and status to the nation. In so doing, Israel would never have been granted deliverance, and would not have received the promise of God to become the greatest nation of all times.
If Moses had stayed, he might have spared himself and his people much affliction, but BOTH would have lost their true and eternal glory. Israel might have had relief, BUT their dependence would still have been centered in Pharaoh's provision and protection.
If they had stayed under the protection and provision of Egypt, Israel would have learned to lean on Pharaoh, INSTEAD of leaning on the everlasting arms. That reliance on the "god of the world" would have led to even greater slavery and dependence of Pharaoh.
Moses learned something that not many Believers have learned. He placed, above all else, a high regard, and even a desire for the "reproach" of Christ greater riches rather than the treasures in Egypt, human opinion, status, etc. Moses had his value system in proper order. My question to you and to me:
When faced with a life changing choice...
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2001|