God is with us

Over the past few weeks, together we have seen God acting decisively and doing the unexpected. We have seen God making himself known to his people through revealing his name and his character through displays of power and the giving of law.

In this final session, we will see why God has done all of these things to meet with his people.

  • Looking back over the past few weeks of Exodus, what do you think you have learnt?
  • What questions do you still have from the studies?
  • Has the rest of the video given you anymore questions or answers?

At this point in Exodus, the Lord will given Moses commands about setting up a new place. This new place will be where God’s people will meet him, encountering the Lord and his glory.

Exodus 20- Setting Up the Tabernacle

40 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant law and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.

“Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.

“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 10 Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.

The Bible (NIV)
  • Why do you think it is called the tent of meeting?
  • What do you think is the purpose of the tabernacle?
  • Why is a curtain set up to shield the ark?
  • What do you think consecrating means and holiness means?
  • Are there things in your life that you feel like you have to consecrate yourself for?
  • Are there things in your life you feel like you have to treat as holy?

Exodus 20 continued…

12 “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 13 Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. 14 Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. 15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.” 16 Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.

The Bible (NIV)
  • What do you think when you hear the word priest?
  • What do you think is the purpose of priesthood is?

17 So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year. 18 When Moses set up the tabernacle, he put the bases in place, erected the frames, inserted the crossbars and set up the posts. 19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering over the tent, as the Lord commanded him.

20 He took the tablets of the covenant law and placed them in the ark, attached the poles to the ark and put the atonement cover over it. 21 Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the shielding curtain and shielded the ark of the covenant law, as the Lord commanded him.

22 Moses placed the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle outside the curtain 23 and set out the bread on it before the Lord, as the Lord commanded him.

24 He placed the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle 25 and set up the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord commanded him.

26 Moses placed the gold altar in the tent of meeting in front of the curtain 27 and burned fragrant incense on it, as the Lord commanded him.

28 Then he put up the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 29 He set the altar of burnt offering near the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and offered on it burnt offerings and grain offerings, as the Lord commanded him.

The Bible (NIV)
  • As Moses sets up the temple is there anything you find confusing?
  • Why do you think Israel had to offer burnt and grain offerings?
  • What do these instructions show how they are supposed to worship the Lord?

Exodus 40 continued…

30 He placed the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing, 31 and Moses and Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and feet. 32 They washed whenever they entered the tent of meeting or approached the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Bible (NIV)
  • Why do you think they washed before entering the tent of meeting?

Exodus 20 continued…

33 Then Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and altar and put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses finished the work.

The Glory of the Lord

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

The Bible (NIV)
  • What does the passage say as the reason for Moses not being able to enter?
  • Why do you think Moses could not enter?

Exodus 20 continued…

36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.

The Bible (NIV)
  • How do you think Israel felt following a cloud?
  • The Israelites do not set out and move before God has, what does that suggest about the relationship God has with his people?
  • Do you think this shows Israel finally trust God?

Looking Forward

The tabernacle was the place Israel worshipped Yahweh and as Israel developed as a nation it made a temple rather then a tabernacle. This became the place where Israel would worship, praise and hope to encounter God. But when Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, something happened to the curtain which shielded the holy places where God’s glory was.

Mathew 27:50-51 reads…

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

The Bible (NIV)
  • What do you think it meant for the curtain to be torn? When it was torn from top to bottom do you think it symbolised anything?

The curtain ripping shows us that, because of Jesus’ death we can all meet God. Jesus removed the separation between a Holy, perfect and sinless God and his broken, failing and sinful people, enabling us to have a relationship with God. We do not have to go to a specific tabernacle and be a specific person to meet God but can meet God where we are!

Prayer points

  • Thank God that he has now made it possible for us all to meet him.
  • Thank God that he wants to meet and encounter you, ask God to meet you where you are this week.
  • Thank God for his character and his son Jesus

What now?

Thank you for journeying through Exodus with us! This is the last study in Exodus, we have not read the whole book but if you are interested to read more, please chat to your Explore leaders! Finally, if you want to find out more about who Jesus is, we’d love to offer the opportunity to read Uncover Mark with you which will take you through the account of Jesus’ life.

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