The only way for God and man to meet is in the precise way and place which He has appointed (v. 22).
When a righteous God and a ruined sinner meet on a blood-sprinkled platform, all is well (1 Peter 1:18-19).
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
10 ¶ 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.
11 And 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.
12 And 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.
13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
17 And 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.
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
19 And 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.
20 And 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.
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And 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.
23 ¶ Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.
28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.
31 ¶ And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 25:1-9 – Moses Shown God’s Plan for the Tabernacle
We need God, but God wants us, and therefore the construction of the Tabernacle is next arranged, that He may dwell with man upon the earth. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 25:9 – According to all that I shew thee,… even so shall ye make it.
It was clear that God would only be responsible for the material that was needed for His plan. If Moses, or the people, insisted on putting in more than was in his original plan, they would have to bear the anxiety of securing the stuff. This is our mistake. We incur responsibilities that God does not put on us; we burden our hearts with anxiety and care because we insist on introducing so many items into our daily life, which would not have been there if we had but been content with God’s pattern, and acquiesced in his program.
This injunction is repeated in four different passages, showing the importance with which God regards it. Indeed, to be on God’s plan is the only place of rightness, safety, and joy.
God’s plan in our character.—It is presented in the human life of Jesus. We are to walk as He walked. Having been called according to his purpose, let us never rest content with anything less than being conformed to the image of God’s Son.
God’s plan in our Christian service.—Not seeking to resemble some other devoted life; but endeavoring to be as God would have us, the embodiment of his thought, the expression of his conception. Then our efforts will be crowned with success, and we shall bear much fruit to the glory of God.
God’s plan for every day.—He has prepared a scheme for the employment of every hour, and will show it to us by the indication of his Spirit, or by the trend of circumstances. Let us abide in Him, doing nothing that He does not teach, doing all He does. So life will become a tabernacle, in which the Shechinah will shine and sacrifices be offered. —Our Daily Homily
Exodus 25:10-22 – The Ark and the Mercy-Seat
The Tabernacle was full of symbolical teaching of which the full meaning is unfolded in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where we are distinctly told that the Holy Spirit inspired the plan of the various parts. See Hebrews 9:8. Well would it be for us, if we built our lives as Moses the Tabernacle, only on the divine plan. Note Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; Hebrews 8:5. The Ark was the symbol of the Covenant between Jehovah and His people.
The golden slab, known as the mercy-seat, supplied the meeting-place between God and man. It was there that the high priest sprinkled the blood of atonement once a year. It is alluded to by the apostles, Paul and John, as the “propitiation.” We might insert Mercy-Seat in each passage. See Romans 3:25; I John 2:2. Angel forms bent on either side, with their faces downward. See I Peter 1:12. The tables of the Law lay written beneath, because the divine righteousness underlies all God’s dealings with men. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 25:23-40 – The Table of Showbread and the Lampstand
The Table of the Showbread, or Presence-bread, held the twelve loaves, which represented the tribes of Israel. It was three feet long, one foot, six inches broad, and two feet, three inches high. The border or edging of gold around the top kept its contents from falling off. The loaves were changed each week, and when removed, were eaten only by the priests. See Mark 2:26. Surely the suggestion of this table, standing, as it did, immediately before the veil on the outer side, was intended to teach that the purity and devotion of Israel were as bread to God. He taketh pleasure in them that fear Him. We also feed with God on the beauty and glory of our Savior’s obedience unto death.
The candlestick, with its seven branches, cost $35,000 (about $700,000 today), and is a type of Christ, the Light of the World, and of the people of God when illuminated by the Divine Fire and shining amid the darkness around. See Zechariah 4:2; John 8:12; Revelation 1:13. —Through the Bible Day by Day