Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sacrifice (2) Tabernacle

The first big step in God’s plan to restore the earth was calling the descendants of Abraham and Jacob into the promised land. He wanted to establish a place on earth where he had authority to speak and act. He rescued the Israelites from Egypt and led him through the desert to Mount Sinai. God wanted to meet with his people on the mountain.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking” (Ex 19:9).
God still loved his people and had rescued them. He still wanted to share with them, but guilty people could not bear to be close to him. The elders came and spoke to Moses.
Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them. But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer. Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey (Deut 5:24-27).
The people heard God speak, but they were scared. They asked Moses to represent them before God and listen to what he is saying. Just like in the garden, God wanted to speak to his people, but they were scared and hid from him. Guilt made it impossible for them to be close to God.

God told Moses how to build the Tabernacle and establish a pattern of sacrifices. God came and dwelt in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle in the midst of the people. Most of the people were still scared of him, but Moses was able to talk to him and hear his responses. God was able to give Moses the wisdom needed for the people to live in peace in the land.

The tabernacle sacrifices dealt with the guilt problem sufficiently for the people to be able to cope with God dwelling in their midst of them. Although most only drew near to God, when they were bringing a sacrifice (Lev 1:3). Most still relied on Moses to speak with God on their behalf.

The spiritual powers of evil hated the tabernacle because they did not want God living in the midst of his people. They did not want the people to speak with God. The spiritual powers of evil knew that if God was present, they would lose out. They hung around the tabernacle in an attempt to destroy anyone who came near to God. They did not want God getting near to his people.

The primary purpose of the offerings on the bronze altar outside the tabernacle was to appease the spiritual powers of evil, who demanded blood for every sin. The sacrifices were offered to keep them at bay. They were not entirely happy, but they had no choice but to accept them, because God said they must be satisfied with the blood of animals, because the animals belonged to humans.

God dwelt in the Holy of Holies. He did not demand blood. The only blood in the Holy of Holies was a little was dabbed on the horns of the altar, once a year on the day of Atonement (Exodus 30:1-10). God is easy to please and a pleasant aroma was all he required.

The tabernacle was not the centre of ceremonial religion, or a type to teach us mysteries. It was the site of an intense spiritual battle, in which God won and enforced a strategic victory that foreshadowed a much greater victory of Jesus cross and resurrection.

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