1 Peter 3:18a, ESV
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God...
EXODUS 24:18-25:9, NIrV
18 Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring me an offering. You must receive the offering for me from everyone whose hearts move them to give.
3 “Here are the offerings you must receive from them. “gold, silver and bronze
4 blue, purple and bright red yarn and fine linen
5 ram skins that are dyed red
another kind of strong leather
6 olive oil for the lights
spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense
7 onyx stones and other jewels for the linen apron and chest cloth
8 “Have them make a sacred tent for me. I will live among them. 9 Make the holy tent and everything that belongs to it. Make them exactly like the pattern I will show you.
With fire, lightning, and earthquakes, the Lord God had descended on Mount Sinai. On top of that mountain, God spoke to Moses all the commands of his law. After Moses repeated these rules to the people, the Lord called the old man back up the mountain. And for the next forty days, God gave Moses building instructions. What did God want Moses to make? A special tent called the Tabernacle, which means “tent of meeting.” But God wasn’t planning a camping trip. Instead, he was preparing a place where a sin-less God like himself could meet with a sin-filled people like the Israelites.
+ God told Moses to ask the people to donate items for building the Tabernacle tent. What did God tell Moses to ask the people to give? (vs. 3-7)
EXODUS 25:10-22, NIrV
10 “Have them make an ark out of acacia wood. It must be a chest three feet nine inches long and two feet three inches wide and high. 11 Cover it inside and outside with pure gold. Put a strip of gold around it. 12Make four gold rings for it. Join them to its four bottom corners. Put two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles out of acacia wood. Cover them with gold. 14 Put the poles through the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles must remain in the rings of the ark. Do not remove them. 16 I will give you the tablets of the covenant law. When I do, put them into the ark.
17 “Make its cover out of pure gold. The cover is the place where sin will be paid for. Make it three feet nine inches long and two feet three inches wide. 18 Make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Put one of the cherubim on each end of it. Make the cherubim part of the cover itself. 20 They must have their wings spread up over the cover. The cherubim must face each other and look toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark. I will give you the tablets of the covenant law. Put them in the ark. 22 The ark is where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. I will meet with you above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark. There I will give you all my commands for the Israelites.
After telling Moses to build the Tabernacle tent, God gave instructions for an ark to go inside it. This ark wouldn’t be like Noah’s giant boat. It would be a small wooden box, a bit like a treasure chest. God wanted Moses to cover the whole thing with gold. On the lid, at opposite ends, two golden statues of cherubim (angels) would sit, their wings pointing in to the middle. This ark would be a work of art, beautiful enough to sit inside a museum. But that’s not what made it truly special. Right between the wings of the cherubim, at that very spot, the Lord himself promised to meet with his people!
+ What did God tell Moses to make to carry the ark? (vs. 13-14)
+ Use a ruler/tape measure and some string/yarn to make a rectangle the size of the ark. It was about 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. Then, hold your hand about 27 inches off the ground. That’s about how tall the ark would be.
EXODUS 25:23-30, NIrV
23 “Make a table out of acacia wood. Make it three feet long, one foot six inches wide and two feet three inches high. 24 Cover it with pure gold. Put a strip of gold around it. 25 Also make a rim around it three inches wide. Put a strip of gold around the rim. 26 Make four gold rings for the table. Join them to the four corners, where the four legs are. 27 The rings must be close to the rim. They must hold the poles that will be used to carry the table. 28 Make the poles out of acacia wood. Cover them with gold. Use them to carry the table. 29 Make its plates and dishes out of pure gold. Also make its pitchers and bowls out of pure gold. Use the pitchers and bowls to pour out drink offerings. 30 Put the holy bread on the table. It must be near my holy throne on the ark of the covenant law at all times.
While the ark would be the most special thing inside the Tabernacle, it wouldn’t be the only thing. God told Moses to build a small table out of wood, then cover it with gold. This piece of furniture would be called the “Table of Showbread.” On the last day of every week, twelve freshly-baked loaves of bread would be placed on this table, one for each of Israel’s twelve tribes (which were sort of like states). The Table of Showbread would be a forever picture of God’s friendship with his people. How? Because gathering around a table and sharing food is what you do with friends!
+ Look up Leviticus 24:5-9. How were the twelve loaves of bread to be arranged? (vs. 6)
+ Who was allowed to eat the bread from the Table of Showbread? (vs. 9)
EXODUS 25:31-40, NIRV
31 “Make a lampstand out of pure gold. Hammer out its base and stem. Its buds, blossoms and cups must branch out from it. They must be part of the lampstand itself. 32 Six branches must come out from the sides of the lampstand. Make three on one side and three on the other. 33 On one branch make three cups that are shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. Then put three on the next branch. Do the same with all six branches that come out from the lampstand. 34 On the lampstand there must be four cups that are shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud must be under the first pair of branches that come out from the lampstand. Put a second bud under the second pair. And put a third bud under the third pair. Make a total of six branches. 36 The buds and branches must come out from the lampstand. The whole lampstand must be one piece hammered out of pure gold.
37 “Then make its seven lamps. Set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38 The trays and wick cutters must be made out of pure gold. 39 Use 75 pounds of pure gold to make the lampstand and everything used with it. 40 Be sure to make everything just like the pattern I showed you on the mountain.
In the instructions for the Tabernacle, God didn’t include windows. Without some sort of light, the inside of the tent would be totally dark. And since the Tabernacle was made 3,500 years ago, they couldn’t just flip on a light switch, either! So God gave Moses a design for an oil lamp. Made of pure gold, it was to be hammered into the shape of a flowering almond tree. There would be a “trunk” in the middle with three “branches” coming out of both sides. The trunk and six branches would have small cups to hold lamp oil, creating seven lights to brighten the inside of the tent.
+ With an adult’s help, search online for an image of “the golden lampstand.” Draw a picture of it.
EXODUS 30:1-8, NIRV
1 “Make an altar for burning incense. Make it out of acacia wood. 2 It must be one and a half feet square and three feet high. Make a horn stick out from each of its upper four corners. 3 Cover the top, sides and horns with pure gold. Put a strip of gold around it. 4 Make two gold rings for the altar below the strip. Put the rings across from each other. They will hold the poles that are used to carry it. 5 Make the poles out of acacia wood. Cover them with gold. 6 Put the altar in front of the curtain that hangs in front of the ark. The ark is where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. The ark will have a cover. It will be the place where sin is paid for. There I will meet with you.
7 “Aaron must burn sweet-smelling incense on the altar. He must do it every morning when he takes care of the lamps. 8 He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at sunset. Incense must be burned regularly in front of the Lord. Do it for all time to come.
The final item God designed for the inside of the Tabernacle tent was the Altar of Incense. It was shaped a bit like an end table. It was about three feet high, made of wood, and covered with gold. If the golden lampstand’s job was to fill the tent with light, the altar of incense’s job was to fill it with smell! God gave Moses a special recipe of spices to be crushed into a powder and burned on top of the altar every day and every night. As the smoke of this sweet-smelling perfume rose to the sky, it would be a forever picture of the prayers of the people rising up to the Lord God above.
+ How many times a day would incense be burned on the altar? (vs. 7-8)
+ Write down the ingredients for the incense that was burned on the altar. (vs. 34-35)
DAY 6 - TWO PARTS
READING 1 - EXODUS 28:1-11, NIRV
1 “Have your brother Aaron brought to you from among the Israelites. His sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar must also be brought. They will serve me as priests. 2 Make sacred clothes for your brother Aaron. When he is wearing them, people will honor him. They will have respect for him. 3 Speak to all the skilled workers. I have given them the skill to do this kind of work. Tell them to make clothes for Aaron. He will wear them when he is set apart to serve me as priest. 4 The workers must make a chest cloth, a linen apron and an outer robe. They must also make an inner robe, a turban and a belt. They must make sacred clothes for your brother Aaron and his sons. Then they will serve me as priests. 5 Have the workers use thin gold wire, and blue, purple and bright red yarn, and fine linen.
6 “Make the linen apron out of thin gold wire, and out of blue, purple and bright red yarn, and out of finely twisted linen. Have a skilled worker make it. 7 It must have two shoulder straps joined to two of its corners. 8 Its skillfully made waistband must be like the apron. The waistband must be part of the apron itself. Make the waistband out of thin gold wire, and out of blue, purple and bright red yarn, and out of finely twisted linen.
9 “Get two onyx stones. Carve the names of the sons of Israel on them. 10 Arrange them in the order of their birth. Carve six names on one stone and six on the other. 11 Carve the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a jewel cutter would carve them. Then put the stones in fancy gold settings.
Every day, there was work to be done in the Tabernacle. For this job, God selected Moses’ brother Aaron and his sons. They would become “priests.” They were to light the lampstand, burn incense on the altar, and place bread on the table. Once a year, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of an animal on the golden ark. Because they were doing a special job in a special place, God designed special clothes for them. The most precious part of their outfit was the “ephod breastplate.” Over their hearts, they wore twelve precious stones, one to represent each of the 12 tribes of Israel.
+ Write down the names of the twelve stones used for the priest’s ephod. (vs. 17-20)
READING 2 - EXODUS 40:1-5 AND 34-38, NIRV
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Set up the holy tent, the tent of meeting. Set it up on the first day of the first month. 3 Place in it the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Hide the ark with the curtain. 4 Bring in the table for the holy bread. Arrange the loaves of bread on it. Then bring in the lampstand. Set up its lamps. 5 Place the gold altar for burning incense in front of the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Put up the curtain at the entrance to the holy tent.
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting. The glory of the Lord filled the holy tent. 35 Moses couldn’t enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it. The glory of the Lord filled the holy tent.
36 The Israelites continued their travels. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the holy tent, they started out. 37 But if the cloud didn’t lift, they did not start out. They stayed until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was above the holy tent during the day. Fire was in the cloud at night. All the Israelites could see the cloud during all their travels.
When Moses came back down the mountain, he assigned skilled workers to build God's designs. These men made the ark, the Table of Showbread, the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the cloth for the Tabernacle tent itself. Each item was made skillfully, exactly according to God’s designs. When everything was finished, the tent was set up and the ark, table, lampstand and altar of incense arranged placed inside.
God had promised to meet with his people in the Tabernacle. And that’s exactly what happened. After everything was set up, a bright cloud of God’s glory covered the tent and filled every square inch of the inside!
About 3,500 years have gone by since that special day. The Tabernacle tent is long gone. Does that mean our sin-less God no longer wants to meet with sin-filled people like us? Of course not! Back when God was giving Moses plans for the Tabernacle, he already had a plan for the far-off future to make the tent of meeting totally unnecessary. And about 1,500 years later, he put that plan into action by sending his Son Jesus.
Because Jesus was God and human at the same time, he was like a living-and-breathing, walking-and-talking tabernacle! Anyone who met with Jesus was meeting with God! But God’s plan to meet with us was much greater than simply spending thirty years hanging out as a human. He came to save us from our sin problem.
Because of the evil things we’ve done, sinful people like you and me don’t deserve to meet with our sinless God. Instead, we actually deserve death! But we never have to worry about that. Why? Because Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for us. And with our sins paid for, we can meet with God forever in his good kingdom!
+ What covered the Tabernacle during the day? What covered it at night? (vs. 38)