I Will Dwell among Them and be Their God
If you’ve read through the Old Testament, you may have gotten kind of tired of all the offerings that are mandated in it, especially in Exodus and Leviticus. I actually had a friend quit reading the Bible because of them. It seemed brutal, pointless, and overly excessive to her.
Reading the pages one after another and not understanding what is actually going on can certainly lead to that kind of conclusion. Be honest, it seems tedious at times, doesn’t it? Even the Lord said that he had had enough of Israel’s burnt offerings. If you don’t believe me, check Isaiah 1:11.
But the reason was because of the manner in which they were offered, not because it wasn’t the right thing to do. The Lord had called Israel and had given them these rules for a reason. It was first so that they would be His people and He would be their God. There was to be communion with Him through their offerings.
But they got to the point where communing with God was a chore and not a joy. They mechanically offered what the law required and there was no true fellowship in what they did. The second reason for the required offerings was to show us something else. These offerings under the law, like every other detail of what we have seen, were given as a type and shadow of Christ to come.
I know that the thought of analyzing a bunch of sacrifices and offerings may seem dull, but its not. If you still aren’t impressed with the verses ahead when we get done today, I’ll give you a full refund on your time. But I just don’t believe you will ask for it. If you truly love what Christ has done, then those things which picture Him will be worth the time you spend looking into them.
Text Verse: For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”2 Corinthians 6:16
The Lord said in our sermon verses today that he would dwell among the children of Israel and that He would be their God. He said in 2 Corinthians 6 that He would dwell among us and be our God. Doesn’t that at all get your curiosity up? How do the two accounts tie together? How can the morning and evening sacrifices of ancient Israel point us to our current position with God?
Well, stay awake and pay attention for the next 30 or 40 minutes and you’ll see. One thing is for sure, we can’t find out if we don’t open the book and study it. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. A Lamb, Morning and Evening (verses 38 & 39)
38 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar:
The consecration of the altar was explained in the previous verses, especially in verses 36 and 37. Now, immediately following that description, the account moves directly into the establishment of the daily offerings to be made on the altar.
The purpose of the ordination rites which were described, both for the priests and for this altar, is explained in these verses today. They are the end design to which that ordination is subservient, which is the worship of God and an acknowledgment to Him that all things come from Him.
It would make no sense to ordain the priests and consecrate the altar if there was not an ultimate purpose for their ordination and its consecration. Therefore, it shows that the intent for those consecrations find their fulfillment in what will now be described.
No exception is given here, or anywhere else, concerning relief from these offerings. Even if the land were completely deprived of food or animals, these would still be required because God, being the Source of all things, was to be acknowledged for being the provider or withholder of those things for the people.
His grace could be anticipated if these offerings were made, but even if it was withheld, they were still to be given in petition for mercy. To refuse to offer them as instructed would first be a violation of the covenant, and secondly a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the sovereignty of God who controls the nations and who directs the destiny of Israel.
The life of the people belonged to the Lord, and therefore, these sacrificial animals stood as representative of their lives being offered daily to him. These offerings then could be summed up by Paul from his words in Romans 12 –
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2
This mandate will continue throughout the duration of the Old Covenant. Even until the time of Christ, these offerings were made. At His coming, they were made obsolete, but they continued on until the destruction of the temple in AD70.
The re-establishment of them is being planned right now, but this doesn’t mean they will be acceptable to God. Rather, they are a part of what God has said would come in the final 7 years of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. However, these offerings were so especially important to the covenant while it was in effect, that we read this in Ezra 3 –
“From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid.” Ezra 3:6
Even before the laying of the foundation of the second temple, the daily offerings prescribed here were initiated. The same will probably be true with the reestablishment of the offerings in the coming of the next temple. As we will see though, the offerings only picture the coming work of Christ. In Him, they are fulfilled and set aside.
38 (con’t) two lambs of the first year,
The words read, kebasim bene shanah shnayim – “lambs, sons of the year, two.” These lambs were to be young, in the first year, picturing innocence. A lamb of any age is a beautiful picture of innocence, but one of the first year is especially so. It’s hard to imagine sacrificing such a pure and unstained animal.
However, it needs to be considered that it is the Lord who is mandating the sacrifice. As He is the Creator of the lamb, then it is His prerogative to stipulate whatever animal He chooses. In selecting a young, tender, and innocent lamb, He was making a picture of His own Son to come.
Every single day, 360 days a year, and therefore 720 times, these young lambs were sacrificed in anticipation of the day when the pure, perfect, and innocent Son of God would be sacrificed. These lambs then only prefigure His perfect innocence, and His infinite tenderness.
Lambs are not rebellious, but submissive animals. They don’t fight even as they go to their deaths, but rather they remain silent. They will willingly go where the master leads them. Such an animal then made a perfect picture of Christ who voluntarily submitted to His Father’s will and who did not fight or speak against the authority that came to take His life.
Lambs further picture many of His other endearing attributes of harmlessness to those He died for, His humility even toward those who cared nothing for Him, His patience towards the objects of His wrath, and they even emulate Christ in that lambs are useful for both food and clothing.
For those who partake of Him, He is their food. And for those who receive Him, He is their unstained white garment of righteousness. The sacrifice of these lambs was to be a twice-daily anticipation of many of the good things to come in Jesus Christ the Lord.
One more aspect of them is actually not yet recorded. However, in Numbers 28:3, it is added into the details where it says, “two male lambs in their first year without blemish.” Not only were these to be innocent lambs which were to be sacrificed to the Lord, but they were to be without blemish.
These then picture Christ as anticipated by Isaiah with the words that “He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” Peter then further refines the image in the New Testament –
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:17-19
38 (con’t) day by day continually.
la’yom tamid – ” daily continually.” From the first day that they were to be offered, until whatever point set by God in His eternal counsel, these offerings were to be made continually and without interruption.
If a war raged around Jerusalem, and the walls were ready to be breached, the offering was not to be withheld from the Lord. If the rains poured down, or if the snow piled deep, the offering was to continue unabated. God did not delay in offering His Son; Israel was not to delay in offering what merely pictured His coming.
The idea for Israel was first to understand that they continuously contracted new defilement which offended the Lord. And so daily they needed His pardon in order for them to continue before Him. Secondly, it was to show them that the worship of Him wasn’t to be limited to a Sabbath day or one of the set feast days, but it was to continue on at all times, and every day of the year.
39 One lamb you shall offer in the morning,
ha’kebes ha’echad taaseh ba’boqer – “the lamb the one you shall offer in the morning.” The first lamb was to be taken and sacrificed as an offering in the morning. There is a lesson for Israel to consider in this act, but there is also a picture of the Christ to come. In a moment we will look at both, but only after seeing what occurs with the second lamb…
39 (con’t) and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight.
v’eth ha’kebes ha’shnei taaseh ben ha’arbayim – “and the lamb the second you shall offer between the evenings.” The second lamb was to be sacrificed at a particular time which would later become known as the time of the evening offering, or even simply as the time of the offering. This is found, for example, in the great challenge between the 450 prophets of Baal and Elijah –
“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.'” 1 Kings 18:36, 37
This time became so important to the Jews, that even during exile when the sacrifices had stopped being made, those who were observant still used that time of day to make a sacrifice of prayer, petition, and praise to God. This is seen, for example, in Daniel 9 –
“Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.” Daniel 9:20, 21
For the people of Israel, these two daily sacrifices were to be a reminder of the sin-debt they incurred each night, necessitating a morning sacrifice, and the sin-debt they incurred each day, necessitating an evening sacrifice. An innocent died each morning and each evening as a symbolic reminder of the mercy of God towards them.
Thus, the nation was given a reminder to rededicate itself to the Lord morning by morning and evening by evening. They were to offer themselves as that reasonable living sacrifice that Paul later tells us in the church to be.
The only difference is that instead of considering the death of an innocent little lamb, we are to consider the death of the Lamb of God. How much more then should we treat the offering as holy and worthy of our fullest attention and devotion!
Just as Peter equated Christ with these innocent lambs of the morning and evening sacrifice, Paul asks us to consider our own selves in a similar light, being holy and without spot or blemish –
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
But there is more in this verse to consider. The Hebrew term here is ben ha’arbayim – “between the evenings.” It seems like a perplexing phrase, but one has to consider biblical time. According to the Bible, a day is divided into “evening” and “morning.” Thus there are actually two evenings to be reckoned. The first began after twelve and went through until sunset.
The second evening began at sunset and continued till night, meaning the whole time of twilight. This would therefore be between twelve o’clock and the termination of twilight. Between the evenings then is a phrase which allows the three o’clock sacrifices at the temple to be considered as the evening sacrifice even though to us it would be considered an afternoon sacrifice.
The sacrifice of these two lambs then, one in the morning and one “between the evenings,” meaning at 3pm, then picture the work of Christ on His final day. His final daylight hours are exactingly recorded in the gospels. Luke says this concerning the time which parallels that of the morning sacrifice mandated here in Exodus –
“As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 ‘If You are the Christ, tell us.'” Luke 22:66
And again, Luke tells us of the ending of this day of brutality, torture, and death –
“Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:44-46
The same time that Christ began his last day there in front of the chief priests and scribes, the morning offering was being made. And the same time that Christ died on the cross, which is carefully and meticulously recorded in the gospels, was the same time that the evening sacrifice was being made – the sixth hour, or 3pm.
God, knowing in advance of what was to come in the final day of Christ’s earthly ministry in fulfillment of the law, ensured that these two lambs would be sacrificed, day after day and year after year, as a picture of the ultimate sacrifice of His own precious Son.
Now, in the remembrance of the Day, and in the life which was given for us, we can press on in the full assurance that morning by morning and day by day our sins are truly removed and God’s mercy is granted in all its fullness to us. As Christ offered Himself once for all, He is literally therefore a continual sacrifice for us.
What these continual day by day offerings pictured is what we have realized in the absolute sense through our receiving of Christ Jesus the Lord. Because of this, how much more should we be like Daniel and offer our own spiritual sacrifices of prayer, praise, and petition to God both morning and evening and at all times in between. As Matthew Henry says –
“Our daily devotions are the most needful of our daily works, and the most pleasant of our daily comforts. Prayer-time must be kept up as duly as meal-time. Those starve their own souls, who keep not up constant attendance on the throne of grace; constancy in religion brings in the comfort of it.”
A Lamb, spotless, and pure – without any defect
Will be sacrificed in my place
And looking at that Lamb, I can certainly detect
The greatest love and grace… this I see looking upon His face
Oh! That I could refrain and not see Him die
Oh! If there could be any other way
How could this Lamb go through with it for one such as I?
Oh God! This perfect Lamb alone my sin-debt can pay
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Behold the sinless One, there on Calvary’s tree
He has prevailed and the path to heaven has been unfurled
The Lamb of God who died for sinners like you and me
II. Sanctified by Glory (verses 40-43)
40 With the one lamb shall be one-tenth of an ephah of flour
Along with the lambs, other offerings were to be presented. The first such named offering says, v’issaron solet, “and one-tenth of flour.” From later verses, we know it is one-tenth of an ephah of flour. This is the first time that a division of tens is indicated in the Bible using the word issaron, or “the tenth part.”
An ephah is believed to be around 4 1/2 gallons, and so 1/10th of that would be a bit more than 3 lbs of flour. Elsewhere, the tenth part of the ephah is specifically known as an omer. This was to be presented with the first lamb each day. With this it was to be…
40 (con’t) mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil,
The ephah is a measure of dry goods; the hin, now introduced into the Bible, is a measure for liquids. It is believed to be a word of Egyptian origin. Although not certain, a hin is reckoned at about 3/4 of a gallon and so 1/4 of a hin is somewhere around a pint, maybe 1 1/2 pints.
There is to be 1/4 of a hin of shemen kathith or “oil pressed.” The word kathith is used for the second of just five times. It indicates something beaten. It is only used in connection with the olives that have been made into oil. This oil was to be mixed in with the flour and presented as a daily offering along with the first lamb.
The flour is an obvious picture of Christ, the Bread of life, who came down from heaven. It was a reminder that day by day we are to dine on Christ. He is our sustenance and that which nourishes us. The oil from beaten olive pictures the anointing of the Spirit upon Him which was suitable to carry Him through the suffering and trials that He endured.
Together, they made a tasteful food offering to God, just as Christ crucified became our Bread of life. As He is our spiritual meal, then we can and will be able to endure whatever trial or suffering we too may face.
40 (con’t) and one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering.
The same amount of wine as oil was to be presented to the Lord. However, this was not mixed with the bread, but was poured out as a drink offering. The word for “wine” here is yayin. It is a common word for wine, which was used ten times in Genesis, but is seen just this once in all of Exodus.
It comes from an unused root meaning “to effervesce.” Thus it indicates fermented wine. It is to be considered wine which has alcohol content to it, thus banqueting wine. This is only the second time that a drink offering has been mentioned in Scripture. The first was after Jacob’s night, sleeping on the stone when he had his heavenly dream in Genesis 35 –
“So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.”
Like that drink offering, these were to be wholly poured out to the Lord. The Pulpit Commentary disagrees. They say –
“The application of the “drink-offerings” is uncertain. Josephus says (Ant. Jud. 3:9, § 4) that they were poured out round the brazen altar. But the analogy of the “meat offering” makes it probable that a portion only was thus treated, while the greater part belonged to the priests. In the entire provision by which burnt and peace-offering were to be necessarily accompanied with meat-offerings and drink-offerings, we can scarcely be wrong in seeing an arrangement made especially for the convenience of the priests.” Pulpit Commentary
This is entirely incorrect. The wine contains alcohol content. This was forbidden for the priests to consume during the time they ministered in their duties. This is seen in Leviticus 10:8-11 –
“Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: 9 ‘Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.'”
There was no prohibition, on the priests or anyone else in Israel, concerning alcohol consumption with but two exceptions. The restriction for the priests as they ministered, and for the Nazirite during the time of a vow, are the only times it is forbidden.
The pouring out of the drink offering signifies the pouring out of the life-blood of Christ for the remission of sins. There is no way God would allow the priests to consume such an offering. In this act can be seen a secondary picture of the outpouring of His love in the offering up of Himself. The three offerings of the lamb, the meal offering, and the wine produce a marvelous picture of a banquet of Christ’s life presented to God and for man.
But for Israel of old, they could only speculate on the meanings of these things. For them, the sacrifice and accompanying offerings would simply be signs of gratitude to God for His everlasting mercies. They would also be a faithful, twice-daily acknowledgment of His protective care and enduring love.
41 And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight;
As was noted in the last clause of verse 39, the second lamb was to be offered “at twilight” or literally, “between the evenings” at the time that Christ gave up His spirit on the cross of Calvary. As John Lang describes the two sacrifices –
“The morning sacrifice made atonement for the sins committed in the night, and the evening sacrifice expiated the sins committed during the day.”
This is true in a sense and thus it pictures a continual purification from sin for the people, day unto day and night unto night. As this was merely a picture of Christ to come, in its fullest sense it symbolizes the full atonement and complete expiation of sins for any and all who have received what His life and work offers. Along with this second lamb, there were also other offerings…
41 (con’t) and you shall offer with it the grain offering and the drink offering, as in the morning,
The same procedure was to be followed for the bread, oil, and wine in the evening as was conducted in the morning. The cycle was complete in the two sacrifices each day, and the cycle of our redemption was complete beginning on that Friday morning so long ago in Jerusalem and ending at 3pm that same afternoon.
41 (con’t) for a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.
It should be noted that together, the two offerings are described in this one clause. In other words, the two sacrifices, though separate, actually comprise one whole. Only together do they form to make a complete offering to the Lord. Why is it noted this way?
It is for three specific reasons. The first deals with Israel. These two sacrifices combined were intended to show Israel that they were to consecrate their lives each day anew unto the Lord. So that the entirety of their lives would be included, the two offerings were made continually, both morning and evening.
As long as the law existed, the requirement was to be Israel’s reminder of their consecrated status as the Lord’s holy people. Secondly, they are mentioned together because only together do they picture the final day of the Lord’s earthly ministry before and up to His death.
And so thirdly, they now form for us what Israel only saw in the earthly sacrifices. We are to consecrate our lives each day anew unto the Lord. This is so that the entirety of our lives will be included. The complete and finished work of Christ is to be our constant reminder, both morning and evening.
42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations
The words of the previous clause, “a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire” in Hebrew are masculine. And yet, combined they are call now “a burnt offering.” This is feminine and so it appears there is a gender discord, but this is what Keil calls an ad sensum.
This is “a grammatical construction in which a word takes the gender or number not of the word with which it should regularly agree, but of some other word implied in that word” (Wikipedia). There is a precision of thought and intent in the original which is not seen in our translations.
And now once again, the word tamid, or “continuously” is repeated from verse 38. The offerings were to be perpetual, but it cannot be said forever. They were to continue only as long as the law, for which they were mandated, was in effect.
As a point of doctrine then, it should be noted to those who perpetually reinsert precepts from the law into their Christian doctrine, that they are actually in violation of the law which they insist upon. If the law is in effect, then the sacrifices must be made.
After the consecration of Aaron and his sons, this is the first point that has been considered. It is a continual, or perpetual, statute for the time of the law. If the law is in effect, in any part, then this part must be followed through with. Thus, it is both ridiculous and absurd to assume that one can pick and choose what parts of the Mosaic Law they will adhere to.
It is an all-or-nothing thing. To go with the “all” can only mean condemnation. To go with the “nothing” means a full and complete trusting in Christ alone, of whom each of these things only picture. If you are sticking to precepts of the law – be they tithing or not eating pork – or any other part of the law, in hopes of pleasing God, you are not only failing, you are disgracing the work of His Son and offending Him.
42 (con’t) at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord,
This translation is incorrect in part. It is the door of the tent of meeting, not tabernacle. However, the KJV does even worse by calling it the “tabernacle of the congregation.” This is entirely incorrect. It is ohel moed – the tent of meeting.
They have made the assumption that this is speaking of the door of the courtyard where the altar is more closely placed, but this is not correct. The sacrifices are said to be “at the door of the tent of meeting before the Lord.” This is speaking of the door to the tent of meeting, even though the altar isn’t placed in that exact spot.
The door for the tent is the word pethakh. The gate of the courtyard is the word shaar. They are two entirely different words describing two different things. It is the altar before the door of the tent of meeting where the Lord would meet with the people and commune with them. This is seen in the next words…
42 (con’t) where I will meet you to speak with you.
Most translations do not give a good sense of these words because of our modern use of the word “you.” It says, asher ivaed lakhem shammah l’dabber elekha sham – “where I will meet with you (plural) and speak with you (singular). The reason for the wording is explained quite well by Charles Ellicott –
“This passage determines the meaning of the expression, ‘tent of meeting.’ It was not the place where the congregation met together, for the congregation were forbidden to enter it, but the place where God met His people through their mediator and representative, the high priest, who could there commune with God and obtain replies from Him on all practical matters that were of national importance. … The fact that all communication was to be through the high priest is indicated by the change of person.”
The words in today’s passage have been exceptionally precise and take great thought and consideration to understand. If you try, you can see what is going on rather clearly. Christ is the Altar. Christ is the offerings. Christ is the High Priest. Christ is the Door. Christ is all of these things. Therefore, the Lord is saying that He will speak to us (plural) through Him (singular).
Everything about this edifice, the offerings, the exquisite wording that is used… all of it is intended for us to see the Person and work of Christ for us – both past, present, and on-going – even until forever. This is seen in the next words as well…
43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel,
It is through the entire process of what is being described that the Lord promises to meet with the children of Israel. They meet with Him through the sacrifices and offerings. They meet with him at the altar on which they are made. They meet with him through Aaron and the priests. There in the place, the rituals, and the people, the Lord says that He will meet with the children of Israel
43 (con’t) and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory.
In this clause, the words “the tabernacle” are inserted by the translators for either your benefit or as an error. All it says is, v’niqdash bikbodi – “…and I will sanctify by My glory.” The question is, “What will the Lord sanctify by His glory?” Of 20 English translations, here are the options – “the place,” “it,” “the tabernacle,” “that place,” “the Tent,” and “the altar.” Anyone?
The answer is “None of the above.” The tent, the altar, and Aaron and his sons are all mentioned in the next verse as being consecrated. The only entity mentioned in this verse is Israel. It is Israel which is sanctified by the glory of the Lord that is being referred to here. This is later explained explicitly in Ezekiel 37 with these words –
“My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” Ezekiel 37:27-29
In the New Testament, it is Christ who is said to sanctify the people. As each implement, each rite, and each position of the tabernacle merely points to Christ, then this is speaking first and foremost of the people who are sanctified by Him.
This is a higher and more perfect sanctification than the law could ever provide. It is a sanctification which proceeds from the Lord Himself. It is the people who are being sanctified by His glory personally, represented by the various things around them by which they draw near to God.
It is I who consecrates Israel
It is by My glory that this is so
And it is I who can consecrate You as well
To you My holiness I will show
For those who call out from Egypt’s chains
I will respond and break them free
Nothing of the previous bondage now remains
For those who have been released by Me
I am the Lord who sanctifies His people
It is by My glory that this is so
So let them sing their praises from under the steeple
They are mine; let the world know
III. I am the Lord Their God (verses 44-46)
44 So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar.
Only after noting that He would sanctify the people of Israel does it now mention sanctification of the list of things which allow for the ministering of the people. Further, it is in the future tense, “And I will consecrate…” It is another indication that what was said in the previous verse is wholly separate from that which is being referred to now.
This is why it is so disastrous to read and be captivated by a single translation of the Bible. Man is fallible and the insertions are man’s fallible words, often incorrectly rendered. This is perfectly evident, once again, even in this verse which the NKJV translates at “tabernacle.” Again, it is the ohel, or tent of meeting and the altar which are first noted as to be sanctified.
44 (con’t) I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests.
After the edifice, only then are Aaron and his sons mentioned as to be sanctified by the Lord. As they are a part of the people of Israel, it is logical that they would be mentioned after the tent and the altar if the previous verse was speaking of Israel as a whole.
The separation between the clauses shows that verse 43 refers to the people of Israel. This will become fully evident in the next verse, but before going there, Adam Clarke’s words on this verse, in relation to the ordaining of men as ministers, is worthy of note –
“From this, as well as from many other things mentioned in the sacred writings, we may safely infer that no designation by man only is sufficient to qualify any person to fill the office of a minister of the sanctuary. The approbation and consecration of man have both their propriety and use, but must never be made substitutes for the unction and inspiration of the Almighty. Let holy men ordain, but let God sanctify; then we may expect that his Church shall be built up on its most holy faith.”
The lesson in Clarke’s words has been borne out thousands of times throughout the years. Man ordains, but only God sanctifies. How many pastors and preachers have been ordained by man, but have had no sanctification by God’s Spirit. Hence, it is never wise to put faith in a title such as pope, priest, pastor, or preacher.
Rather, we are to put our faith in God and inspect the man as to whether he is endowed with God’s approval or not. And the only way to do that is to see if he lives in accord with the word which He has given us.
45 I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.
As I said a minute ago, the structure of how these verses are put together shows us that verse 43 was speaking of Israel. There is a chiastic structure in verses 43-45 which allows us to see this –
And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and they shall be sanctified by My glory.
So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar.
I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests.
I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.
The Lord promises to meet with the children of Israel and to sanctify them by His glory. Therefore, He will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. The center of the verses speaks of the tent, the altar, Aaron, and his sons. Each of these has pictured Christ.
Therefore, we can see the picture revealed for us in the church now. Through Christ, in all of His many roles, God meets with us, sanctifies us, dwells with us, and is pleased to call Himself our God. As I said earlier, the passage today is exquisitely structured and the wording is exactingly precise.
Who would have thought when we started through them less than an hour ago that such marvelous treats would be seen in them! And yet, you are learning what so very few people have ever taken the time to learn. Like Israel of old, for us today, it is Christ who directs us, it is He who saves us, it is He who sustains us, it is He who enlightens us, it is He who defends us, and it is He who loves us enough to dwell among us.
In these verses, you are experiencing marvelous depths of wonder that are hardly ever plumbed. You are finding Christ through the revealed mind of God. Be pleased to revel in Him because through these words, there is wonderful assurance…
46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God,
It is through Christ who sanctifies His people that we can know Yehovah our God. It is He who dwells among us and who lives in us by His good Spirit. It is by no other name that we can identify with God in this unique, personal, and intimate way.
In the tabernacle, the people saw the working of God and for God. It was through these types and shadows that they could say, “Here is the Lord our God.” As these types and shadows look forward to Christ, then when we see their fulfillment in Him, we can – and without any reservation at all – say, “Here is the Lord our God.”
God has given us the Old only to point us to the New. Let us never squander our rightful position by deferring to the Old and trusting in our own deeds of the law in order to do what Christ has already accomplished and set aside.
46 (con’t) who brought them up out of the land of Egypt,
It is through the sanctification of Israel and all that went along with it that they would know the Lord “who brought them up out of the land of Egypt.” In other words, it is not through the tabernacle itself, nor the altar, nor Aaron that they would know this, but through their sanctification.
This is why the Lord ties this knowledge of Him in with being brought out of Egypt. Otherwise, it makes no sense. The tabernacle was replaced with the temple. The people were exiled to Babylon, the priestly line stopped its sacrifices and offerings, and yet they never forgot that it was the Lord who dwelt among them who brought them out of the land of Egypt.
Thus, we need to remember what Egypt only pictured – our life of sin. We don’t have an altar; we don’t have a tent; we don’t have a high priest. Rather we have the Altar; we have the Tent; and we have the High Priest. All capitals there folks! We have Jesus, the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. It is He who brought us up out of the Land of Egypt and He did it for a most marvelous purpose…
46 (con’t) that I may dwell among them.
Until Christ died for us, we could not be justified. Until we received His work, we remained apart from Him and separate from the covenant promises. But when we called out to Him from our state of bondage, He made another entry on the rolls of heaven’s scroll. He set another space at the heavenly banquet table, and He added on another room to the glorious dwelling where we will reside with Him for all eternity.
But He also gave us of His Spirit so that even now He dwells with us. What Israel realized in type and shadow, we realize in spirit and in truth. We have the fullness of what God offers when He said that He will dwell among us. We have the true Tent, our Lord Jesus Christ. And because we have Christ, we have the absolute fullness of our final words of the day…
*46 (fin) I am the Lord their God.
Ani Yehovah elohehem. If there is one truth which absolutely must be stated again and again and again, it is that Jesus Christ is Yehovah Elohim. He is the Lord God. This is so absolutely evident in Scripture that it takes the very hardest of hearts, or the very dullest of minds to deny it.
Throughout the entire chapter, we have seen literally dozens if not hundreds of pictures of Christ. In today’s nine verses, we have seen countless more. God is calling out through His word to show us what was, what He has done, and what will be in what He will do.
And every single detail of it hinges on our acceptance that He personally stepped out of His eternal realm and united with His creation in order to redeem us from Egypt, our place of bondage to the devil and sin. In that act, He again becomes the Lord our God.
And as certain as any other truth found in the Bible, if we fail to accept that and to receive Him as our Savior, we remain under the devil’s power. The little lambs whose life blood ebbed away at the altar of sacrifice each day make people cringe at the brutality of God who would allow such a thing.
And yet, those innocent little lives were given as a mere type and shadow of something far more precious, and infinitely more valuable. The love of God for humanity impelled Him to do what He did. This is how much He loves the work of His hands, and this is the amazing length that He would go to in order to once again fellowship with us. Through the cross of Christ, God is calling out to you. Will you respond? Call on Christ; marvelous things lie ahead if you do.
Closing Verse: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.'” Revelation 21:3
Next Week: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 Our lives are such a very short span… (The Brevity of Man)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
I Will Dwell among Them and be Their God
Now this is what you shall offer on the altar:
Two lambs of the first year
Day by day continually, in this do not falter
One lamb you shall offer in the morning so bright
And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight
With the one lamb shall be
One-tenth of an ephah of flour, such is the proffering
Mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil
And one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering
And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight
And you shall offer with it the grain offering, as to My word
And the drink offering, as in the morning
For a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord
This shall be a continual burnt offering
Throughout your generations, so you shall do
At the door of the tabernacle of meeting
Before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you
And there I will meet with the children of Israel, where I abide
And the tabernacle shall by My glory be sanctified
So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar too
I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons
To minister to Me as priests, so shall I do
I will dwell among the children of Israel
And will be their God, as I to you now tell
And they shall know that I am the Lord their God
Who brought them up out of Egypt the land
That I may dwell among them
I am the Lord their God, so they shall understand
Surely You are holy, O God
And this is what You expect also from us
But even now You have accepted us while on this earth we trod
Because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus
How can such a marvelous thing as this be?
That You have granted us to again fellowship with You
Thank You, O God for Jesus, the Lord of glory
Who, through His shed blood has made all things new
And so in His name to You we give our praise
And so shall it be forever and ever, even unto eternal days
Hallelujah and Amen…