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Exodus 40:17-38 (The Lord in Their Midst)

Jan 8, 2017   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 40:17-38
The Lord in Their Midst

Today is our last set of verses in the book of Exodus. This is our 105th sermon for the book as well. It has been an amazing adventure and the perfection of God’s word has been seen in countless different ways during our trip through it.

We have learned history, there have been innumerable moral lessons which have been presented to us, there have been prophetic pictures of things to come, and there has been an astonishing array of symbolism of Christ and His word revealed in every passage we’ve looked at.

These verses reveal the completion of an amazing journey which began when Moses ascended Sinai in Exodus 25. It has been an extraordinary 39 sermons since he was first told that the Lord was going to build a sanctuary to dwell in, there in the midst of Israel.

He immediately began to give details of what was to come, and as He did, He was revealing hidden pictures of the glory that those things only symbolized… Christ! Christ was being described in the minutest detail. His Person, His work, His word, His grace and mercy, His judgment, and His purifying glory.

And one picture which was being presented is now realized in His church. The tabernacle where the Lord would dwell was simply a picture of the church, the people of God, which is being built into a greater and more perfect temple for Him to dwell. Paul tells us this in out text verse of the day –

Text Verse: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

Moses, who has been a marvelous type of Christ on numerous occasions, will erect the tabernacle in today’s passage, and the Lord will move into His dwelling. When He does, the refulgency of God will shine forth in such a dazzling display that it will be impossible to approach near.

Now imagine what it will be like when God’s people are glorified, and Christ comes to dwell among us for all eternity. The glories which lie ahead for the people of God make all of the distasteful trials of this world seem like they never happened. There is a hope which lies ahead for the faithful in Christ which will supersede anything we can possibly imagine.

Personally, I can’t wait for the day. And may that day be soon. Mere hints of what lies ahead will close out the book of Exodus for us. What a joy this book has been as the Lord has unfurled countless treasures concerning Himself and His marvelous plan of redemption.

We have this final passage to go. A passage which is a wonderful part of 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. Setting up the Tabernacle and the Most Holy Place (verses 17-21)

17 And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up.

As according to verse 2 of this chapter, the words are fulfilled now. It was on the day of the new year, when the first year of freedom turned to the next according to the redemptive calendar which was given to Moses by the Lord, that the tabernacle was raised up.

It is exactly 345 days after departing from Egypt and 300 days since arriving at Sinai that the instructions were carried out. It is now the year 2515AM, or “in the year of the world.

For the time spent on the actual work of the tabernacle, the eighty days that Moses was on the mountain have to be deducted. Also, the giving of the law itself, and any intervals between these events needs to be deducted as well. In all, the work was fully accomplished in about one half of a year. With it having been approved by Moses, it would now be assembled in a single day…

18 So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars.

There is dispute among scholars as to whether the word “fastened” is correct or not concerning the sockets. Various translations say, “put in place,” “set down,” “laid,” and “installed.” The word is nathan, from where our modern name Nathan comes from. It means to “give” or “put.”

The bases were extremely heavy, but some scholars think they were still not heavy enough to support the weight without tipping over. Therefore, they speculate that they were wedge-shaped, and they were actually partially buried in the ground. Whether this is the case or not, the tabernacle, once joined as a unit and secured with cords and pegs, would be one sturdy structure.

19 And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

This would have certainly been the most difficult part of the entire operation. If you’ve ever worked with tents, you know this. But these people had been tent-dwellers for countless generations and could take down and put up their tents in a most trouble-free manner. Even today, the Bedouins move their large tents, breaking them down and setting them up, with little trouble.

The verse here shows, and even highlights, the great distinction between the two separate units. There is the tabernacle, and then there is the tent over the tabernacle. One covers over the other, and in almost all instances, the title “the tent of meeting” is used rather than “the tabernacle of meeting.” The tabernacle was raised, and then the tent which comprised both the ram skins dyed red and then the outer covering of the skins of sea animals was placed over the tabernacle.

20 He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark.

This verse should rightfully say, “He had taken the Testimony and put it into the ark.” The two tablets of the Ten Commandments, meaning the Testimony, were placed in there when Moses came down from the mountain. This is recorded in Deuteronomy 10:5. The only other explanation is that Deuteronomy 10 was referring to this time. If so, then the Ten Commandments were left outside of the ark for quite some duration of time. This is unlikely.

Either way, the rest of the Ark was probably not assembled until now. It is at this time that the Testimony would be covered with the mercy seat and the poles were placed on the ark. Out of all 20 translations that I look at for these sermons, only the NKJV says that he “inserted the poles through the rings of the ark.”

The Hebrew never mentions the rings, and so their translation is more of an explanatory paraphrase. Unfortunately, they didn’t italicize those words, and so it must be considered a bad translation of this verse, even though it is a correct idea. As this is God’s word, precision should be made in matters like this.

21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

This would have been the last time that the Israelite people would have seen the ark for many, many hundreds of years. From this moment on, the ark was never to be seen by anyone except the high priest, and that only once a year. However, during the time of the movement of the tabernacle, it would also be seen by the priests designated to cover it before it was transported from place to place. This is recorded in Numbers 4:5.

Other than these exceptions, the ark was to forever remain behind the veil, showing the people that there was a fracture, or divide, between them and the Lord. The veil, with its cherubim woven into it, was to remind them that man had been cast out of Eden and could not enter the Lord’s presence, except through a mediator. What a profound and sobering picture of the work of Christ whose coming and whose ministry was as of yet unknown to them.

What is surprising is that even to this day, the Jews don’t get it. They are in the process of making a new veil for the coming temple in Jerusalem. On that veil will be cherubim like those of old. They are willingly demonstrating that they have no access to God and to His paradise which is prepared for those who come to Him through Christ.

Thank God for Jesus Christ who rent the veil through His work. Thank God for Jesus Christ who restores to us the intimate fellowship which was lost to man at the very first moments of his long and weary existence on this earth.

The Most Holy Place, where the Lord does dwell
The place where all of His goodness is known
We had lost access to that place for a long, long spell
But hints of how to return us there have been shown

There in the place where peace is to be found
Where the Lord resides, and from where shines His glory
A marvelous place where joy does abound
Is revealed to us in the gospel story

Entering through the veil, the torn body of the Lord
And placing our sins at the foot of the cross of Calvary
We have full access, yes peace is restored
This is what God has done through Christ for you and for me

II. Setting up the Holy Place (verses 22-28)

22 He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil;

With the veil set, the attention is next turned to the Holy Place of the tabernacle. The first item to be placed there is the table of showbread. The Tabernacle points to the west with its entrance at the east. This then means that the north side is on the right. There the table was to be placed.

As a correction here, the Hebrew says, “And he put the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle.” Two different words are used – tent and tabernacle. But the translators erringly overlook this and call it the tabernacle both times.

In another sad state, but one which is too often repeated, one scholar incorrectly commented on this verse concerning the placement of this table, and from that it was repeated by others. The comment was that until this point, there were no instructions given for where this table would be placed. Here is what the Pulpit Commentary states –

“No direction had been given upon this point, but Moses probably knew the right position from the pattern which he had seen upon the mount.”

This is what happens, one person says something, and then it becomes accepted without checking. In fact, the placement for this table was noted when it was first mentioned in Exodus 26 –

“You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand across from the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side.” Exodus 26:35

When reading commentaries, never allow your brain to squiggle until you first check to see if the commentary is correct. If such an obvious error is possible with such a simple thing as this, imagine how much more important it is to check on doctrinal matters which can affect your entire walk with Christ, and even the matter of your salvation!

23 and he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

This is the “bread of the Presence,” or the “bread of the Faces” as it literally is translated in Exodus 25:30. According to Leviticus 26, it was to be set in two rows, six loves to a row.

Because the instructions for this are given afterwards in Leviticus, it shows that the book of Leviticus is not necessarily a chronological record of what was instructed. Instead, it is a compilation of what the Lord commanded which was then placed in the order as divinely inspired by the Lord.

24 He put the lampstand in the tabernacle of meeting, across from the table, on the south side of the tabernacle;

The lampstand is the next item set in the Holy Place within the tent of meeting. It will be on the left as one enters to minister. Its arrangement was to be so that it was over against the table so that the light would shine to the north and illuminate the table.

25 and he lit the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

In this verse is a Hebraism that is translated in one of two ways. The words are va’yaal ha’nerot. Some translators say, “And he set up the lamps.” Others say, “And he lit the lamps.” Only Young’s Literal Translation gives a direct rendering of the Hebrew. He says, “And he causeth the lamps to go up.” It isn’t that he set up the lamps, it is that he lit them, thus making the light go up before the Lord. The Holy Place was illuminated through this work of Moses.

It should be noted here that it is Moses who is doing these duties. He certainly had help with the setting up of the tabernacle and the tent and each piece of furniture, but he is the one to oversee the entire process. Aaron is not mentioned as having done any of these things because he is not yet ordained to do them.

Only Moses is set apart to be the one in charge of the duties at this point. This will end in just a few days, when the rite of ordination is complete, but until then, it is his responsibility to ensure that each step is carried out. And as the process continues, we read again that he accomplishes the task “as the Lord commanded.” He is being a faithful steward of the tasks that he is charged with.

26 He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil;

This is the altar of incense, now called “the gold altar.” This is to distinguish it from the brazen altar which will be outside of the tent. It’s placement is just before the veil which would put it half way between the table and the menorah.

There before the veil, the smoke and smell of the incense would be the only thing to pass through the veil and into the Most Holy place each day. It signifies that the prayers of the people, through the Lord’s designated representative, would be received by God there in His dwelling place.

27 and he burned sweet incense on it, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The incense would be lit and burned twice each day at the same times that the menorah was tended to. Again, this was a duty only authorized for the priests, and so once again, it says “as the Lord had commanded Moses.” It is a note that despite the fact that Moses was not the selected and ordained high priest, he was given the command to accomplish these tasks until Aaron and his sons were properly installed.

It is also worthy of note, once again, that the incense is called “sweet” or “fragrant.” The reason why this is so important is because not just any incense could be presented before the Lord. In just a few more chapters, and in just a few days from this very moment that Moses is working, two sons of Aaron will present unauthorized incense before the Lord, and they will be consumed by fire for their irreverence.

As this incense pictures acceptable prayers to God, the profane incense pictures unacceptable prayers to God. For us to mix our prayers with those of unbelievers, acknowledging their prayers as acceptable before the Lord, is a deed worthy of death.

We are not to pray with people of other religions as if we are praying to the same God. It is a direct affront to Him when we do this. There is one God, there is one Mediator between God and man, and there can be no fellowship between light and darkness.

28 He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle.

This hanging is the covering of the entranceway into the Holy Place. It was visible to the people from outside of the Tent of Meeting and anyone who was curious could watch the ministering priest go through this entryway, but their peering eyes could see no further than this.

The Holy Place where there is the Bread of life
The Holy Place where the Light of life shines so bright
The Holy place where prayers are raised to end all strife
There in the Holy Place the Lord came to cure our hopeless plight

His perfect life was ended so that we could live
His light was covered over so that we could shine
For us to His Father His prayers He did give
And to the world He has given His marvelous sign

Look to the cross and to our Bread of life
Look to the cross for the Light of the world
Pray through the One who has ended the strife
And give glory to the Lord who has His banner unfurled

III. Setting up the Courtyard and its Furniture (verses 29-33)

29 And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The altar of burnt offering is connected directly to the door of the tabernacle in this verse. There is no connecting preposition in the Hebrew. Without this altar, there could be no access. One cannot minister to the Lord until he first offers to the Lord. Thus Moses has the altar placed in direct line with the entrance way and then it next notes that he made his offering, just as the Lord commanded.

30 He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing;

Despite the altar of burnt offering being connected to the door, this laver is still placed between the altar and the tent of meeting. The general speculation is that it was placed just off to the south side so that the priests would not have to go around it, but this is unstated in the Bible. Its purpose has been described already, washing. But the Lord once again states it and further defines it…

31 and Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it.

The tense of the verb is frequentative. In other words, it indicates that washing took place at any given time. At this time, Moses would be the one to wash. When Aaron and his sons were installed, Moses would no longer perform priestly functions and he would no longer wash, but Aaron and his sons would. The verse simply explains the placement and use of the laver.

32 Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting, and when they came near the altar, they washed,

The importance of the laver is seen in the exceptional amount of explanation given for it. So far, we have reviewed all of the furniture to be used in the sanctuary, and only this one piece has gotten so much detail concerning its use. If you don’t remember the symbolism of the laver, or if you didn’t see that sermon, you should go review. In short, it signifies our on-going sanctification which preeminently comes from knowing and adhering to the words of Scripture.

If you wonder how the Lord feels about the time you spend in the word, all you need to do is look at the amount of detail that He is giving us now as to the use of the laver. He wants you in it day and night. If you’re not filling yourself with the word, you are filling yourself with something else, probably something completely non-productive in regards to your relationship with the Lord.

32 (con’t) as the Lord had commanded Moses.

This is the last of eight times that this is said of Moses’ adherence to the duties he was prescribed. If you add in his supervision of the work of the people from the previous chapter, it is a full 18 times that the obedience of Moses is highlighted, just as the Lord commanded. With each step of the process, the Bible meticulously notes the adherence to what the Lord had previously spoken.

It is an especially poignant note for us to consider, because the word of the Lord to Moses is exactly the same word from the Lord which is recorded for us. Whether in part or in whole, when we receive the word of the Lord, our obedience to it, and our adherence to it is being gauged.

Moses was told, “Do this,” and the Bible then records, “Moses did this as commanded.” We are told, “Do this,” and when we stand before the Lord, the record will either read, “He did this,” or “He didn’t do this.” An eternity of rewards can be very easily lost in the purifying fire of the Lord’s judgment, simply because we failed to heed. Let’s not let that happen to us!

33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar,

The court around the tabernacle stretched out for about 150 feet on the north and south, and it was about 75 feet across on the west and on the east. In all then, it was approximately one half the size of a football field. It wasn’t just a court, but actually an enclosure. The tabernacle would have sat inside of it.

Flavius Josephus states that the tabernacle was placed in the middle of the court (Antiq. III 6, 3), but most photos or depictions you see have centered and all the way to the back of the courtyard. From a pictorial aspect, what Josephus says makes more sense. The placement of the ark, the very heart of the entire edifice would be there in the center of the sanctuary.

33 (con’t) and hung up the screen of the court gate.

This is the last detail mentioned for the entire sanctuary. It is the screen by which access into the court itself was obtained. As this is shown to clearly picture Christ – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – it is fitting that it is the last item mentioned. It is a note that in order to get through all of the other objects, and to the very throne of the Lord, one must come through Christ. There is no end-around for the people of the world. It is either Jesus, or one is left without access. Thank God for Jesus Christ!

33 (con’t) So Moses finished the work.

va’kal moshe eth ha’melakah – The words are simple and without any fanfare, “And finished Moses the work.” He was given a task, and he saw it through to its completion. The sanctuary was now complete in every detail.

As a note before we go on, the details of lighting lamps, burning incense, burning offerings, and washing with the laver – and so on – all of these details were certainly done after this final verse, but they were mentioned before to show that those functions were accomplished in accord with the use of the respective item.

Further, though the anointing of these items for their consecration isn’t mentioned until Leviticus 8, it is probable that it was accomplished directly after the final setting up of the sanctuary and as the week-long ordination of Aaron began.

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

*IV. The Cloud and the Glory (verses 34-38)

34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

The sign of the Lord’s approval of all that has taken place, and of His entry into His new residence is now given in a stunning display. The cloud which had led them from the Red Sea all the way to Mt. Sinai, and which had rested upon either Sinai, or Moses’ tent when he went to meet the Lord there, now enveloped the tent of meeting.

And from within the tabernacle, the glory of the Lord dazzlingly radiated out, filling the entire temple. The promise to dwell in the midst of Israel had now come to its realization.

Regardless of the actual timing of the events concerning the anointing of the tabernacle and all of the furniture, and also the timing of Aaron’s consecration, the temporary nature of the Levitical priesthood is made perfectly obvious by the placement of this final passage at the end of the book of Exodus instead of within the book of Leviticus. In Exodus 29, the Lord said these words to Moses –

This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you. 43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory.” Exodus 29:42, 43

At that time, I explained that the words “the tabernacle” were inserted by the translators. All it says is, v’niqdash bikbodi – “…and I will sanctify by My glory.” The question then was, “What will the Lord sanctify by His glory?” Of 20 English translations, the options were – “the place,” “it,” “the tabernacle,” “that place,” “the tent,” and “the altar.” Does anyone remember which was correct?

The answer was, “None of those.” Rather, the only entity mentioned in the verse was “the children of Israel.” It is Israel who is sanctified by the presence of the Lord. The proof of this was that His glory filled the tent of meeting.

The Lord had told them after their sin of the golden calf that He would not dwell in their midst. Through the mediation of Moses, the Lord agreed that He would dwell in their midst. Now, with the sanctuary complete, the promise is realized. He has come to dwell in their midst, and Israel as a people is sanctified by His glory.

During their exile, this was the very promise made to Israel through Ezekiel. He told them that a time was coming when He would be with them and once again sanctify them by His glory –

“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 37:27-28

But that never happened after the exile. There is no record of the presence of the Lord filling the second temple. The time is yet future to them even now, and it is connected not to this covenant, mediated by Aaron. Instead, it is connected to the covenant which is mediated by the Messiah to come as was promised through Jeremiah the prophet.

This marvelous truth is hinted at now in the placement of this passage in Exodus, not Leviticus. Even before the consecration of Aaron and his sons, while still under the mediation of Moses, the glory of the Lord fills the temple. This law administered by Moses, even after his death, was thus only temporary until the time of it being superseded by what it only pointed to, the better and more perfect covenant found in Christ Jesus.

35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

What this seems to imply is that Moses, in fact, attempted to enter the tent of meeting, just as he had done when he met with the Lord in the previous tent of meeting outside the camp. However, the brilliant splendor of Yehovah was so radiant and marvelous that he could not. It was beyond his ability to do so. What a sign to all of the people of the marvelous workings of the Lord on their behalf!

Verses 34 and 35 are repeated in what occurred at the building of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. In 1 Kings 8, we read this –

“And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” 1 Kings 8:10, 11

But notice the main difference between the two. In Exodus, it says that Moses was not able to enter. In 1 Kings, it says that the priests could not continue ministering. It is not the ministration of the priests that brings the Lord’s presence near, nor is it the law of Moses, which is still not complete – many more laws are coming.

Rather, the glory of the Lord coming among the people to sanctify them precedes the Aaronic priesthood, and it is also precedes the full giving of the Law of Moses. Therefore, neither of these things can be considered necessary for the coming of the Lord to dwell among His people.

Rather, the things which have been erected are what brought it to pass, and these things are merely types and shadows, as we have seen, of the coming Christ. As Christ is the fulfillment of them all, then it is the Lord Jesus in whom the glory of the Lord dwells in its full and resplendent glory.

If we would just pay heed to the details, even of seemingly obscure events in the Lord’s word, we would know where to put our trust, our hope, and our attentive eyes.

36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys.

At some point, the magnificent glory which filled the entire tabernacle retreated into the Most Holy Place and was to be found only there above the mercy seat and between the cherubim as was promised to Moses in chapter 25.

However, the cloud of glory remained above the tabernacle. It no longer moved from Sinai to tent and back to Sinai. Instead, it remained there above the tabernacle at all times until it was time to move. Only in this instance would the cloud move. And when it did, the people were expected to break camp and follow.

37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up.

This verse is more fully explained in Numbers 9. The people remained where they were and only moved when directed –

“So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.” Numbers 9:21, 22

It was solely by the direction of the Lord that the people moved. His plan was being executed, and His timing would prevail in having all things turn out as He had determined from the very beginning.

*38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

The cloud of glory had two distinct aspects. One was a covering cloud during the day, the other was the appearance of fire by night. This is not to be taken allegorically, but rather it is exactly what the people saw, and thus it was always visible to them.

With the presence of the cloud above the tabernacle, and in in full sight of all of the people, they would never again have to ask the question, “Is the Lord among us or not?” It would be evident to all that he was. It adds a touch of security to the obedient heart, but Israel is not known for its obedience. And therefore, it also adds a note of dread, and that assured judgment lies ahead for them.

We don’t even need to turn the pages to guess this, the Lord has said as much concerning the stiff-necked demeanor of the people. And yet, because of the faithful mediation of Moses, they have received the granting of their desires. They are now truly and inextricably the people of God, with all of the associated positives and negatives that this includes.

The positives will stem from their faithfulness to Him, and the negatives will stem from their rebellion against Him. The Lord is unchanging, and this the people will find out.

The chapter and the book close out with this final verse. The people became enslaved to Pharaoh at the beginning of the book, and they had now become servants of the Lord at its ending. Whereas the book of Genesis spanned well over 2000 years of human history, Exodus spanned less than 100.

After this, the next three books combined will span less than 40. The Lord chose His line of people, they had come to the point of their redemption, and now they will come to be refined as His people in order to enter the Land of Promise.

Unfortunately, the refinement of a people is not congenital. Each generation must heed the lessons of the past, or they too will fall under the expected punishments of the Lord. Israel failed to teach their children and they were twice exiled.

By God’s mighty hand alone, they have been returned once again to the Land of Promise. However, this time instead of being refined in advance of their arrival, they will be refined only afterwards. It will be a terrifying lesson as their numbers are whittled down through the process, but there will be an end to that refinement, and a time of great glory lies ahead for them yet again.

The cloud and fire is promised once again to the people of God who dwell in Jerusalem of the future. Isaiah tells us of the marvel that the people will behold –

“And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.” Isaiah 4:3-6

Again, this passage from Isaiah is not to be allegorized. It is to be taken as a literal manifestation signifying the presence of the Lord over Jerusalem during the millennial period. It will be the time which occurs only after He has “washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion.”

That day cannot be far off. The time of Israel’s exile is ended, the time of the falling away by the church has surely come close to reaching its climax, and the just punishment upon the nations of the world is close at hand.

The Lord led Israel by cloud, and He leads His church by His written word. We fail to pay heed at our own peril. In His magnificent, superior word there is a promise of great and marvelous things which lie ahead for the redeemed of the Lord. Let us hold fast to these promises and not lose heart as we await their sure coming. The Lord of glory is there, and He is willing to accept all who come to Him by faith. Let us not fail to heed the call when it is made. And let us not fail to seek Him while He may be found.

Closing Verse: “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:22-27

Next Week: Jonah 1:1-3 With this new series you will never be bored! (From the Presence of the Lord) (1st Jonah Sermon)

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.

The Lord in Their Midst

And it came to pass
In the first month of the second year
On the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up
To this command Moses did adhere

So Moses raised up the tabernacle
Fastened its sockets, set up its boards too
Put in its bars, and raised up its pillars
As he was instructed, so he did do

And he spread out the tent
Over the tabernacle
And put the covering of the tent on top of it
As the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did tackle

He took the Testimony and put it into the ark
Inserted the poles through the ark’s rings
And put the mercy seat on top of the ark
He followed through with each of these things

And he brought the ark into the tabernacle
Hung up the veil of the covering
And partitioned off the ark of the Testimony
As the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did this thing

He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting
On the north side of the tabernacle, as the Lord did tell
Outside the veil; its place of seating
And he set the bread in order upon it as well

It was there before the LORD
As the LORD had commanded Moses
According to His word

He put the lampstand
In the tabernacle of meeting, this job he did tackle
Across from the table
On the south side of the tabernacle

And he lit the lamps before the LORD
As the LORD had commanded Moses
According to His word

He put the gold altar
In the tabernacle of meeting
In front of the veil
This, the place of its seating

And he burned sweet incense on it
As the LORD had commanded Moses
As the Lord did submit

He hung up the screen at the door
Of the tabernacle, and then he continued to do more

And he put the altar of burnt offering
Before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting
And offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering
As the LORD had commanded Moses; the task he was completing

He set the laver
Between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar
And put water there for washing
In attention to this duty he did not falter

And Moses, Aaron, and his sons
Would wash their hands and their feet with water from it
These people only; they the only ones

Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting
And when they came near the altar too
They washed
As the LORD had commanded Moses to do

And he raised up the court
All around the tabernacle and the altar; this duty he did not shirk
And hung up the screen of the court gate
So Moses finished the work

Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting
Surely this was a marvelous sight
And the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle
The tabernacle was completed just right

And Moses was not able
To enter the tabernacle of meeting even if he willed
Because the cloud rested above it
And the glory of the LORD the tabernacle filled

Whenever the cloud was taken up
From above the tabernacle moving forward
The children of Israel
Would go in all their journeys onward

But if the cloud was not taken up
Then they did not journey
Till the day that it was taken up
They waited for it to move; they waited obediently

For the cloud of the LORD, this marvelous sight
Was above the tabernacle by day
And fire was over it by night
In all of the house of Israel’s sight, throughout all their journeys
It guided them as they went on their way

Lord God, thank you for this wonderful book
Exodus! What a marvel to have studied it
Into every detail possible we took a look
And to You our thanks and praise we now submit!

Hallelujah to Christ our Lord!
Hallelujah for Exodus, a marvelous part of Your superior word!

Hallelujah and Amen…

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