Moral laws reflect God’s heart and set the foundation for judicial laws and ceremonial laws. Because God’s moral laws are based on his character, they never change.
The ceremonial law was to create pictures and object lessons that would help them understand the moral law.
In Exodus 25-31 we see God give Moses and the Israelites instructions for a mobile structure called the Tabernacle.
It was important for several reasons that we will look at today
1) It was where proper worship would happen through ceremonial laws
2) It foreshadowed what was to come regarding worship
3) It was a new step in deeper relationship between God and man
1) The Tabernacle was where the Israelites would learn proper worship of God
It was really a mobile tent with a court around it
Worship for the Israelites was now going to be to one God at a specific place
It would bring everyone together.
There would be priests that would lead the people in worship
The Tabernacle was a place for the people to come together to learn what it looks like to be in relationship not only with God, AND with each other.
2) The Tabernacle was a foreshadow of what was to come
Solomon’s temple – a permanent structure for the nation of Israel
Worship of God during the Church Age through Jesus.
Jesus was the fulfilment of many of the Old Testament worship symbols
Worship in Heaven
3) God is pursuing us, and the Tabernacle was another step in that process
In the same way God pursued a relationship with the Israelites, God pursues a continuing love relationship with us. Without that nothing else will be in order.
Throughout history God has been taking steps to bring us into ever-closer, ever more intimate relationship with
Adam & Eve – It was good, but sin broke that perfect relationship
God called Abraham and his family to be in special relationship with him.
After generations, Abraham’s family became a godly nation
God promises to be in a special covenant relationship with them (Exodus 19:4-5)
God had Moses build the Tabernacle (dwelling place or resting place)
-THIS IS HISTORIC! No longer would God be far off.
Years later a temple for God is built – a place of regular worship for Israel
600+ years later the greatest event of all time – Jesus was born as the Messiah
-God called the Messiah Immanuel – “God with us”
–John 1:14 says “The Word (Jesus) made his dwelling among us”
When Jesus is crucified the temple veil (curtain) is torn in two signifying we no longer need priests to go between us and God.
When Jesus leaves earth he send the Holy Spirit to live inside us (Romans 8:11)
Finally, we have the promise of living in eternity with God in Heaven
God wants to be in relationship with us, as a people, and with YOU!
THE RELATIONSHIP GOD WANTS WITH US IS A LOVE RELATIONSHIP
This idea of a love relationship is important. When we have an inaccurate view of the relationship God wants with us, it typically affects us in one of three ways:
1) Ignoring him most of the time, but running to him when there is a crisis
2) Believing we have to earn God’s affection
3) Believing we can do pretty much whatever we want, and God will be ok with it
Paul said this in regard to our relationship with God:
Philippians 3:8-9 (NLT)
HOW DO WE KNOW IF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS WHAT HE DESIRES?
Although reading your Bible, praying and going to church are necessary, in and of themselves they don’t equal relationship. The Pharisees did this, and it wasn’t enough (John 5:39-42)
Indicators that I have a love relationship with Jesus:
1) We do life with him, not more stuff for him
God wants us to be in a relationship with him like a close friend. A relationship like that takes Trust, Time and Gratitude. We don’t do that to earn God’s affection; we do that because of God’s affection for us.
2) We walk in obedience.
Is your desire to be in God’s will in every area of your life, or just some?
3) The Fruit of the Spirit in our life.
If your relationship with God is an authentic, loving relationship with Him, you will exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit in your life.
God desires to have a people that are his people, that live the way He designed. He desires to be in relationship with the Church, but desires to be in relationship with each of us, individually as well!
For discussion with your small group, family and friends.
Passages: Exodus 25-31
Sermon Reflection – What was significant to you from the sermon?
Questions to discuss:
1. Look at Exodus 25:1-9. What do you notice about God? What do you notice about his people?
2. What is significant about God wanting to dwell (tabernacle) with his people? A) Read Ephesians 1:13-14 & 2:19-22. How does the idea of God dwelling with his people happen with us today? B) How do you abide with Christ and let the Holy Spirit be a part of your relationship with God and others?
3. Skim through Exodus 25:10 – ch 30 you will see the items included in the Tabernacle. ie. ark, table, lampstand, tabernacle, alter of burnt offering, courtyard, oil for lampstand, etc. Which of those implements intrigue you? A) Which of what you see remind you most of Jesus? Describe in what way.
4. Take a look at John 1:14 and Hebrews 9. Describe what Jesus has done for us, who believe him. Spend some time thank Jesus for what he has done for us.
5. What is God showing you about himself and about yourself through these passages.
6. What is your response to what God is showing you?