We are reading more of the law and the instructions for the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle today. We are reading from the Common English Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord God Almighty, seeing you and experiencing you is why we are alive. Prepare US to meet YOU. Amen.
23 – The Book of the Covenant (Ex.21-24) continues and we finish that today [23,24] plus read the first two chapters that give directions for the Tabernacle [25,26]. To summarize 23: there will be justice and mercy. do not follow rumors or tell lies or lie as a witness, Justice means no favoritism, follow decency- not sentiment, take no bribes and do not oppress newcomers. The land needs a Sabbath (ea.7th year), as do you and your slaves (ea.7th day). Follow no other gods. You will have festivals and celebrations in each season and God will be in the middle of them. People may ponder this but of a truth we all know; people either party with God or they will party with the Devil. God is commanding that they keep Him in the middle of their celebrations and He institutes these celebrations to assure the culture be a God-centered culture. So much can be said about the dietary matters of blood, the yeast, the fat, the cooking process, the prohibition of mixing meat with the milk of that same animal – there is a landmark book titled Purity & Danger by Mary Douglas  that offers a good explanation of the depth of this. It all could be summed up that God wants us to be whole and healthy and well. Many particular meats especially are unsanitary, from disorderly garbage minded-animals, putrid and therein they lend toward insanity and symbolize chaos. They were to avoid them and everything about them. Each person will bring offerings to God / no one comes empty-handed. God led them via Moses and He was also sending an angel ahead of them (this “Messenger”) This angel would protect against enemies, diseases, displacement, or becoming cowardly. They will have security and must avoid false gods.
24 – The Covenant is confirmed in an over-whelming event of effects and visions and fire and smoke and colors and revelations of God this all let the people know that God is abundantly serious and excited about what He is laying down here! The Israelites pledged to God and the elders proceeded into a venue that was most impressive. In case anyone is wondering, the word “lapis-lazuli tiles” is the light effect of azure-blue or sapphire. It’s a deep sky color one sees when looking upward from an airplane at a high altitude. Here they are seeing God. My heavens! Moses then goes up into the cloud to listen/converse with God. Keep in mind that as we are reading the next 7 chapters (do not get bored amid the details of ch. 25-31!) Moses is IN the cloud getting these matters noted straight from God as He is talking to him. What an experience. This time OMG means OMG literally!
25 – The offerings for the Tabernacle are to be gathered. This is very precious material being stored up. The instructions for the Ark are given as are the Table and the Lampstand. It may help to see this better by searching “The Tabernacle of Moses”. This opens a series of sketchings. Most impressive is the one with the tall flame above the actual Tabernacle. This is the flame that God brought down along with the cloud that we read of at the end of Exodus 40. This assured that God was with them – that’s all anyone needs to know, really. But at the present there is alot of preparation yet to do to welcome God into their presence in majesty that will help make an impression on these people they will never forget.
26 – The dimensions of the Tabernacle are given. The details are many and we may feel belabored by all this, but it matters. It matters to God so it needs to matter to us. [Again, searching Tabernacle photos can be helpful] This is the place where God is going to appear and show his glory. No house is built without specifications. Homes/Mansions are built and the more important it is, the more details there are. They were to follow these matters every one. Following this was prerequisite for God to appear. Sloppiness here would not be tolerated. If they were sloppy here, they would be sloppy with everything. Going through Israeli neighborhoods today, the attention to detail is a marvel. Gates, gardens, fences, edging, etc. They get these notions from here in Exodus and it still shows 3,400 years later. What are we studying and therefore what are we committed to?