The word ‘Tabernacle’ means a portable structure, which was also called the 'Sanctuary’, where God came and dwelt among Israelites when they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan. God instructed Moses to build this ‘Sanctuary’ according to His specifications. God decided the measurements and the elements therein that He may come and dwell therein among His chosen people, the Israelites. The measurements and the details are specified in Exodus25:8-10. According to Hebrews 9:15 Lord Jesus Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant and by means of His death for the redemption of the transgressions of those saints, who believed in “Yahweh”, during Old Testament Period, the promise of eternal inheritance for them was assured. For the New Testament believers also the death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary provided the way for redemption from sin. The sacrifices offered in the Old Testament period were not enough for them to have redemption from their sins, but those sacrifices were the assurances of their future redemption through the blood of Lord Jesus shed for every one. A Testament comes into effect after the death of the testator. “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator”. (Hebrews 9:16)
The first covenant, which was the shadow of the things to come, was not perfect in itself to secure salvation, but it was similar to a deposit that could be redeemed later. The perfect redemption from sin is only through the sacrifice of Jesus who died on behalf of every one. He is the Salvation and there is no other way to obtain salvation. ”And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24)
The duties of priests are detailed in Exodus Chapters 28 and 29. The priest is required to be holy and set apart himself publicly for the service of God before ministering the people of God. The priests chosen by God were Aaron and his children, and they were required to perform ceremonial solemnities to hollow themselves first, and then serve at the altar. They were required to bring unto the door of the tabernacle one young bullock, two rams without blemish, unleavened bread, made of wheat flour.
We will also see whether a New Testament believer should be legalistic to observe any color!
It is not without any significance that God instructed Moses to choose certain colors for the veils of the Tabernacle, and the robes of the priest. Pondering over the colors that God chose will reveal to us the importance of certain colors. God asked Moses to choose ‘blue’, ‘purple’ and ‘scarlet’ for the veils. The texture of the ten curtains that was to be used of the Tabernacle was made of ‘fine twined linen’, ‘blue’, ‘purple, and ‘scarlet’. (Exo. 26:1)
The significance of the four rows of precious metals with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written and placed on the breastplate of Aaron the priest, who enters the Holy place to offer incense at the Golden Altar, shows us the love of God toward the children of Israel. These are the children of Israel, whom God never forgets and offered them the salvation. The Son of God, Jesus Christ came into the world to save the children of Israel, who were lost, but they rejected Him as Messiah. That paved the way for the Gentiles to enter into the Holy place of God.
The description and the measurements of the Golden Altar and the restrictions in offering strange fire are described in Exodus 30:1-10. The sweet spices that God liked were ‘stacte’, ‘onycha’ and ‘galbanum’. These sweet spices with pure frankincense were pleasing to the LORD. Moses did everything just as God commanded and the golden altar was set before the ark of the testimony. Priest Zachariah had to perform a duty in the course of his legal turn a service which was to burn the incense in the temple of the Lord. There was a multitude of people who stood outside the temple when he went into the temple to perform the service.
It was consoling and so comforting to Israel that Moses chose to intercede on their behalf, because just a little while ago Moses was very much displeased with them when they made an idol and worshipped it. When Moses returned from the mount Sinai with two tablets written on them with the finger of God, the Ten Commandments, he saw Aaron and the children of Israel had made a calf of gold and were worshipping it. They even went to the extent of stripping themselves and worshiping the idol in their nakedness (Exodus 32:25) Moses was very angry to look at that situation and ordered that whoever was on the Lord’s side may gather on his side. The sons of Levi joined him. Moses ordered a great slaughter of their brothers and companions. The children of Levi obeyed him and there fell three thousand men. Then Moses asked them to consecrate themselves to the LORD that He may bless them. On the next morning, Moses said to them that they sinned greatly and, therefore, he decided to return to the LORD to make atonement for their sins.
< Located between the Bronze Altar and the Golden Altar was the ‘Laver’. The Bronze Altar was outside the Holy Place while the Golden Altar was inside the ‘Holy Place’. The priest had to wash his hands and legs with the water taken out from the laver before entering into the Holy Place to perform the ceremonial rites related to the ‘Holy Place’ and the ‘Most Holy Place’. The Bronze Altar was the place where the sacrifices were offered and the Golden Altar was the place where incense was offered.
The “Candlestick” was made of pure gold that was hammered out skillfully with its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its knobs, and its flowers, to stand on one piece. Six branches of lamps; three on either side of the center piece stood elegantly on one piece above the shaft. The seven lamps were to be kept burning always never to get extinguished. Moses made the “lampstand” just as the LORD commanded him to do. “Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knop and a flower: so throughout the six branches going out of the candlestick”. (Exodus 37:19)
Numbers 16 and 17th Chapters give us the details as to how God chose Aaron for his service. Korah, Dathan, Abiram, the sons of Eliab, On, and the sons of Reuben challenged Moses and his leadership. They murmured against God, and cast allegations against Moses saying that he brought them out from the land of milk and honey, which according to them was Egypt. It is in Egypt where they served as slaves for several years, yet they now call that it was a land of milk and honey. God called Canaan as the land flowing with milk and honey and He was leading them from Egypt to Canaan with Moses as their leader. But Korah, Dathan, Abiram and sons of Eliaab, On, and the sons of Reuben alleged that Moses took upper hand and did not give them any important role in the service of God. They did not realize that it is the prerogative of God to choose unto Himself those, who, He thinks are fit for His service and allots to each one according to his ability and sincerity, their portion of service. Moses was chosen to lead the children of Israel, and, Aaron, who was older than Moses was appointed to assist him.
First let us see what is Manna?
The simplest answer is IT WAS THE HEAVENLY BREAD given to the children of Israel when they were on their way from Egypt to Canaan. The children of Israel had sweet water from God at Marah and rest at Elim. After that, they resumed their journey and reached the wilderness of Sin and murmured against God that they did not have food. Their murmuring for food was similar to that of their murmuring at Marah for water. When they felt shortage of food they remembered the food they had as slaves in Egypt and complained to Moses that this was a bad situation because even as slaves they had food in Egypt but now as free men they lacked food. They wished if they had the kind of food they had as slaves in the Egypt.
The Lord disciplined the children of Israel and gave to them the commandments and the law, which is known as the ‘Mosaic Covenant’. God gave the Law and the covenant and this has become the governing factor for the children of Israel to lead their lives in holy manner pleasing to Him. It bound the children of Israel under certain laws and revealed their sin. The result was that they increased in their disobedience resulting in deaths. These laws were very stringent in nature and hard to follow. The stringent requirements under law required religious life from the children of Israel. They were forced to look upon the Lord’s commandments and ordinances and they tried to lead their lives following the commandments; yet they found that it was not possible to keep all the Ten Commandments and they committed sin. The law was taught to them by priests and the atonement of their sins was by sacrifices that the priests offered at the altar. No one could ever fulfill all the requirements of the law.