The message was brought by Rev. Eddie Foster.
Exodus 25:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
The making of the tabernacle starts in Exodus 25 and goes through chapter 40. It was a tent design. It was put up, used, and taken down when the cloud moved and stopped. A lot of work was upon the people in doing this. I’m glad to be on this side of the cross. I didn’t have to bring a sacrifice today. I would have hated to see all the animals that were sacrificed. The ultimate sacrifice was made on the cross 2,000 years ago and will never be done again. The sacrifice of those animals rolled forward the sins of the people until the cross.
The tabernacle had three compartments: the outer court, the holy place and the holy of holies. In the holy of holies, once a year the high priest would go to take the offering of the blood for the people. A rope was tied around him so that if anything happened to him, the others could pull him out with the rope. They dared not go in themselves. God always has a plan. In the outer court were the brazen altar and the laver. In the holy place was the table of shewbread, the candlestick, and the altar of incense. In the holy of holies was the ark of the covenant. Inside it was Aaron’s rod that budded, a golden pot of manna, and the tablets of the law. The gold represented deity; silver redemption; brass judgement; blue heaven; purple loyalty; scarlet sacrifice.
The purpose of the tabernacle was a dwelling place of God among men. God came down to dwell. He made a way for people to approach him. We have an avenue to pray. Our Great High Priest is able to go into the throne room on our behalf. God met with Israel and met their needs. He always longed to fellowship with his children. I believe that’s why he made man. We weren’t for sin, for Satan. We weren’t made to stay home and do what we wanted to. It was that God might fellowship with us. I can feel God’s presence at home, but the writer of Hebrews says not to forsake assembling ourselves together. If you don’t fellowship with God, you’re not fulfilling your divine purpose. John 1:14 says And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Dwelt means to tabernacle with us. God made a way for lost, sinful people who complained coming and going that they might come into his presence. Don’t take that lightly.
God has a high standard. Pure gold and pure silver of the highest quality. He settled for nothing inferior. God is absolute holiness. He will not lower his standards. There is one way to be saved and it’s through Jesus Christ. He won’t change the standards to fit man. He didn’t do it in the wilderness and won’t today. He’ll never change. We’ll never attain the holiness we need. We’ll never be perfect. If we could have done it ourselves, Jesus would not have died. But he did something for us we could not do ourselves. God was well pleased with Jesus in his life and his death. When we come to God through the blood of Jesus, God sees us through that blood. A right relationship with God ought to cause us to shout. Man tries to change the way God has set, but it will not be changed. No one could keep the Ten Commandments. The purpose was to show man how far he was from attaining them. We come through the One who could keep them. The Law pointed out that we are sinners. Now, because of the grace of God, we are sinners saved by grace.
There is the example of giving in the tabernacle. Israel already had most of the items needed to make the tabernacle. They brought them as spoils out of Egypt. God ensured they had the necessary materials to build. Even though they had them, they were under no obligation to give them. Verse 2 says Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. They gave out of a willing heart. Again in 35:4-5: And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord. And again in 36:3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. They gave so much that in 36:5 we’re told it was too much. And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.
In Second Corinthians 8 we find the Macedonian church suffering great persecution but still they gave a large offering. We see four aspects here. (1) They gave in spite of their affliction and poverty. When things get tough, the first thing to go is the gift to God. That shouldn’t be. (2) They gave more than they were able, not considering the cost; they just gave. Verse 24 says it was proof of their love. (3) They gave willingly, not grudgingly. I learned a long time ago that you cannot make people feel guilty to get them to attend church, but if we can get people to fall in love with the Lord the way they should, everything will fall into place. It’s more than talent, more than money: the Lord wants YOU. When he has you and me, we’ll freely give to the Lord. Until then, you’ll struggle with it. (4) They gave sacrificially. Don’t give till it hurts. Give till it feels good.
God always moves first. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and hid from God. God called out to Adam asking him where he was. Did he not know? Of course he did. Adam was hiding and God wanted him to admit it. God moved first. Cain and Abel brought their offerings. They both knew the requirements. Abel brought a blood sacrifice and was accepted. Cain brought the fruit of the ground and it was rejected. God came to Cain offering him another chance to make the proper sacrifice. He refused, but God made the first move. God makes the first move in the lives of unbelievers to convict people of sin. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t draw, you won’t come. We have nothing in ourselves that is inclined to go to God. Holy Ghost conviction reveals sin and our destiny to hell. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. Calling upon the Lord, the burden is lifted. But God came to us in the first move. No one finds the Lord. He finds us. Where we are. He knows us by name. Knowing our life, he still loved us enough to come to us. Our obligation is to receive him and be forgiven.