Wow – the golden calf story is so creepy, isn’t it? What a contrast to the story of the ark of the covenant. I guess I need to show a little understanding. Israel didn’t know God very well. How fitting that a man who had received His Father’s mercy (Moses) was so willing to give the same grace to his companions.
As the journey is resumed the people make their contributions to preparations for the tabernacle and everything in it. It is important to keep sight of the fact that Yahweh’s dwelling was, and is, within the hearts of His people. The tabernacle was a visible reflection of the glory of God. Everything placed within it and around it was a copy of what is in heaven. This is key as you read, because it is easy to focus on this earthly “tent” rather on the one in heaven (passages below).
We also begin the book of Leviticus. Exodus is the context for understanding the purpose of the tabernacle. The Jews had spent 430 years in bondage in Egypt. Now it was time to shift focus. The sacrifices, the priests, and the ceremonies of Leviticus were given to enhance the people’s connection with God. And there were millions of people!
Check these out as you read, providing some major insight and perspective!
“We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” – Mark 14:58
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” – Acts 17:24
“You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all.” – Acts 19:26
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation…” – Hebrews 9:11
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” – Hebrews 9:24
Think about this as a summary for Leviticus:
“For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’” – Leviticus 11:44,45