Life-Study of Exodus

Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0397-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 184 of 185 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF EXODUS

MESSAGE ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR

THE ERECTION OF THE TABERNACLE

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Scripture Reading: Exo. 40:1-38

As the conclusion of the Life-study of Exodus, in this message and the following we shall consider 40:1-38.

In Exodus we have the record of God’s revelation concerning the tabernacle and its furniture and also the record of the making of the tabernacle and its furniture. In chapter forty of Exodus we have two records. The first is God’s commandment concerning the erecting of the tabernacle and the placement of the furniture and utensils. The second record describes how Moses did everything according to God’s commandment. These two records, of course, are almost exactly the same. In the book of Exodus there are actually four records related to the tabernacle and its furniture and utensils. In the foregoing message we pointed out the reason for the difference in sequence between the record of the revelation of the tabernacle and its furniture and the record concerning the making of the tabernacle and its furniture. Here I would like to point out that in each of the four records the most important matter is the ark of the testimony.

GOD’S SIDE AND OUR SIDE

We have seen that the revelation of the tabernacle and its furniture begins with the ark of the testimony. God begins with the ark of the testimony and then proceeds outward to the outer court. But according to our experience, we begin with the altar of burnt offering and proceed onward until we reach the ark. Here we see the contrast between God’s viewpoint and our viewpoint, between God’s end and our end. God begins with the ark of the testimony, and we begin with the altar of burnt offering.

If we compare the books of Romans and Ephesians, we shall also see a contrast between God’s side and our side, between God’s end and our end. The book of Romans begins with our side, with the situation of fallen man. In Romans 1 there is detail concerning the sinful things, and in Romans 3 we see the altar. Ephesians, however, begins from God’s side. Even in the first chapter of Ephesians we can see God’s intention. This means that in Ephesians 1 we see Christ as the ark of testimony.

As far as the tabernacle and its furniture are concerned, the book of Exodus does not begin from our side and proceed to God’s side. Rather, it begins from God’s side and proceeds to our side.

God is in the heavens, and we are on earth. We need to ask not only how we can reach God, but also how God can reach us. It is not an easy matter for God to reach us. However, some may say that because God is sovereign and almighty, He can do whatever He desires and can easily reach us. It is, of course, true that God is sovereign and almighty. But we need to remember that God is not lawless; rather, He is a God of law, regulation, and order. Because God is an orderly God, He cannot act contrary to His nature. He cannot do anything that is contrary to His righteous way. In order for the holy and righteous God to reach man, He must act in a way that matches His holiness and corresponds to His righteousness. Therefore, in order for God to come from heaven to earth to reach us, His righteousness must be upheld, and His holiness must be honored. This means that God cannot come to us in a careless way. God’s coming requires a number of steps, or turns, from the ark in the Holy of Holies to the altar in the outer court. These turns can be compared to the turns one makes in driving a car. The driver of a car may first turn right and then left, but all these turns are necessary for him to reach his destination. Likewise, within the tabernacle there are a number of turns.


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