|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||Getting the Big Picture||Lesson 11|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|November 11, 2001||Bible Lessons
We're back!!!! After a much longer recess from our study of the Tabernacle than intended, we are ready to roll up our Spiritual sleeves and dig into the truths of the only God ordered and designed structure on earth. For the first lessons of this series, we are taking "snap-shots" of different aspects of the Tabernacle and its service. It's as though we were doing a fly-over, and taking snap-shots of small portions of the Tabernacle and/or its service.
Once we've flown around and looked at God's ordered building and the ministries that attended it, we will take one small piece at a time, and put those pictures together into a good overview of the structure, and a fair understanding of the ministries that are involved in keeping the Tabernacle and its service operational.
Then we can "land" our plane and begin to "walk-through" all the aspects of this intricate and somewhat baffling process of worship. Because we will have had the overview from many different angles, we won't get lost in the maze of sacrifices, high days, garments and ritual.
We have already taken several "snap-shots". We have seen God's desire to have a personal relationship with each person in the nation.
God wanted to make each and every person in the nation a "priest". God wanted everyone in the nation to personally experience His presence and to serve Him Spiritually. However, Israel -- like so many of us -- didn't want to pay the physical price to have such great Spiritual blessings. This event and attitude will "dog" the steps of the nation of Israel until Christ returns and sets up His kingdom.
We also saw that even though they were NOT willing to pay the price to become a "kingdom of priests", they, none the less, tried over and over again to "get" the blessings of that position EVEN THOUGH they were not willing to accept the responsibility. A chronic problem of many Believers today.
Those in the wilderness -- like so many of us -- heard the "good word" from God, AND immediately said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." They never counted the cost! They assumed that, by their own strength, they could do what God commanded. Never once did they say, "God, by Your grace and strength, we will do what You command."
Many of us are like that. Our attitude is that God is pretty lucky to have us. After all, with our good looks, ability and talent, we can do all that's needed. Therefore, God should really appreciate us just hanging around.
The Apostle Paul learned the value of God's strength, and the inability of his own ability. With that knowledge, Paul was able to do as God said, BECAUSE he was totally dependent on God.
The Israelites in the wilderness had not yet learned the reality of their insufficiency to accomplish Spiritual activities. Nor had they experienced the total awesomeness of God's presence and person.
When they saw the outward manifestation of God's presence in and on nature, they ran from God instead of running to God for mercy.
We looked briefly at a "snap-shot" of the priests, and their ministry in prayer before the Altar of Incense. For today's lesson, we want to "fly" higher, and see an even a broader view of the need and use of the Tabernacle. Today, we will only take a quick first look at this broader view.
Primarily, we want to look at this overview so we can see the examples that point to us, as Believers. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit uses the Israelites in their journey from Egypt into the Promised Land as a picture or example of the Believer going from the unsaved state through salvation and into the victorious Christian life. That being true, let's set that stage for this drama. By seeing this example from beginning to end, it will be of great help when we examine some of the more detailed examples.
Look at some of the parallels, and then we will attempt to fill in a few of the blank spots. Israel in Egypt is a type of a person in their unsaved state in the world. As an example, the Holy Spirit equates Egypt, where the Israelites were slaves, with the World in which we were held in bondage to sin before salvation.
The Passover, the death of the lamb and the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, is an example of a unsaved person placing their faith in the Lamb of God Who died on the cross as our Passover, thereby providing deliverance from the bondage of sin.
Passing through the Red Sea is an example of Believer's Baptism. There was the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness that sadly is an example of so many Christians who simply refuse to possess the victorious Christian life by God's grace.
Crossing over Jordan and possessing the land, is an example of Believers in their struggles and battles fought as they claim the victorious Christian life.
That's the "BIG" picture. From that knowledge, the many, many other examples used by the Holy Spirit will make sense as we fit each within that "BIG" picture. Not only will the "BIG" picture help us with the many smaller examples, these smaller examples will fill in and color the "BIG" picture, and make it come alive. If we keep in mind the progression of "BIG" example, we won't get lost in the wilderness.
Let's refresh our memories once again:
Sad to say, the response of the Israelites in all of this has way too many parallels to the Believer's responses to God's grace in our daily walk.
Hebrews 3:10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' 11 So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.' "
The Holy Spirit, through the writer of Hebrews in this third chapter, is speaking of the Israelites in the wilderness.
The reason they were mislead and strayed from orthodoxy was because they did not know God's ways. They didn't know God's ways in spite of fact that they were isolated from the world, God dwelt in the camp and God lead them every step of the way. Just being at a Bible Conference, in the middle of the desert conducted by God, does not mean we will automatically KNOW God's ways.
Because of their lack of knowing God's ways, God did not allow Israel to enter into His rest. In their case, the first step in receiving God's rest would have been entering the Promised Land.
These wanderers from orthodoxy missed EVEN the first step towards God's rest. Therefore, they wandered aimlessly in the wilderness, NEVER experiencing even a hint of God's real blessing. Don't miss that fact, because the Holy Spirit is going to use it as an example, and make application to our lives today.
As you have already heard, and will hear many time in the future, there is very little within the Christian life and our doctrines that does not have its roots in the Tabernacle and its service. Therefore, IF we are to have a full understanding of those doctrines of Christian living, we must have a good working knowledge of the Tabernacle.
The Holy Spirit wants us to see that those in the wilderness DID NOT exhort one another concerning God's
goodness and blessings. They should have been saying daily to those they
met in camp, "Isn't God good!! We have manna, and water from the
"Rock", our clothes don't wear out and God is tabernacling in our camp.
Yes, God is SO good!"
As a result of this constant complaining, they were hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and could not see God's provision for the present, and lost their blessings for the future. The end result of that hardening was that they spent their entire lives in the wilderness, AND never experienced the blessings God had for them . Sad to say, but during those 40 wasted years, they were only a few days walk from the Promised Land -- yet they NEVER set foot on it.
The subject of the deceitfulness
of sin starts with the first temptation in the Garden, and continues
throughout the history of mankind. Sin so blinds us, until we
think that our sinning is proper. However, as we see in
Therefore, the warning to Believers to beware, lest we too develop this "heart of
unbelief". It is so easy to fall into this pattern of complaining about
God's provision, which leads to being deceived by sin. Living in an "open"
society as we do, it is easy to loose sight of the difference between
striving for improvement, and the lack of gratitude for what we already
have. The "key" to prevention of such personal deception is found in
This partaking of Christ is not a reference to our Salvation. Instead, it is speaking of the daily fellowship with Christ and the drawing from His very life the strength for our daily life.
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2001|