What the Israelites were to offer for making the tabernacle.
(1-9) The ark. (10-22) The table, with its furniture. (23-30)
The candlestick. (31-40)
God chose the people of Israel to be a peculiar people to
himself, above all people, and he himself would be their King.
He ordered a royal palace to be set up among them for himself,
called a sanctuary, or holy place, or habitation. There he
showed his presence among them. And because in the wilderness
they dwelt in tents, this royal palace was ordered to be a
tabernacle, that it might move with them. The people were to
furnish Moses with the materials, by their own free will. The
best use we can make of our worldly wealth, is to honour God
with it in works of piety and charity. We should ask, not only,
What must we do? but, What may we do for God? Whatever they
gave, they must give it cheerfully, not grudgingly, for God
service of God, we must reckon well bestowed; and whatsoever is
done in God's service, must be done by his direction.
The ark was a chest, overlaid with gold, in which the two
tables of the law were to be kept. These tables are called the
testimony; God in them testified his will. This law was a
testimony to the Israelites, to direct them in their duty, and
would be a testimony against them, if they transgressed. This
ark was placed in the holy of holies; the blood of the
sacrifices was sprinkled, and the incense burned, before it, by
the high priest; and above it appeared the visible glory, which
was the symbol of the Divine presence. This was a type of Christ
in his sinless nature, which saw no corruption, in personal
union with his Divine nature, atoning for our sins against it,
by his death. The cherubim of gold looked one towards another,
and both looked downward toward the ark. It denotes the angels'
attendance on the Redeemer, their readiness to do his will,
their presence in the assemblies of saints, and their desire to
look into the mysteries of the gospel. It was covered with a
covering of gold, called the mercy-seat. God is said to dwell,
or sit between the cherubim, on the mercy-seat. There he would
give his law, and hear supplicants, as a prince on his throne.
A table was to be made of wood, overlaid with gold, to
stand in the outer tabernacle, to be always furnished with the
shew-bread. This table, with the articles on it, and its use,
seems to typify the communion which the Lord holds with his
redeemed people in his ordinances, the provisions of his house,
the feasts they are favoured with. Also the food for their
souls, which they always find when they hunger after it; and the
delight he takes in their persons and services, as presented
before him in Christ.
The candlestick represents the light of God's word and
Spirit, in and through Christ Jesus, afforded in this dark world
to his believing people, to direct their worship and obedience,
and to afford them consolations. The church is still dark, as
the tabernacle was, in comparison with what it will be in
heaven; but the word of God is a light shining in a dark place,
it. In ver.
is an express caution to Moses. Nothing was
left to his own fancy, or to that of the workmen, or the people;
but the will of God must be observed in every particular.
Christ's instruction to his disciples,
, is like this,
Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Let us
remember that we are the temples of the Holy Ghost, that we have
the law of God in our hearts, that we are to live a life of
communion with God, feast on his ordinances, and are the light
of the world, if indeed we are followers of Christ. May the Lord
help us to try ourselves by this view of religion, and to walk