Exodus 37:1-29

Daybreak for Students

Exodus 37:1-29

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Exodus 37
And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same. — Exodus 37:17

Some years ago my wife had an illness that kept her home for days, sometimes weeks. During one such time we started a puzzle. It was a two-thousand-piece puzzle with hundreds of hues to it, and we spent many hours searching for pieces. People would come by to visit my wife, and often in the course of their stay they would sit down and work for a while on the puzzle. Finally the day came when we finished it — well, not quite finished. You see, we put piece number 1,999 in place, but the last piece was missing! Yes, it was a beautiful picture, but the same question came from all who looked at it: “Where is the last piece?” Just one missing piece made the whole puzzle look undone. 

In today’s text we find God’s directions being carried out in the preparations for the furnishing of the Tabernacle. Notice the attention to detail. Each part spelled out in the original plan was included in the final product. Not one thing was left out. God would not have been pleased if the craftsman had left off one of the candleholders or decided to eliminate one piece of furniture thinking it was not necessary! No, completeness was integral to the beauty and success of the project.

God would have us look at His Word and give the same attention to detail, not leaving out any part of His plan for our lives. It might seem a small point and not understood to us, but God has a reason for every instruction He gives. 

We can ask God today to help us make sure all the pieces are in place, that nothing is left out of what He is requiring of us. Just as it was important for Bezaleel to follow every instruction given for the Tabernacle, it is important for us to follow all the instructions God has given us. The true blessing from God comes in response to our willingness to simply obey all His directions.

BACKGROUND

This chapter continues with the description of the Israelites’ obedience to detailed instructions God had previously given Moses regarding the construction of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Today’s text deals with several key articles to be used in the Tabernacle: the Ark (verses 1-9), the table (verses 10-16), the candlestick (verses 17-24), and the altar of incense (verses 25-29).

First was the Ark, which was to be built of shittim (acacia) wood, and overlaid with pure gold. It was an oblong chest that was two and one-half cubits long by one and one-half cubits in width and height. The Ark symbolized God’s covenant with the Children of Israel and represented the presence of God. Its cover was the Mercy Seat — a slab of solid gold the same length and width as the Ark. Two golden cherubim were to be placed at each end of the Ark, facing one another with their wings spread out. Inside the Ark would be the Ten Commandments. The Ark would be placed in the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum of the Tabernacle. 

The second piece of Tabernacle furniture described in this passage was the table, which was also made of shittim wood and overlaid with pure gold. It was slightly smaller than the Ark, being two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and one-half cubits high. It would be placed in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, and the shewbread and various utensils would be kept upon it. 

Next is the description of the candlestick, or lampstand, which would light the Holy Place for the priests. It was to be made of pure gold, with six branches coming off the central shaft. Thus, the one candlestick provided seven burning oil lamps. Each of the six branches was decorated with three cups in the form of an almond flower, while the center shaft held four cups in the same form. Utensils and vessels for use in conjunction with this candlestick were also to be made of pure gold.

The final articles described are the altar of incense, the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense that would be used. Like the other furnishings, the incense altar, which was one cubit square, was made of shittim wood covered with gold. It would stand in the Holy Place in front of the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. It was used for burning the fragrant incense which was symbolic of acceptable prayer. The holy anointing oil was used to consecrate the priests and all the pieces in the Tabernacle, symbolizing that they had been set apart for God’s service.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
V.   The construction of the Tabernacle
     D.   The construction of the building
           1.   The Tabernacle assembled
                 b.    The making of the parts
                        (6)   The Ark (37:1-9)
                        (7)   The table (37:10-16)
                        (8)   The lampstand (37:17-24)
                        (9)   The altar of incense (37:25-28)
                        (10)  The oil and perfume (37:29)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. Besides the shewbread, what articles were to be placed upon the table in the Holy Place? What were these articles made of?

  2. Why do you think it was so important that the Israelites did not omit any item from God’s plan?

  3. Have you ever skipped over an instruction while completing a project? What was the result? Make a spiritual application.

CONCLUSION

If we follow God’s instructions to us in every detail, God’s presence and blessing will be with us.