Troublesome Topic: Lessons from the Tabernacle Part 2

Lesson 2 of 12

The first lesson covered the following:

A.  There is an order in how we must approach God

Now I will continue with other lessons we can learn.

B.  Spirituality Cannot Be Separated from Life

This fits in the topic of holiness.

The rituals to be carried out also served as instruction. To us it appears there were rituals for just about everything. Let me assure you of one thing, while these rituals point to Christ as the provision of God, they also were a helpful teaching tool for the people of that day.

There were rituals which showed the seriousness of sin and how God deals with sin. That would include the instructions about the Day of Atonement as well as offerings for purification. More will be said about the sacrifices later.

There were rituals that dealt with other aspects of life too. There were sacrifices related to a variety of life’s situations showing that God wanted to be involved in every aspect of life. He also wanted to teach them many things through life itself.

C. We Learn What God is Like from the Tabernacle’s Design

This is also part of the topic of holiness.

Even the design of the tabernacle and the materials used were instructive. The design was given by God so as to be a representation of a heavenly dwelling, or heavenly temple (Ex. 25:9).

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Observe what the book of Hebrews says about this design:

Hebrews 9:23


It was necessary, then, for the copies of heavenly things to be purified with these, however, the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.


It was necessary, then, for the forms seen on earth which are representations of things that are in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, however, the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 10:1


For the law, having a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the form of those things themselves, is never able to complete [the work] in those who draw near by means of the same sacrifices which they are continuously and perpetually offering each year.


For the law was just a shadow of the good things that are coming; it was not the real thing which has substance, therefore it was totally incapable of bringing God’s work to completion in those who were in the process of drawing near to Him because it continuously and perpetually offered the same sacrifices each year.

This affirms the instructive nature of the tabernacle and the entire covenant of God with His people during that time in history. The law was never intended to save, for it was simply a shadow of the real thing.

Examples of Instruction through the Tabernacle’s Design

Many different aspects of the tabernacle’s design were in themselves teaching tools. For instance, the Holy of Holies was to be a perfect cube. The length and height and width were all the same. This was God’s place of residence on earth during that time, and its dimensions reflected how balanced, and perfect He is. There is nothing lacking in His personality or nature. For us it is often difficult to balance the issues of love and justice, but God is perfectly Holy and completely loving at the same time. There is no conflict, or lack of balance in him.

The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the tabernacle so that the people would not forget that, while God had chosen to make His dwelling among His people, He was still separate and different from them. When someone wants to draw close to God, he must do so recognizing who God is, and how He is set apart from us.

The materials of the tabernacle were both common items like goat’s hair and acacia wood, and precious things like gold, silver, and bronze. The use of ordinary things in the tabernacle indicates that God cares about the little things of life. He wants holiness and faith to permeate every mundane task we do.

Nearer to the Holy of Holies there was more gold, and further away there were more common materials. This was not so because God can only be present where there is gold; for what is gold, except another one of the things He created? The precious metals were not so much for His sake but for ours. They served as reminders of what God is like. Gold is a representation of the glory and purity of God himself. Silver served a similar purpose. Bronze was known for its strength and beauty. Anyone who wants to get close to God cannot do so if they ignore His greatness, His purity, His strength, and His glory.

The next lesson in all three series on Covenants is A sacrifice Must Cost You Something.


1: Ex. 25:9

"You shall make it just like all that I show you that is the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all its furnishings."