Moses on the Mountain with the Lord - Part 7
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - July 21, 2010
*The LORD God of the Old Testament who appeared to men was God the Son, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. We are studying these appearances because each of them has something to say to us today.
*Nobody in the Old Testament had more meetings with the Lord than Moses. Tonight we continue looking at Moses on Mount Sinai with the pre-incarnate Christ, continuing to study Moses’ 5th meeting with the Lord. (1)
*Exodus 24 showed us a covenant meal partway up the mountain. Moses and the elders of Israel ate with the Lord. Then in Exodus 24, Moses continued up the mountain and waited 6 days for the Lord to speak.
-Listen to Exodus 24:16-18:
16. Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
17. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
18. So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
*Now in Exodus 25, the Lord begins to speak. Notice what He said as we read vs. 1-8:
1. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
2. "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.
3. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze;
4. blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats' hair;
5. ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood;
6. oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense;
7. onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.
8. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
*One of the things Mary and I saw in Houston last week was a piece of Egyptian stone artwork from about 1300 BC. That was something. They don’t sell those at Wal-Mart!
*There is no telling how much that thing cost. But we are looking at something infinitely more valuable tonight. We are looking at the actual words God spoke to Moses around 1450 BC. The Lord spoke to Moses on the mountain. And God has three messages from the mountain for us tonight.
1. First: God wants us to be generous givers.
*This is the message to us from vs. 1-8. Here the Lord began to describe all of the precious things that would be needed to make the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and the instruments of worship: Gold, silver, bronze, jewels and more would be needed.
*Of course the Lord could have piled up enough stuff for a billion zillion tabernacles all by Himself!
*Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a white dwarf star in the constellation of Centaurus.
-This star has a diamond core that is 1,864 miles wide!
-It weighs 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons.
-And it measures 10 billion trillion trillion carats. (That’s a 1 followed by 34 zeroes.) (2)
*God will never run out of diamonds or gold or anything else for that matter.
-He surely could have provided all of those things Himself. But that’s not what He did. Instead, in vs. 2 the Lord told Moses: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.”
*Now the Lord commands His people to tithe, but the Lord also asks for special offerings for special projects. And He doesn’t force His people to give.
-As 2 Corin 9:7 says: “God loves a cheerful giver.” And we should give cheerfully for the cause of Christ, because everything we have comes from His generous Hand.
*Where did the Children of Israel get all of their stuff? -- Well, you could say they got it from the Egyptians. But really, they got it from the Lord, just as He promised.
-In Exodus 3, when the Lord first spoke to Moses at the burning bush, God said:
21. "I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.
22. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.''
*God kept that promise. And every good thing we have has come from Him.
-So God wants us to be generous givers.
2. The 2nd message from the mountain is this: God wants to stay close to His saints.
*We see this message in vs. 8, where the Lord told Moses: “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them”
*God wants to dwell with His people. And Christians part of the great news of the New Testament is this: Through the cross of Jesus Christ, WE are the Sanctuary. God Himself dwells in the heart of every believer, and He always will: “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Heb 13:5)
*God wants to stay close to His saints.
3. And the 3rd message from the mountain is this: God uses earthly pictures to teach us about heavenly places.
*This message comes through loud and clear as the Lord begins to talk about the Tabernacle and all it involved: God uses earthly pictures to teach us about heavenly places.
*This is why the Lord was so precise in the instructions He gave to Moses. Starting in vs. 8&9:
8. “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
9. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
*The Lord stressed the same thing down in vs. 40: “See to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”
*The Lord wanted everything built just a certain way. This comes through in the all elaborate details He gave to Moses.
-God was using earthly pictures to teach us about Heavenly places.
*Hebrews 8:1-5 confirms this truth when it talks about Jesus and says:
1. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
2. a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
3. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
4. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
5. who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.''
*And from Hebrews 9:11-12:
11. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
*Also from Hebrews 9:
19. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20. saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.''
21. Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
22. And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23. Therefore it was necessary that the COPIES of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
*God uses earthly pictures to teach us about heavenly places. And we will use the rest of our time to look at one of these pictures. It’s the Ark that we see starting in vs. 10-16:
10. "And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height.
11. "And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around.
12. "You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side.
13. "And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
14. "You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them.
15. "The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.
16. "And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.
*There is so much we could say about the Ark, but right now, let me stress just two things:
-First, the Ark contained the Tablets of Testimony...
-The stone tablets written by the Finger of God...
-The stone tablets containing the 10 Commandments...
-The 10 Commandments representing part of God’s perfect will for our relationship with Him and with each other...
-The 10 Commandments that none of us have kept...
-God’s standard of perfection we have all failed to reach...
*So the Ark bore witness to the condemnation we all deserved.
*But the Ark was covered by the Mercy Seat that we see starting in vs. 17:
17. "You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.
18. "And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.
19. "Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat.
20. "And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.
21. "You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.
22. "And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.
*The Mercy Seat is surely a picture of the cross of Jesus Christ.
-Listen to the good news of the cross from Romans 3:23-26. And as you listen, pay extra attention to this unusual word, “propitiation”:
23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24. being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25. whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
26. to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
*Believers that we are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, and God Himself is our justifier. That means He declares us to be righteous, and He makes us righteous.
*But the only way God could do that was for Jesus to be our propitiation, which means the thing that puts us in God’s favor. The NIV Bible calls this the sacrifice of atonement. But the most literal translation is “Mercy Seat.” Jesus Christ is our mercy seat!
*Here Paul is pointing us back to the days of the tabernacle and the temple, where the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Holy of Holies. And the Mercy Seat was the 2 feet by 4 feet solid gold cover of that box.
*That box was very special, not just because it held the 10 Commandments and a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. Mostly it was special because that’s where the glory of God came down and rested, on the Mercy Seat.
*And the one time a year that the high priest could go into the Holy of Holies, that’s where he sprinkled the blood, on the mercy seat. And the people’s sins were symbolically covered by the blood.
*But now we don’t need the mercy seat on the Ark, because Jesus Christ is our place of mercy! He is the true Lamb of God who gave His blood on the cross to pay for our sins. God wants us to know that. So here in Exodus 25, God gave earthly pictures of Heavenly things.
*Only Moses got to be on the mountain with the Lord so many years ago, but in these Old Testament Scriptures God has 3 important messages for us today:
-God wants us to be generous givers.
(That is to say: He wants us to be like Him.)
-God wants to stay close to His saints.
(Do you know Him in a close and personal way? -- Put your trust in Jesus Christ tonight.)
-And God uses earthly pictures to teach us about heavenly places.
(Have you gotten the message tonight? -- Jesus is the real place of mercy for everyone who will trust in Him.)
1. Good explanation of Moses’ time on the mountain: “Seven Ascents” by Richard Gamble - www.heraldmag.org/2006/06mj_3.htm
2. “Who We Are - God's Special Treasure” by Ronald Wyncoop - Exo 19:5-6, Deut 14:2, 1 Pet 2:9 - 09/11/05