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The Divine Design of the Tabernacle Furnishings

Krista Williams

Day: 37 | Plan: Exodus

Today's Reading: Exodus 37

Exodus 37:1a (NIV) “Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood.”

After you build a house, you furnish it. In today’s chapter, we find the list of furnishings that were specifically made for the two rooms inside the tabernacle.  

Exodus 37 contains numerous construction details about the fashioning of each furnishing that would fill God’s dwelling place.

Sometimes it’s tempting to skip over chapters like this in the Bible. At first glance, we don’t see how it pertains to us or why we would ever need to know any of this. Right? 

Even if we read it, we usually just skim it so we can check it off our Bible reading list. When we do that, we miss the deeper value of the passage. 

Actually, this chapter is like a mini-storage unit filled with priceless, handcrafted antiques. Each made of the finest materials. So let’s unpack each piece a little bit and begin to appraise its value.

The chapter begins with these words, “Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood.” The ark is the single most important piece of the tabernacle and it was made first. It was a box made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. It had a lid made of pure gold on top, called the “mercy seat.” On top of the lid were two sculpted cherubim made of gold. 

The ark represents the throne of God and is a copy or shadow of His throne in heaven. His glory dwelt between the cherubim above the mercy seat of the ark. (Exodus 25:22; Psalm 99:1)

The mercy seat is where the shed blood was sprinkled to cover or make atonement for sin. The mercy seat points to Jesus Christ. It’s His shed blood that makes atonement for sin. 

The next piece is the table of acacia wood or the table of showbread. It’s the table where 12 loafs of bread, called the bread of the Presence, were placed each week. (Exodus 25:30) It suggests fellowship and communion with God. It reminds us that He is our source of sustenance and provides our daily bread. It also points to Jesus, who is the Bread of Life. 

The lampstand is the most elaborate furnishing. It was made of about 75 pounds of pure gold and sculpted with almond blossoms. (Exodus 37:24) The almond blossoms are a beautiful reminder of new, fresh life. 

The light of the lampstand, or menorah, helped the priest see as they served. It’s a symbol of the hope God’s presence brings to His people. The lampstand points to Jesus. He is the Light of the World. His light reveals the way to God and dispels the darkness.

The last piece listed is the altar of incense. It represents the prayers of the saints. It reminds us to continually lift our prayers up to the Lord. (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 8:3-4) 

Why all this attention to detail? God is a masterful designer. Details are important to Him. He is never random or haphazard. And just like the tabernacle furnishings, every detail of your life has a divine design. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I love Your attention to detail. I thank You that my life is being fashioned according to Your divine design. Nothing is insignificant. Nothing is random. But You custom order every detail. I pray that I wouldn’t rush past the details today. Help me to pause and see the way even the smallest facet of my life points straight to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Go deeper with today’s First 5 by writing in your Study of Exodus Experience Guide. Don’t have one? Get yours here! Digital Download option now available for $8.

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