Chapter 39:42-40:33 (ESV) - According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with the veil. And you shall bring in the table and arrange it, and you shall bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. And you shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court.
“Then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it may become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar, so that the altar may become most holy. You shall also anoint the basin and its stand, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”
This Moses did; according to all that the LORD commanded him, so he did. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Moses erected the tabernacle. He laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars. And he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He took the testimony and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark and set the mercy seat above on the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the ark of the testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil, and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, and set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the veil, and burned fragrant incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put in place the screen for the door of the tabernacle. And he set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed, as the LORD commanded Moses. And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.
Question to consider: What are some similarities between Moses assembling the tabernacle and the creation account in Genesis?
After the craftsmen and artists completed the parts of the tabernacle (which was described throughout chapters 36-39), Moses saw that it was all done according to the LORD’s specifications, and he blessed the people. Now the LORD called Moses to assemble all that was crafted, and the first thing we notice is that it was the first day of the first month. It had been a year after the LORD instituted the Passover, and the tabernacle would be ready in time to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This would officially be their second year as a nation.
Moses emphasized that everything was done as the “LORD had commanded Moses” seven times as he assembled the tabernacle just as the LORD declared that each of the seven days were good during the creation account. Of course, anything crafted by a sinful man in a fallen world cannot officially be declared as “good,” but at least everything was done according to the LORD’s commands.
Just as God rested from His work on the seventh day, so Moses declared the work finished on the seventh day. In effect, this was the “creation account” of the place where the LORD would dwell among His people. It would usher in new life through the shedding of blood in the sacrifice of animals.
All of this was a type and shadow for the everlasting covenant in Christ who would usher in eternal life through the shedding of His own blood. Through the sevenfold judgments of God on the current world, Christ currently reigns from the heavenly mount Zion in the New Jerusalem. The apostle John wrote down his revelatory vision of the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven as a picture of the final creation in which the LORD puts an end to sin and death, and we will be able to dwell eternally with Him in righteousness. Tomorrow we will wrap up the book of Exodus with the coming of the LORD in glory on the tabernacle.
Dear heavenly father, please stir up in us a desire to act according to Your commands. Thank You for the reminder that Your kingdom is coming into the world and that we will one day be able to dwell with You in righteousness. Please give us Your peace. Amen.