Tag Archives: tabernacle

Leviticus 1:1-6:7: Entering God’s Presence via the sacrifice of a contrite heart

None of these sacrifices or offerings of the Tabernacle or Temple of ancient Israel apply to us today, yet all of them apply to us today. That paradox comes to us because forgiveness for diverging from the Creator’s plan has always come to mankind the same way: the old way of life must die. Offerings of blood and food never accomplished that — and never were meant to.

So then, what’s the deal with all the detailed instructions in the Bible about killing animals, pouring and sprinkling blood, burning carcasses and bringing in offerings of produce? Yeshua the Mashiakh taught in parables, and the Word of God teaches through the parable of the Tabernacle.

The punchline of the parable: When we sin, something has to die. The offerings that involved death of the animal teach that the contrite person — humble and seeking change — is transformed on the approach toward God, ultimately coming face to face with the Creator by way of the blood of the perfectly pure and innocent presented at the Tabernacle doorway. This parable memorializes Heaven’s mercy in forgiving humanity’s oopsies, carelessness, wanton disregard and even rebellion against the LORD by the Offering that only needed to be offered “once for all” (Heb. 9:11–14; 10:8–10).

Continue reading Leviticus 1:1-6:7: Entering God’s Presence via the sacrifice of a contrite heart

Exodus 38:21–40:38: Abomination of desolation vs. glory of habitation

During the course of Israel’s settlements in the wilderness and later in the Promised Land, God’s name rested on several places, including Shiloh and later Jerusalem. The Tabernacle was never desecrated by outside forces but it’s worship was compromised from the outside in.

The Temple, in Jerusalem, on the other hand, was sacked several times by corrupt kings as well as foreign invaders. Sometimes, God blessed the dedications of His temples with a visible sign of His Divine Presence, sometimes he did not. In the Torah reading פקודי Pekudei (“countings,” Exodus 38:21–40:38), we will look at how and why God did or did not visibly show His presence when the various Tabernacles and Temples were dedicated or rededicated through Israel’s history.

Continue reading Exodus 38:21–40:38: Abomination of desolation vs. glory of habitation

Numbers 11: Everyone likes to complain sometimes, even Moshe

What is the real complaint in Numbers 11? What did Moshe hear vs. what did God hear? 

“Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moshe, and Moshe prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.” (Numbers 11:1–3 NASB)

God heard the people complaining of “adversity” and the people didn’t believe that God had their best interest at heart. We don’t know the exact nature of the complaints in Numbers 11:1-3 that upset God so much. 

Human beings have a tendency to murmur and hope they won’t be heard and also at tendency to murmur and hope that they will be heard. God’s judgement was take out the murmurers. 

It’s easy to blame the “mixed multitude” for these complaints, but the Torah (GenesisDeuteronomy) says that it was Israel who complained. The “mixed multitude” may have joined in to the complaints but there’s nothing written that indicates these complaints were instigated by the “mixed multitude.” It’s human nature to blame “the other” for your nation’s problems. 

“The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? ‘We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.'”(Numbers 11:4–6 NASB)

This complaint was heard by Moshe directly. They were complaining because they didn’t have access in the desert to the types of foods they had in Goshen, which was located in the fertile Nile delta. 

“Now Moshe heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moshe was displeased.” (Numbers 11:10 NASB)

First God is displeased with murmuring and now Moshe is expressing displeasure at hearing the people murmuring. God wanted Moshe to hear these complaints about the lack of fish, onions, garlic, etc. What will happen if God takes away our luxury from us? If we complain, God will hear it. If you hear people complaining, don’t join in. 

What is Moshe complaining about? Moshe is not complaining about what he does not have. He is complaining to God about how he feels inadequate to the task of taking care of all these people.

“So Moshe said to the LORD, ‘Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? ‘Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ ‘I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.'” (Numbers 11:11–15 NASB)

Moshe has been teaching and guiding the people of Israel for a year at this point and the burden was hard on him. Moshe wasn’t complaining for himself but because of the people. God knows what we can handle and we can often handle more than we think we can but if we reach our limit, God is just and able to help us bear it. 

“The LORD therefore said to Moshe, ‘Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.'” (Numbers 11:16 NASB)

God knew this burden was difficult for Moshe and God specifically told Moshe to choose 70 elders to help him. 

After a year, Moshe knew the people well enough to choose the 70 elders to help him. Moshe did not choose novices. He chose people who he knew cared about their people. We don’t know their names but God gave them His Spirit, the same Spirit He gave to Moshe, to help Moshe with the burden of shepherding the people.

“The LORD said to Moshe, Is the LORD’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.'” (Numbers 11:23 NASB)

Moshe then called the 70 to come to the Tabernacle to receive their anointing and told the people to consecrate themselves. 

“So Moshe went out and told the people the words of the LORD. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.”  (Numbers 11:24–25 NASB)

These men didn’t speak prophesy until God’s Spirit came upon them, and they didn’t have to do it again. 

“But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. So a young man ran and told Moshe and said, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moshe from his youth, said, ‘Moshe, my lord, restrain them.’ But Moshe said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!’ Then Moshe returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel.” (Numbers 11:26–30 NASB)

Even though these two men didn’t show up, they were still given their assignment. Why they weren’t at the Tabernacle at the appointment time is not recorded, it is not our business to know. 

God came to them even though they didn’t come to them. Also as Joshua was jealous, in a sense for Moshe, there’s a similar incident when the 12 Apostles were jealous because there was a person speaking in Yeshua’s name who wasn’t among their group. Yeshua’s reaction was similar to Moshe’ reaction. Rather than rebuking the “outsider,” Moshe and Yeshua encouraged them.

Moshe wanted all people to have God’s Spirit on them. The people who have been much easier to lead if they did. 

“Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground.” (Numbers 11:31 NASB)

The quail were a 12 hour’s distance away then converged on the Tabernacle. They were piled up 36 inches high and they easy pickings on the ground, not flying around. The people were told to only gather up enough manna for one day’s meal at every day, except Shabbat (Exodus 16). Yet the Scripture says the minimum amount of quail gathered by each person was 10 omers, which is far more than one person would need for one days’ meal. There was certainly a spirit of gluttony, desire and food lust here. 

“So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy.” (Numbers 11:34 NASB)

The NASB Hebrew Dictionary translates Kibroth-hattavah as “graves of desire.” Their gluttony and unreasonable desires killed them. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.

Numbers 9: ‘Second-chance Pesach’ and being covered by the Cloud

“Thus the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt,” (Numbers 9:1 NASB)

There are two topics in Numbers 9: The Pesach and the cloud.

A second chance

The Pesach discussed at length is the “second-chance Pesach.” The Pesach is so important to God that is it the only one of His appointed times (a.k.a., feasts or festivals; see Leviticus 23), where members of the community are given a second chance to participate if they miss out on it the first time due to ritual defilement because of caring for the dead.  

God takes full credit for the death of the Firstborn of Egypt. Their death freed the Israelites from slavery. There’s no “devil made do it.” God didn’t party, sing, dance for joy when he took the first-born of Egypt. He is not bragging. He’s simply stating a fact. Egypt are the beloved of God, not the enemy of God. 

The people of Israel could not fully keep the other feasts they were being instructed upon, such as Shavuot. There were no first fruits, wheat, barley, etc. to offer but they were able to keep the Pesach at this time. 

Don’t concern yourself about the rebellion of the older generation of Israelites but of the teachable moments God has placed in here for His people. Let’s not look at what the Israelites wrongdoing but at God’s righteousness and holiness. God’s actions, deeds, and purpose should be the focus of our attention. 

Abraham is noted for his faith in God, he had faith in God and believed in Him whole-heartedly before he was circumcised. Abraham was a friend of God. A friend can tell another friend everything. A person can’t trust their servants or slaves wholeheartedly but they can trust their friend. 

This “second chance” Pesach dispensation was for a limited group of people: those who were ritually unclean and unable to keep the first Pesach. 

“But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Pesach, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the LORD at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin.” (Numbers 9:13 NASB)

If the Children of Israel refused to keep the Pesach at its regular appointed time for a reason other than ritual uncleanness, they did not get the forbearance, there was no do-over.  Failure to keep the Pesach with rest of the community was cutting oneself off from Abraham and Abraham’s promises. Excuses such as a football game on TV, misunderstandings with family, work, etc. are not justifications for not keeping the Pesach at its appointed time. 

“If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.” (Numbers 9:14 NASB)

People who don’t keep the Pesach because of ignorance, who don’t know their left from right hand, are not judged, not cut off by God. If a sojourner/stranger wants to keep the Pesach, let him in even if his understanding is limited. 

God is not the author of confusion. He didn’t write the Torah to dumbfound us but to mold us into the image of His Son. 

The cloud

What is the cloud? What is it covering?

“Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.” (Numbers 9:15–16 NASB)

The cloud covered the Tabernacle, not the entire camp. The cloud covered the mercy seat by day and a fire by night but it’s not a consuming fire, it’s a source of light. Just as we are to be a source of light, but not a burning fire. 

“At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out; they kept the LORD’S charge, according to the command of the LORD through Moses.” (Numbers 9:23 NASB)

When the cloud moved, the children of Israel moved. When the cloud stayed, the children of Israel stayed, regardless of the conditions. Whether it was three days, a month or a year, they stayed when the cloud stayed and they moved when the cloud moved.

God uses the cloud to show the children of Israel and us on a journey, which we will read about more in Numbers 10. The people knew what to do. 

God, through the cloud, is guiding them on a journey. When we say to God, “I don’t want to move,” it’s not pleasant. When God moves and we move with Him, we learn so much about Him and love Him more. God is the director. 

If you don’t want to be a part of Him, if you reject the promise of Abraham, God will cut you off from  the people. Cutting off is not a death sentence. God is actually respecting the person’s choice to leave if they want to leave. The opportunity for repentance is always there. The opportunity to be grafted back in is also there. God doesn’t let go, we let go. God will bring back those who are cut off through His Son. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

Numbers 8: Levites are sanctified in place of the first-born

Numbers 8 is very short, but there’s a lot of meat in here to digest. This chapter details the dedication of the Levites for service to the Tabernacle. 

The Levites and the Aaronic Priesthood are a shadow of Melchizedek. They are a picture of our High Priest Yeshua and those who serve Yeshua the High Priest. 

When we look at how Elohim set up the Tabernacle of Appointments, this was where people went to received their appointment or ordination for service. These were not volunteers, they were appointed by God to their station. 

The Levites were exchanged for the First Born of all Israel. God killed the First Born of Egypt, the next day, He said He wanted the first-born of Israel. He also owns Egypt, whether they like it or not.

“For every firstborn among Israel’s sons is mine, from human to animal; on the day when I struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated them to me,” (Numbers 8:17 NETS)

God put the children of Israel in Egypt, God was the one who allowed them to be put into bondage and God was the one who redeemed. God set this all up. 

But the Levites were also appointed to assist the High Priest and the Priesthood in service to the Tabernacle. 

God is not discarding or rejecting the first-born of Israel, they still belong to Him but he is exchanging the Levites for them. The first-born of Israel still surround the Tabernacle and are mingled among the people of Israel.

They had to be sanctified and set into their place. They had to go through a cleansing process similar to that which Aaron and his sons experienced. Moses didn’t make these appointments, God did.

God’s government is not a democracy. A person doesn’t run for an office. Only God can appoint a person to an office. 

This chapter teaches us a lot about redemption. 

The Levites have become the First Born in God’s eyes.

Just as the ram was exchanged for the life of Isaac, God is exchanging the First Born of Israel for the Levites. The Levites were not redeemed empty-handed. The ram was exchanged for Isaac and the Levites had to bring offerings to God to accept their exchange as well. 

Go back to the Garden of Eden. A redemption took place there. Adam and Eve’s life was spared with the life of an animal. The pattern is the same in Genesis and all the way through the Scriptures. 

This is a picture of the Kingdom of God. The Messiah tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” The Torah shows us the righteousness of God, which is above the Torah. 

Every time we read the Torah, we are observing the righteousness of God. 

The Levites, God’s chosen First Born, have been given to the High Priest. 

“And I gave back the Leuites as a restitution, given to Aaron and to his sons from amidst Israel’s sons, to perform the tasks of the sons of Israel in the tent of witness and to make atonement for the sons of Israel, and there shall be none among the sons of Israel who draws near to the holy things.” (Numbers 8:19 NETS)

Yeshua is our High Priest, called by the Father to that duty. Yeshua wasn’t elected as Messiah by popular vote. 

The throne of the Kingdom of God is the “mercy seat.” That is the seat of His power. Aaron enters into God’s presence once a year (Yom haKippurim, the Day of Atonement), but he has to enter in with a spoon of burning incense. Without it, Aaron would have died. Our High Priest, Yeshua, entered the most holy place without the incense. He tore the veil, entered in and died. 

The first item built for the tabernacle was the Ark, which held the 10 Commandments. It’s a death sentence to break any of the 10 commandments but the 10 commandments were covered by mercy. 

We see here the pattern of the Kingdom of God. God’s mercy covers His justice. He is sitting on the evidence of guilt. 

Yeshua, the Son of God, our High Priest called us, we didn’t call Him. We become sanctified by God, cleansed with water, to serve the High Priest. 

The most important thing I know: If you know who the Son of God is and He is your savior who resurrected from the dead for you. That’s the most important thing to know. The details are just the icing on the cake. We are to live by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. This is what Moses tells us, and this is what Yeshua tells us. 

We read in previous chapters about how the High Priest is to examine garments, leather, homes and people for signs of disease. Most of the time the disease is a temporary disease, yet once its done, it still leaves a flaw behind. Yet as long as the disease is no growing, the High Priest will declare the garment, leather, home or person clean. Even though there’s a scar or a flaw, it can still be clean if the High Priest declares it clean. If the High Priest declares someone or something clean, who are we to say otherwise?

The Apostle Paul refers to those who accepted Yeshua as “saints.” They are sanctified and holy, despite their flaws because it is the High Priest who declares someone clean and holy, not us. It’s a simple message. 

“And thus you shall carry out for them their purification; you shall sprinkle them with water of purification, and a razor shall come upon all of their body, and they shall wash their clothes, and they shall be clean.” (Numbers 8:7 NETS)

The “water of purification,” literally means “the water of sin” (chattat, Strong’s lexicon No. H2403). This water was to wash away sin. Once they have completed their purification, the sin is gone. 

“And you shall separate the Leuites from amidst the sons of Israel, and they shall be mine.” (Numbers 8:14 NETS)

Once this process is done, the Levites belonged to God and they belonged to Him forever. If we belong to the High Priest, we have to go to Him and hear what He has to say. It isn’t just a once in a lifetime thing, but something we have to do frequently. 

If the High Priest examined a garment, a house, and the disease continued to grow despite all efforts to clean it, it had to be destroyed. When a person had a disease that continued to grow, that person had to be sent away from the community. God does show mercy, though too. Once the High Priest declares you clean, part of your job is to keep it clean. 

The Torah is a picture showing us how God runs His kingdom.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

Numbers 7: Accepting the anointing

I see God in a different way in my old age than I did when I was younger. This entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is about God and His Son, not about people. It’s all about the Messiah. 

“Now on the day that Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed it and consecrated it with all its furnishings and the altar and all its utensils; he anointed them and consecrated them also.” (Numbers 7:1 NASB)

This happened right after the LORD said this: 

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.'” (Exodus 40:1–2 NASB)

The book of Numbers is not in chronological order. The topics are what’s important, not the chronology. 

Each tribal leader had a different job and function based on how they were placed around the tabernacle. Even the tribe of Levi were divided by clan around the tabernacle. The LORD had planned from the beginning for the tribe of Levi to be sprinkled throughout the land of Israel. 

We have these 12 tribal leaders or “princes,” who we have met before, bringing their offerings one day at a time, over the course of 12 days. Each of these princes had to come before the Tabernacle of Appointments and present themselves. They aren’t there to stand guard but they were there to get their anointing from the Lord. They had to go through a ceremonial pattern in order to be “ordained” to the job God was calling them to do. Every prince accepted their anointing. They gave the gifts they were appointed to give and they accepted the call that God was placing on their lives. 

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Let them present their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar.'” (Numbers 7:11 NASB)

The Bible spends the most time talking about Jacob and his sons, not about Abraham and his sons or Isaac and his sons. Abraham was a much greater man than Jacob and Isaac was a greater man than Jacob yet it was Jacob and every one of his sons who became the tribe called by God’s name. One of the titles that God gave Himself is “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 

Each of these men, these princes, were required to come on their particular day and present their offering. We don’t know what day this process started on but that is not what matters here. The first prince to present an offering was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah and they presented themselves to God one day at a time according to their encampment around the tabernacle. The names listed here are son, father, tribe while previously, it was tribe, son, father. 

All the names listed here are a play on words that teach us about God’s love and the Messiah’s sacrifice.

What did these men offer up?

“This was the dedication offering for the altar from the leaders of Israel when it was anointed: twelve silver dishes, twelve silver bowls, twelve gold pans, each silver dish weighing one hundred and thirty shekels and each bowl seventy; all the silver of the utensils was 2,400 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; the twelve gold pans, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, all the gold of the pans 120 shekels; all the oxen for the burnt offering twelve bulls, all the rams twelve, the male lambs one year old with their grain offering twelve, and the male goats for a sin offering twelve; and all the oxen for the sacrifice of peace offerings 24 bulls, all the rams 60, the male goats 60, the male lambs one year old 60. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.” (Numbers 7:84–88 NASB)

They gave God exactly what He commanded them to give. These gifts were not random. They gave these gifts for a reason.  The bull is strength, the ram is power, the lamb is humility. The goat is the covering for sin. The shalom offering is the offering that shows that you are in a place of favor with God. You are safe with Him. These offerings are so awesome, He provided everything we needed, even the offerings that we give to Him. He gives us the gifts we give to Him. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

Numbers 4-5: How to take care of holy things; judgment beings in God’s house

God is careful to make sure that holy things are treated with respect and covered up. Anyone who touched a holy thing unworthily would die. However, if God’s holy people — His assembly — sins, that sin will be uncovered and dealt with by Him. He will make sure it’s exposed. However, if someone is falsely accused, He will vindicate them too.

Continue reading Numbers 4-5: How to take care of holy things; judgment beings in God’s house