In the following article you will find a brief commentary on Exodus 25-31 that goes along with our Riverside Church Two Year Bible Reading Plan (Volume 1 & Volume 2). This plan will allow you to read the New Testament and Psalms once every year and the Old Testament once every two years.
God Dwells in the Midst of His People
We may find these long descriptions burdensome. Why are we told so many details about the building of the tabernacle? But we need to know that this is a great theme throughout scripture – God desires to dwell with his people. As we read we will discover that the tabernacle, the manner in which it was constructed, and the actual practices of worship facilitated therein, all serve to teach us about the presence of God as we walk with him.
Here are just a few items to look for: First, God gives specific instructions to Moses. Don’t forget that these chapters are a record of God’s meeting with Moses while on the mountain. God determines how we are to approach him. This is not up for negotiation and often what makes sense to us loses relevance in light of God’s holiness and revealed will.
Second, look for major themes and fulfillments. Jesus is our High Priest, as made clear in the book of Hebrews. These Old Testament passages should always be read in light of that reality. The shedding of blood is an important part of the liturgy, now fulfilled in Christ so that atonement for sins is complete in him.
Finally, while there is much to discover if we take the time to consider what is written here, there is also a need to not say too much. We may not always be able to attach significance to each article of furniture, for example. It is good to meditate on it all, focus on the major themes, and be careful about assigning interpretations to minor details unless otherwise made obvious.