Then Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits was its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. 2 He overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold all around it. 3 And he cast for it four rings of gold to be set in its four corners: two rings on one side, and two rings on the other side of it. 4 He made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. 5 And he put the poles into the rings at the sides of the ark, to bear the ark. 6 He also made the mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits was its length and a cubit and a half its width. 7 He made two cherubim of beaten gold; he made them of one piece at the two ends of the mercy seat: 8 one cherub at one end on this side, and the other cherub at the other end on that side. He made the cherubim at the two ends of one piece with the mercy seat. 9 The cherubim spread out their wings above, and covered the mercy seat with their wings. They faced one another; the faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.
- The Ark was 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. The golden atonement cover had two cherubim on them, facing each other, and between the wings is where God’s (shekinah) glory rested – the “mercy seat.” Once a year, the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies (where the Ark of the Covenant resided) and sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat to make atonement for the sins of Israel (for one year).
- Wiersbe gives us a great perspective of the spiritual application of the ark: “The ark also teaches us about Jesus Christ. It was made of wood, which speaks of His humanity, but was completely overlaid with gold, which speaks of His deity. According to Hebrews 9:4, within the ark were the tables of the law (Ex. 25:16), a pot of manna (Ex. 16:32–34), and Aaron’s rod that budded (Num. 17). These objects tell us that the law of God was in Christ’s heart and He perfectly obeyed and fulfilled it (Ps. 40:6–8; Heb. 10:5–9); He is the Bread of Life who gives eternal life to all who receive Him (John 6:32); and He lives by the power of an endless life so we can be fruitful for God (Heb. 7:16).”
Making the Table for the Showbread
10 He made the table of acacia wood; two cubits was its length, a cubit its width, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 And he overlaid it with pure gold, and made a molding of gold all around it. 12 Also he made a frame of a handbreadth all around it, and made a molding of gold for the frame all around it. 13 And he cast for it four rings of gold, and put the rings on the four corners that were at its four legs. 14 The rings were close to the frame, as holders for the poles to bear the table. 15 And he made the poles of acacia wood to bear the table, and overlaid them with gold. 16 He made of pure gold the utensils which were on the table: its dishes, its cups, its bowls, and its pitchers for pouring.
- The table was three feet long, one and a half feet wide, and 27 inches high. Like the ark, it was made of acacia and covered in gold – again, representing Christ’s humanity and deity. The table represented the intimate fellowship we are to have with Jesus. Christ is the Bread of Life (John 6:26-27) and we are to sup with Him. As it says in Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
- The bread of the Presence, or the “showbread” literally means “bread of faces.” There were twelve loaves of bread and they were on the table to remind the priests who entered that they were there to serve the people of Israel. We, too, are priests in His kingdom. Revelation 1:5-6 tells us, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” We are His priests! Each day as we get up and fellowship with Him and eat of His Bread of Life (the Word of God), may we remember that we are here on this earth to serve the people. Amen!
Making the Gold Lampstand
17 He also made the lampstand of pure gold; of hammered work he made the lampstand. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and its flowers were of the same piece. 18 And six branches came out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. 19 There were three bowls made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches coming out of the lampstand. 20 And on the lampstand itself were four bowls made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. 21 There was a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches extending from it. 22 Their knobs and their branches were of one piece; all of it was one hammered piece of pure gold. 23 And he made its seven lamps, its wick-trimmers, and its trays of pure gold. 24 Of a talent of pure gold he made it, with all its utensils.
- I love the lampstand. My favorite verse is Matthew 5:14, which says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Friends, we are to be His light; His flagstaff on a mountaintop (Isaiah 30:17b). Just as the lampstand was to have the decorative buds and blossoms, we are meant to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). Be bright and blossom today!
- In Revelation 1:9-20, it talks of the seven golden lampstands, which speaks of the seven Gentile churches Christ was addressing. This lampstand in the tabernacle represented the nation of Israel and the light they were to be to the world. Whether a Gentile light or a Jewish light, we must have fuel in order to shine brightly. What fuel do you use to get through your day? Is it the oil of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) who empowers you to shine, or do you try to create your own oil? Maybe you diminish the light in your life because you have baskets you put over that light. I love baskets – I have lots of them I decorate with around my house because they are functional and unique. You can take a lot of different junk and put it in a basket with a lid and the junk just disappears! But, God doesn’t want us to “basket-ize” our life. He wants us to let His light shine freely to those around us. Take some time now to allow God to show you what baskets are hindering your life. Maybe it’s the basket of busyness, or the career basket, or the baby basket! Regardless, it doesn’t need to be covering up His light. Get your oil from the Holy Spirit, through fellowshipping at the table with Christ, and praise Him who sits on the throne of mercy and grace!
Making the Altar of Incense
25 He made the incense altar of acacia wood. Its length was a cubit and its width a cubit—it was square—and two cubits was its height. Its horns were of one piece with it. 26 And he overlaid it with pure gold: its top, its sides all around, and its horns. He also made for it a molding of gold all around it. 27 He made two rings of gold for it under its molding, by its two corners on both sides, as holders for the poles with which to bear it. 28 And he made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold.
- This altar wasn’t for sacrifice, but to burn incense on. It sat in front of the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. It was relatively small compared to the brazen altar – a square that was 1 ½ feet wide on each side and three feet tall.
Making the Anointing Oil and the Incense
29 He also made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the perfumer.
- Scripturally, oil is a reference of the Holy Spirit (see 1 John 2:20 that talks of how we have the anointing from the Holy One!). This Holy anointing oil was only to be used by the priests. It had a strong fragrance and anyone who walked near the tabernacle, its furniture or utensils, or a priest could smell the fragrance. In John 12:3, we read about how Mary took a pound of costly oil and anointed Jesus. Imagine the smell of that house – and Jesus – with so much oil being used to anoint Him. Be drenched in the oil of the Spirit today so your life has the aroma of Christ!
- The anointing oil wasn’t to be replicated and used by common man as a smell-good to dab on your neck and wrists before you went to market. It’s sad to look at the world today and see how false teachers have taken what is Most Holy, tried to “produce” it themselves, and in doing so, have deceived many into following them instead of following the pure and unadulterated Word of God.
- The golden altar of incense also required a special incense to burn. The incense was to be “most holy.” Why? Because it’s not enough just to pray, we must have a right heart as we pray. Anyone can toss up chatter to the Lord, but the Word tells us in James 5:16 that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. It doesn’t say the prayer of a person is powerful and effective – they must be righteous. Meaning, they must operate under the righteousness of Christ Jesus (by accepting His grace). Amen.