Exodus 38: Lessons from the Tabernacle on Walking in a Covenant Relationship with God.

Introduction: At first blush, Exodus 38 appears to merely repeat the lessons on the altar of burnt offering, the bronze laver and the walls and gate for the outer courtyard found in chapters 27 and 30. God repeated these parts of the Tabernacle to emphasize their importance. He also places them together in the same chapter to explain the conditions and benefits of being in a “covenant relationship.” From this chapter, God reveals seven important lessons for your walk with Him.

First, through the altar of burnt offering, He reveals that His covenant relationship cannot exist without the atonement of sin. Second, through the bronze laver, He reveals that to remain in fellowship, you must wash in Jesus’ Word. Third, through the 100-cubit outer walls (which symbolize the Ten Commandments), He reveals that He will protect you when you live within His Covenant. Fourth, through the 50-cubit outer walls (a number which symbolizes freedom), He reveals that life within His covenant offers freedom from the sorrow of sin. Fifth, through the outer gate, He reveals that His door to reconciliation remains open if you step outside of His covenant relationship. Sixth, through the obedience of the leaders in building the Tabernacle, He reveals that obedience is necessary to stay in a covenant relationship. Finally, through expensive costs provided for building the Tabernacle, He reveals that you may take for granted and neglect your covenant relationship unless you appreciate the cost that Jesus paid to make it possible.

1. God’s Covenant Relationship Cannot Exist Without the Atonement of Sin. Ex. 38:1-7.

  • The altar of burnt offering. To make the atonement of sin possible, the builders began by building the altar of burnt offering: “Then he made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits wide, square, and three cubits high. He made its horns on its four corners, its horns being of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. He made all the utensils of the altar, the pails and the shovels and the basins, the flesh hooks and the firepans; he made all its utensils of bronze. He made for the altar a grating of bronze network beneath, under its ledge, reaching halfway up. He cast four rings on the four ends of the bronze grating as holders for the poles. He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. He inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made it hollow with planks.” (Ex. 38:1-7). The altar that they built matched God’s instructions to Moses (Ex. 27:1-8). The altar had several components, including: (1) acacia / shittim wood; (2) a bronze overlay; (3) horns on all four corners; (4) a length and width that were exactly five cubits on all sides; (5) a height of three cubits; (6) bronze fire pans and other utensils for removing the ash; and (7) poles for carrying the altar. These things all pointed to Jesus.

The Altar of Burnt Offering1

(1) The wood for the mizbeach altar – Jesus who became human and was sacrificed for us. The priests performed animal sacrifices in the courtyard of the Tabernacle at an altar called the “mizbeach” or the “Mizbeach Ha'ola,” the altar of the burnt-offering (Ex. 38:1-7; 27:1-8). This altar and its carrying poles were made of acacia / shittim / “shih-taw” wood (Ex. 38:2, 6). Likewise, the ark, the ark’s carrying poles, the table of presence, and the boards that supported the Tabernacle were all made with this wood (Ex. 38:6-7; 25:11, 13, 23-30; 26:15-29). Acacia is both strong and resistant to decay. When pierced, its sap can be used as both a pharmaceutical and as a preservative. This symbolized Jesus. He emptied Himself of His divine form to take on a human body (John 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:7). His body also was not corrupted so that it could be our sacrifice (Ps. 16:10(b); Acts 13:35). His blood also heals and gives life (1 Pet. 2:24; Is. 53:5). Jesus’ body was also the sacrificial food at the altar. Eating the peace or “shalom” offering prepared at the altar was a prerequisite to fellowship with God (Lev. 3:11, 16). Thus, He is both altar of sacrifice and the sacrificial food that brings you into communion with God: “We have an altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat.” (Heb. 13:10; 1 Cor. 9:13; 10:18). Jesus also offers you peace by offering to dine with you when you open your heart: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.’” (Rev. 3:20-22). Are you accepting His invitation?

(2) The bronze covering the mizbeach altar - Jesus bore our judgment when He was sacrificed. While the interior acacia boards were covered in gold (Ex. 25:11, 13, 23-30; 26:15-16), the mizbeach altar was covered in bronze (Ex. 38:2-6; 27:2-5). In the Bible, bronze symbolizes God’s judgment of sin. Jesus is described as having “bronze” feet (Rev. 1:15). His bronze feet will bring judgment to Satan by crushing him (Rom. 16:20). The bronze also protected the altar from the fire inside it. The fire further symbolized God’s judgment: “for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29; 10:27; Ex. 24:17; Dt. 4:24; 9:3; Ps. 97:3; Is. 33:14; 2 Thess. 1:7). No person can treat sin lightly (Rom. 6:26). “For the wages of sin is death, . .” (Rom. 6:23). For those who do not repent, God warns: “I will pour out My indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath, . . .” (Ez. 21:31(a)). ‘“Is not My word like fire?’ declares the LORD, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?’” (Jer. 23:29). “The soul who sins will die.” (Ez. 18:4(b)). Unless you accept that God will judge sin, you will feel no pressure to repent. Staying silent about God’s judgment of sin also doesn’t help others. Are you helping others turn to Jesus to spare them from judgment? (Matt. 28:16-20).

(3) Horns on all four corners – Jesus’ blood is powerful enough to cover all the earth. The altar had four horns (Ex. 38:2; 27:2). The shedding of the blood symbolized the exchange of Jesus’ life for your own: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Lev. 17:11). The rule requiring that the blood of one be used to pay the price of another still applies: “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22). Jesus’ blood fulfilled God’s law by being spilled in exchange for your own (Rom. 3:25; 2 Cor. 5:21). “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, . . .” (Gal. 3:13). Some of the blood from the sacrifice was put on the horns before the rest was poured out at the base (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34; 8:15; 9:9; 16:18). In the Bible, horns symbolize power and refuge (Ps. 18:2; 89:17; Lk. 1:6; Lam. 2:3; 1 Kgs. 1:50; 2:28). If the horns symbolized power or refuge, the pouring of the blood on the horns means that it had great power. In fact, the power of Jesus’ blood is so strong that anyone who believes in it has “no condemnation” for any prior sins (Rom. 8:1). The horns also “reached out” in all directions (Ex. 27:2). Jesus’ sacrifice also provided atonement for the entire world for anyone who might believe in faith (Jo. 3:16). ‘“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ [Jesus] said to them.” (Mk. 14:24; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2:24; Is. 53:4-5, 10, 12). There is no sin in your past that is too awful or evil to be beyond the power in His blood. When you need refuge from the sins of the world, are you taking refuge in Him?

(4) An altar with a length and width of five cubits – Jesus’ blood brings mercy and grace. The length and width of the altar were both exactly five cubits (Ex. 38:1; 27:1). In the Bible, five symbolizes God’s grace. This signified that the altar brings mercy and grace.

(5) An altar with a height of three cubits - Only God can forgive your sins and bring fellowship. The altar was exactly three cubits high (Ex. 38:1; 27:1). The number three corresponds with the Trinity. This signified that only through God can your sins be forgiven. God also reveals that the “ledge of the altar” and the “net” for the ash was “halfway up the altar.” (Ex. 38:4; 27:5). The midpoint at the altar where the fire met the sacrifice at the bronze net spoke to the anguish that Jesus suffered for every person (Matt. 27:46). If the altar was three cubits tall, the bronze net for the sacrifice was exactly one and one-half cubits off the ground. Both the mercy seat to the ark and the table of presence were also exactly “one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high.” (Ex. 25:10, 23). Thus, the bronze net (where the fire met the sacrifice), the mercy seat, and the table of presence were all the exact same height. This means that God’s mercy and His fellowship are only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice for everyone at the cross (Seeing Christ in the Tabernacle, Vision Publishers (2010) p. 56).

(6) Bronze fire pans and other utensils for removing the ash – Jesus will carry your sins away. The altar turned the sin into ash. That sin had to be disposed of because sin cannot be in God’s presence. To do this, God ordered the Jews to prepare bronze utensils to remove and dispose of the ash (Ex. 38:3; 27:3). This again foreshadowed Jesus. His blood will not just cover your sins. His blood will take away your sins: “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Are you leaving your sins behind you?

(7) Poles for carrying the altar – Jesus will find you where you are when you repent. The altar was designed to be portable. The Levites carried it using acacia / shittim poles (Ex. 38:6-7; 27:6-7). This signifies that Christ will bring His sacrificed blood to any place where a sinner may repent. He only needs your help to encourage others.

  • You cannot approach God without faith in the blood at the altar of sacrifice. The altar stood between the doorway to the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting. This symbolized the fact that the justification must always precede sanctification. God does not leave any other way to cross the barrier of sin between man and Himself without the shedding of Jesus’ blood. Moreover, atonement only happens if you have faith in the power of Jesus’ blood. Without faith, it is “impossible” to please God (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 3:25).

2. To Remain in Fellowship With God, You Must Wash in Christ’s Word. Ex. 38:8.

  • The bronze laver. To maintain fellowship after the atonement of sin, the builders next built the bronze laver: “Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” (Ex. 38:8). The bronze laver that they built matched the instructions that God had previously given to Moses (Ex. 30:17-21). The bronze laver also pointed to Jesus.

The bronze laver2

  • Let Jesus expose your hidden sins. A priest who entered the Holy of Holies without washing his feet would die (Ex 30:20). God is a consuming fire who destroys any sin in His presence (Ex. 24:17; Heb. 12:29). The laver was made of bronze (Ex. 38:8; 30:18). The bronze symbolized God’s judgment of sin (Ex. 27:2-5; Rev. 1:15; Rom. 16:20). He will also judge those who fail to repent (Jo. 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42; 17:31). Thus, you should be motivated to let Him expose and cleanse your hidden sins (Ps. 19:12).

  • Reading God’s Law allows the Holy Spirit to convict you of your hidden sins. The bronze wash basin would have been highly reflective. If a priest looked down, he would see his own reflection. In a similar way, God’s Law reflects the sin in your heart: “23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (Jam. 1:23-24). To emphasize this point, God told the Jews to use mirrors for the bronze laver (Ex. 38:8). The women who handed over the mirrors foreshadowed the Church (the bride of Christ) when it submits to reflect upon its sins. Are you memorizing God’s Law so that He can expose your hidden sins?

  • Jesus’ warning to wash your feet before you approach Him. At the Last Supper, Peter initially refused Jesus’ offer to wash his feet. Jesus responded by rebuking him: “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” (Jo. 13:8). Peter then asked Jesus to wash his feet, hands, and head. Jesus responded: “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet.” (Jo. 13:10; 15:3). In other words, Jesus died once for your sins (Heb. 10:12), but your flesh gets dirty each day and must still be washed. To wash yourself, you read God’s Word (Eph. 5:26). The process of washing feet also implied that the person with the dirty feet was allowing his or her life to be closely examined by someone else. Likewise, the person washing the feet symbolically became acquainted with the other person’s sins.

  • Failing to let Jesus wash you will also “hinder” your prayers. The priest had to pass through the altar of sacrifice and the laver before he could reach the altar of incense. This means God wants you to have a clean heart before you pray. In the Old Testament, He warned that He will not hear a sinner’s prayers (Is. 1:15; 59:2-3; Prov. 15:29; 8:9; Ps. 66:18; same, Jo. 9:31). In the New Testament, God makes clear that sin can “hinder” your prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Thus, always repent of any sin before you pray (2 Cor. 7:1).

The priest washed himself to stay pure3

3. Within His Covenant, God Offers Protection. Ex. 38:9-11.

  • The 100-cubit southern and northern outer court walls. After building the altar of burnt offering and the bronze laver, the builders then built the 100-cubit southern and northern outer court walls: “Then he made the court: for the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twisted linen, one hundred cubits; 10 their twenty pillars, and their twenty sockets, made of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 11 For the north side there were one hundred cubits; their twenty pillars and their twenty sockets were of bronze, the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver.” (Ex. 38:9-11). The walls that they built matched the instructions that God previously gave to Moses (Ex. 27:9-11). The south and north sides were identical. Each side had fine twisted linens that were exactly 100 cubits long. To hold up the linens, God required exactly 20 acacia / shittim poles, 20 bronze sockets and silver hooks. Again, each of these things pointed to Jesus or things that are only made possible through Him.

The Tabernacle4

  • The fine twisted linen on each side – Let Jesus’ righteousness make you a light to others. The pure linens symbolized the “righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev. 19:8; 3:5). Without Jesus, even our best works are but “filthy rags” before God (Is. 64:6). The linens were white and clean. They would have also reflected light. They would have also served as a beacon to others in the wilderness as they approached the Tabernacle. In a similar way, believers in Christ are the light of the world, a beacon for others (Matt. 5:14; Prov. 4:18). Is your light drawing others to Christ?

  • The 100-cubit long walls – Find complete protection and blessings within God’s Covenant. The east and west walls were exactly 100 cubits long (Ex. 38:9, 11; 27:9, 11). The number 100 is a multiple of 10 times 10. The number ten “signifies the perfection of Divine order.” (E. W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture, Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, Kregel Publications (1967) p. 243). There were exactly “ten” Commandments inside the ark (Ex. 20:1-17; Dt. 5:6-21; Ex. 25:16; Heb. 9:4). The boards that held up the Tent of Meeting were exactly ten cubits tall (Ex. 26:16; 36:8, 21). There were also ten pillars with ten sockets on the longer sides (Ex. 27:12; 38:12). This all signifies that God’s rule is based upon divine order and righteousness (2 Sam. 23:3). The number 100 represents the complete fullness of divine order. For a believer in Jesus, the Ten Commandments are not a test for salvation (Gal. 3:13). Yet, Jesus said that if you love Him you will keep His Commandments (Jo. 14:15). The Ten Commandments still exist as God’s “standard” for right and wrong (Ro. 7:7). The Ten Commandments also provide protection from your own sinful hearts by guiding your choices. When you voluntarily live within the protections of the Ten Commandments, God can pour out His promised earthly blessings -- blessings which are again unrelated to salvation (Lev. 26:1-13; Dt. 28:1-14). Stepping outside the protection of His Commandments puts you outside of His protection.

  • The 20 pillars – Jesus will support and hold you together when you live within His Covenant. The acacia / shittim pillars again represented Jesus. As stated above, they symbolize His flesh. He holds the Church (the fine linens) together. He is also the chief cornerstone that later held the Temple together (Eph. 2:20-22). “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:7). “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Heb. 1:3). The number 20 is also a multiple of 10. It is the number of divine order (10) times divine confirmation (2). When you live within the Covenant, Jesus will confirm His support for you. By contrast, a life of covetousness will place you in misery outside of God’s protection.

  • The 20 bronze sockets – Jesus bore each person’s judgment to allow them to stand tall. To hold the walls up, God had the Jews use 20 bronze sockets on each side. As stated above, bronze symbolizes judgment. Because Jesus bore every person’s judgment, each person in Jesus can stand tall. On your own, you would fall over.

  • The silver hooks – Jesus redeems and refines the Church. Silver hooks held together the linen walls (Ex. 38:9, 11; 27:11). Silver is a symbol of redemption. It was the ransom price that was paid for Christ (Matt. 26:14-16). It is also a symbol of refinement: “For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.” (Ps. 66:10). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined . . .’” (Zec. 13:9(a); Mal. 3:3). Jesus builds up the Church through refinement, testing, and trial. You should welcome His trials with joy because it produces “endurance.” (Jam. 1:2-3). Are you welcoming God testing and trials as He exposes your sins and refines your walk?

4. Within His Covenant, God Offers Freedom From Sorrow. Ex. 38:12-17.

  • The 50-cubit western and eastern outer court walls. After building the 100-cubit southern and northern walls, the builders built the 50-cubit western and eastern walls: “12For the west side there were hangings of fifty cubits with their ten pillars and their ten sockets; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 13 For the east side fifty cubits. 14 The hangings for the one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets, 15 and so for the other side. On both sides of the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 16 All the hangings of the court all around were of fine twisted linen. 17 The sockets for the pillars were of bronze, the hooks of the pillars and their bands, of silver; and the overlaying of their tops, of silver, and all the pillars of the court were furnished with silver bands.” (Ex. 38:12-17). The walls that they built again matched the instructions that God previously gave to Moses (Ex. 27:12-15). Each detail of the western and eastern walls symbolized things made possible only through Jesus.

  • The fifty-cubit linens on the west and east sides – Find freedom through Jesus. The west and east sides had linens that were 50 cubits long (Ex. 38:12-13; 27:12-13). In the Bible, the number 50 symbolizes three things. First, it symbolizes the fullness of God’s revelation. Exactly 50 days after God saved His people from death at the Red Sea, He revealed His will for their lives through the Ten Commandments. Exactly 50 days after Jesus’ death, God revealed His will for our lives by pouring out the Holy Spirit unto His believers (“Pentecost”). Second, the number 50 symbolizes freedom. Every fifty years the Jews celebrated the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:8-12). During the 50th year, the Jews were to “proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” (Lev. 25:8). As the fulfillment of this, Christ came and proclaimed “liberty” and freedom to those who were once under the bondage of sin (Lk. 4:18-19; Is. 61:1-2; Jo. 8:36). Third, if we multiply five (the number of grace) times ten (the number of the Ten Commandments) the total of 50 represents “grace completed.” (Hershberger p. 34). Thus, the 50-cubit walls reveal the freedom from bondage that exists within God’s Covenant.

  • The ten pillars and 10 sockets on the west – Live within His Covenant and find support. On the west side, exactly 10 pillars and sockets supported the wall (Ex. 38:12; 27:12). The ten pillars and the 10 sockets again symbolize His Covenant. When you live within the protections of His Covenant, He will hold you up and support you.

  • The 15 cubit-long linens and the three sockets on the east. On the east side, part of the wall was the gate. The linen curtains around the gate were 15 cubits long and supported by three sockets (Ex. 38:14-15; 27:15). The number three signifies the Trinity, and the number five signifies grace. Because this number appears on the side where the entrance door existed, it signifies that only grace and mercy can bring you into His Covenant.

5. God’s Door to Reconciliation After Living Outside the Covenant Is Open. Ex. 38:18-20.

  • The outer gate door. Finally, the last item that the builders created was the gate to the Tabernacle, which symbolized a God’s desire for as many people to enter as possible; “18 The screen of the gate of the court was the work of the weaver, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. And the length was twenty cubits and the height was five cubits, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 19 Their four pillars and their four sockets were of bronze; their hooks were of silver, and the overlaying of their tops and their bands were of silver. 20 All the pegs of the tabernacle and of the court all around were of bronze.” (Ex. 38:18-20). The gate that they built again matched God’s instructions to Moses (Ex. 27:16-19). The door also pointed to Jesus.

  • The colored linen of the gate – Through Jesus, the door to reconciliation is open to all. The gate had three colors. Each color carried a special meaning. Purple symbolizes Jesus’ royalty as the “King of Kings” (Rev. 19:16). Blue symbolizes His throne in heaven. Scarlet red symbolizes Jesus’ cleansing blood (Rev. 7:14(b); Heb. 9:14; 1 Jo. 1:7; Is. 1:18). In the context of the gate, the King of Kings in heaven has opened His door to heaven to all persons (the linen) through His sacrifice on the cross.

  • Jesus is the door, the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus was the doors or veil to the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, and the Holy of Holies. At each stage, you must pass through Him to approach God (Jo. 10:9; 14:6; Rev. 3:20(a)).

  • The door is open to the east waiting for Jesus’ return. The gate opened from the east. The opening was to the east because the Messiah will come from the east (Is. 41:2). This also meant that believers faced westward toward the Holy of Holies to pray to God. Praying away from the sun reversed the practice of the pagans who prayed toward the rising sun. This has two meanings today. First, your worship of God should not mix the beliefs of the world. Second, you should not worship the things or idols of the world.

  • The path to God narrows the closer you get to Him. The gate to the Tabernacle was 20 cubits long (Ex. 38:18; 27:16). By contrast, the door leading to the Tent of Meeting was only 10 cubits long (Ex. 26:16). This means that the path to God narrows the closer that you wish to draw toward Him (Matt. 7:13-14). But the gate grows taller the closer you draw toward God. The outer gate was only five cubits tall (Ex. 27:18). By contrast, the inner gate stood 10 cubits tall (Ex. 26:15-16). The total surface areas of both doors were therefore the same. The numbers of 10 and 5 symbolized that His door is based upon divine order, but kept open through grace. But to enter the Tent of Meeting a person needed to be on a narrower path with their eyes looking up to heaven.

6. Obedience Is Necessary to Stay Inside a Covenant Relationship. Ex. 38:21-23.

  • The obedience of the builders. To show the importance of obedience in maintaining a covenant relationship, God again stressed after the completion of the Tabernacle that the builders were obedient in every detail of God’s instructions: “21 This is the number of the things for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were numbered according to the command of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. 22 Now Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord had commanded Moses. 23 With him was Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver and a skillful workman and a weaver in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and fine linen.” (Ex. 38:21-23).

  • God’s exhortation to be obedient as you labor for Him. Obedience was a command that God gave frequently through Moses (Ex. 31:11; Dt. 1:18; 6:3-4; 9:1; 20:3). Today, Christians are no longer “under the Law”. (Gal. 5:18; Ro. 7:6; 8:3). But Jesus also says that, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6; 1 John 2:3; 1 Cor. 7:19). He is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). Obedience is a foundation upon which the covenant stands. If you are disobedient, you will eventually break His covenant.

7. Appreciate the Cost of a Covenant Relationship or You Will Neglect It. Ex. 38:24-31.

  • The tremendous cost of the components to the Tabernacle. Finally, to allow His people to appreciate the cost of a covenant relationship, God listed the tremendous cost of the materials: “24 All the gold that was used for the work, in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the wave offering, was 29 talents and 730 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 The silver of those of the congregation who were numbered was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; 26 a beka a head (that is, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary), for each one who passed over to those who were numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men. 27 The hundred talents of silver were for casting the sockets of the sanctuary and the sockets of the veil; one hundred sockets for the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. 28 Of the 1,775 shekels, he made hooks for the pillars and overlaid their tops and made bands for them. 29 The bronze of the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. 30 With it he made the sockets to the doorway of the tent of meeting, and the bronze altar and its bronze grating, and all the utensils of the altar, 31 and the sockets of the court all around and the sockets of the gate of the court, and all the pegs of the tabernacle and all the pegs of the court all around.” (Ex. 38:24-31). “Some estimate a talent to equal about 70 pounds (32 kilograms). This means there was something like 2,030 pounds (920 kilograms) of gold used in the tabernacle.” (David Guzik on Exodus 38).5 All of these things were given as a freewill offering. Their offering also pointed to Jesus. He gave Himself as a freewill offering so that all who believe will be saved (Jo. 3:16). He wants you to appreciate the cost He paid for you. If you don’t dwell on His sacrifice, you are likely to take His free gift for granted.

The completed Tabernacle6