All the instructions concerning worship came from G-d. G-d teaches us how to worship in the way that He wants to be worshipped. We need to ensure that our worship is pleasing to G-d.
v1: G-d gave Moses revelation. This teaches us that worship is an outcome of G-d’s revelation.
v2: G-d needs nothing. However, it is good that we do things for Him – not for His sustenance (He lacks nothing and is complete in every aspect of His being) – but in order to acknowledge Him as the L-rd of lords and the King of kings in our lives. The first principle we see, related to worship, is about giving to G-d. But there is a stipulation/condition – every person must give from a willing heart and not under compulsion.
v3: “You” is in the plural – it’s speaking about the leadership receiving this offering from the people.
· Gold, silver etc – things that are precious and valuable to us.
v4-7: Things that people could give
· The ephod and breastplate were worn by the high priest.
v8: All of these donations would go into the making of the sanctuary. Worship is an invitation for G-d to come and dwell among us so that He can move in our lives and act in this world.
v9: The tabernacle/worship is based on a pattern of G-d’s design – a pattern of what was in heaven was duplicated on earth (Heb 8:5)
v10: The Ark of Testimony/Covenant was one of the most important vessels in the tabernacle.
v11: Overlay – same concept as icing a cake.
v13: Everything that could be seen was covered in gold. All this gold would make this ark extremely heavy. The fact that four men could lift it with these poles shows the supernatural, sustaining, presence of G-d on it.
v14: The Ark had to be carried by these poles (not put on a cart – like David did at a later date)
v15: The poles remained in place.
v16: Testimony – The (2nd pair of) tablets that had the commandments upon them were placed in here (Heb 9:3-4).
v17: The mercy seat was the lid on top of the Ark (Heb 9:5). Blood was placed upon the mercy seat as an offering, in order to secure grace and mercy for the people.
v18: A cherub (cherubim is the plural) is a type of angel. These were made of solid gold.
v19: These cherubim were placed on each end of the mercy seat.
v20: The cherubim have wings and faces – their wings had to be spread out over the seat (Num 7:89). In a unique way the omnipresent G-d was going to dwell in this place.
· The cherubs faced one another but didn’t look at one another – their faces were looking down at the mercy seat. This emphasizes the importance of the mercy seat (the Presence of G-d was on it, and atonement/forgiveness of sins was made there).
v21: The commandments were inside this seat – we see the relationship between receiving the mercy of G-d so that we can continue on into the commandments of G-d (with Passover: first came redemption/salvation, then the journey to the commands and will of G-d – learning to be pleasing to Him).
· “You” – G-d spoke specifically to Moses here. Moses was the one who went into the Holy of Holies in order to position and to begin this unique new worship at the tabernacle.
v22: We see a very important principle here: All these things had to be done in order to allow Moses to approach G-d, in order to hear from Him.
· Worship brings us into the presence of G-d where we can hear from Him.
· One of the outcomes of worship is revelation. G-d was going to speak to Moses about His requirements for the children of Israel – in order to build up a righteous community.