Exodus 25 – 30
God forgave the Israelites for building the golden calf, and He gave them a second chance. God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets and gave them to Moses. This time the people listened to Moses as he explained the laws to them. God also explained to Moses how He wanted the people to worship Him and what festivals they were to keep.
Then God told Moses that He wanted the people to build Him a special tent called a tabernacle so that God could always be with them. The tabernacle was to be made of goat skin that was lined with fine linen and embroidered with winged figures. The tabernacle is to have two rooms, with a courtyard around it.
The first room God told Moses was to have a golden alter, a lampstand holding seven lamps, and a table. Only the priest could enter the first room. The inner room was to be set apart and could only be entered once a year by the high Priest on the Day of Atonement. On that day the high Priest was to enter the room to pray to God and make peace for the people’s sins.
God gave instructions as to how the Ark of the Covenant was to be built. It was to be made of acacia-wood and covered with gold and have two golden winged cherubim’s protecting it. The ark was to hold the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are written.
The people were eager to help construct the Ark, their best craftsmen made the Ark and the people gave their fine jewellery and silver objects so the Ark would be beautiful.
As a sign that God had come to be with His people, when the Ark was finished, a cloud covered the tent and the glory of God filled it and the Israelites knew that God had come to be with them.
Moses explained to the Israelites that if they sinned and did not obey God’s laws. God would be very unhappy with them and would punish them. But because God loved His people, He allowed them to sacrifice a lamb or a goat to pay the penalty for their sins.
Once a year on the Day of Atonement, Aaron, the Levites and the Priests offered up special sacrifices for the sins of the whole nation, so that they could live in a right relationship with God.
God gave the people many feasts so that they could celebrate the special occasions in the year and give thanks to God for His goodness to them. In Spring there is the important feast of the Passover when the Israelites remember how God rescued them and they were able to escape from Egypt. Then the feast of the Unleavened Bread. In early summer, the feasts of the first fruits and during Autumn, the Harvest festival.
Most importantly, God commanded His people to work on the first six days of the week and rest on the seventh day. That is why Saturday is considered a Holy day by the Jews. They were to follow God’s example. God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. As Christians we keep Sunday as our Sabbath because Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.
Thank you Revd Peta May for today’s Sunday School lesson.