Remember how all of the Israelites had agreed to do all that the LORD would instruct them to do? Well here are his covenant instructions to them. Although some may see these five chapters as something to hurry through on the way to the next part of the story, let's take a moment to examine these instructions and see if we can get a better idea about the things which the LORD wanted to say to His people.
Offerings for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:1-9)
from each man whose heart prompts him to give.
- An offering was expected, yet it was to be from each man whose heart prompted him to give.
- Specific items are mentioned as desirable offerings. These are all things which will be needed in order to construct the tabernacle, its furnishings or the priestly garments and utensils, as well as the oil and incense of the tabernacle.
- Offering items range from gold to goat hair (the latter can be woven into cloth for tents), so there is something for all to contribute.
- After they have received the offering, and made the sanctuary for the LORD, he will dwell among them. (!) Can you imagine how that news would have sounded to the Israelites?
- The tabernacle is to be made exactly as the LORD instructs them to do. They can't just give whatever they feel like giving or slap together some makeshift dwelling for the LORD. They need to follow the LORD's instructions "...exactly like the pattern I will show you." (Exodus 25:9)
- If there is a pattern to be followed, the 'real' one must exist somewhere. Whether God drew a picture or showed Moses the heavenly tabernacle in a vision, there was an actual heavenly tabernacle of which the earthly one was only a copy. Hebrews 8:5, after speaking previously about earthly priests, says: "They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven...".