under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 8 (Part 4)
We come now to the Tabernacle itself. The walls of the Tabernacle were composed of 48 boards, each about 15 feet high and 2½ feet wide. (See Exodus 26:15-25;—click link.)
Each board had two "tenons," or knobs, which fit into two sockets of silver buried in the sand. The boards rested on 96 sockets of silver. Each socket of silver weighed over 90 pounds. Thus the Tabernacle stood upon a solid foundation of silver, weighing over four and a half tons!
Where did they get all this silver? Remember, when the children of Israel left Egypt, the Egyptians gave them much silver and gold, whatever they wanted.
Silver in the Bible stands for redemption. God had instructed His people that, when men of twenty years and older were numbered for the army, they should each pay a half shekel of silver as an offering to the Lord. This was "a ransom for their souls." (See Exodus 30:11-16;—click link.)
This money was called "atonement money." The word "atonement" means "to cover sins." This is what the Old Testament offerings did. They "covered" the sins of the people until Christ died on the cross and took them away.
Half a shekel was what each man paid. God said, "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less." Each man had to pay for himself. No one could pay for another person. God laid down the conditions for the atonement money.
God has laid down the condition for our redemption—faith in Jesus Christ and His blood. This is true for every person, whether rich or poor, learned or ignorant, young or old. The condition is simple. Every person can have faith in Jesus Christ and His blood which was shed for their sins.
When the men were numbered for the army of Israel, there were 605,550 men. Each paying a half shekel meant 302,775 shekels of silver—over five tons of silver. With this they made the sockets of silver as the foundation of the boards. Thus the Tabernacle rested upon a foundation of silver, a type of redemption by Jesus Christ and His blood which was shed for our sins.
Redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ is the foundation on which the believer rests. As the tenons (knobs) on the boards took hold of the silver sockets, so does the believer's faith lay hold on Christ as his redemption.
Our foundation is not the shifting sands of men's ideas and opinions, but Christ and His redemption. The Bible says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:11)
The framework of the Tabernacle consisted of 48 boards of acacia wood overlaid with gold. There were 20 boards on the north side, 20 on the south side, and eight on the western end. The eastern end of the Tabernacle was enclosed by a curtain.
Each board was about 15 feet in length and about 2½ feet wide. The boards were overlaid with gold. Each board had two knobs by which it was connected with the two sockets of silver buried in the sand.
Each of these boards represents a sinner, saved by the grace of God. I was once a member of Adam's sinful family, but I trusted Christ as my Savior. I died to my old life in the old creation, and I was raised with Christ as a new person in God's new creation. I now stand before God in Christ.
Let us see how this was all brought about. These boards were once stately acacia trees planted in the earth. The earth sustained them. Their roots were in the earth and of the earth.
But God had need of them for the building of His dwelling place. They were cut down; they died to the earth; their connection with it was forever cut off.
Such is the case with everyone who is in God's called-out assembly, His holy dwelling place now. We were once in the world and of it, part of the old creation. Our life was taken up with the things of the world. But the sharp and mighty "axe" of God's Word fell upon our heart and conscience. We were "cut down" before God. We trusted in Christ and we were converted.
The tree not only had to be cut down, but it had to be stripped of its limbs and shaped into boards of the proper size. The boards were then given a new beauty and glory. They were overlaid with gold.
So it is with the child of God. We have to be "stripped" of the things pertaining to our old life. But we are given a new beauty and glory. God places us in Christ. We may not seem beautiful in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of God, we are beautiful indeed—"accepted in the Beloved."
Finally, the boards were placed in the sockets and then bound together by five horizontal bars, making them into one structure, the dwelling place of God on earth.
So it is with us. We are not simply individual "boards," but we are bound together into one Body. All believers are members of the one Body of Christ called "the Church." We are built together as the dwelling place of God. The Bible says,
"In whom [in Christ] you also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Ephesians 2:22
Now do the questions for this eighth lesson which was in 4 parts: