In our passage today, we see the building of the Tabernacle and its furnishings according to the command of God. We see the construction of the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Basin, both of bronze. We see the making of the court according to the details given by God. Then we see in 38:21 that the Levites kept a record of everything used in the construction of the Tabernacle.
Verses 24-31 provides us with the details of the metals that were used. The amounts are mind-boggling. About 2,200 pounds of gold was used – over a ton! About 7,550 pounds of silver was used. About 5,300 pounds of bronze was used. We see that Israel gave abundantly to God! And realize, the Tabernacle and all its furnishings were carried from place to place, and we don’t even know how much all the wood and fabric weighed!
In chapter 39, we have the making of the priestly garments according to the command of God. The culmination of all their work – not just of the priestly garments, but all their work – was the plate that read “Holy to the Lord” (39:30). This applies all that was built, the work itself, the priest, and all the people. Everything they were and everything they did were to be set apart for God.
In verse 32 we see that Israel kept their word to obey (see Ex 19:8, 24:3, and 24:7), and they kept the commands of God in fine detail (v. 42). We are usually quick to judge Israel for their failures. Here, we should be quick to praise them for their obedience. They worked very hard to obey God. Obedience always takes work. It is never easy.
Chapter 40 records the erection of the Tabernacle and its filling with all the furnishings. God repeats some of the instructions for where to place those furnishings. Notice that it all starts with the Ark of the Covenant, which represents the presence of God. And in 40:34, we see the visible realty that the representation pointed to. The cloud that represented the presence of God covers the Tabernacle, and His glory fills it (v. 35). We see that God called Israel to move when He moved, and to remain where He remained (vv. 36-37). And His presence would be with them at all times (v. 38).
God called a people to Himself. He raised up leaders to help the people obey His will. He acted single handedly in the redemption of those people. He showed them grace, made them promises, and only then asked for their obedience. He required the best of what they had, and yet provided all they needed. He was with them. He is their God, and they are His people. God did everything He promised He would. And He still does.
So we leave Israel at the base of the Mountain of God. We will next see God command all of the sacrificial and ceremonial laws. We will see throughout those laws the utter holiness of God, and the many pointers to the Lord Jesus Christ. In the book of Leviticus, we have more direct words of God recorded than in any other book of the Bible. The readings will get somewhat difficult, but don’t give up! God still speaks!!