Lessons from the Wilderness Tabernacle

Finding God's Will from the Sanctuary Setup 

        In reading Exodus 40:1-5  we notice that instead of the tabernacle and furniture  being set up in the order that you or I might set it up, there is a specific order given.  This order of setting up the furniture is repeated in Exodus 40: 20-27.   Here we will focus on the order of the furniture actually inside the tabernacle.  This process shows how we are to seek for the will of God.

Exo 40:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Exo 40:2  On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 

Exo 40:3  And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail. 

Exo 40:4  And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof. 

Exo 40:5  And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle. 

Recognize that step one and two are actually an expanded form of what is one step, Consult with the word of God.

1 First, the Ark of the Covenant was setup.  Inside were found the tables of stone on which were written the 10 commandments.   This parallels the counsel found in

 Isaiah 8:20   To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because their is no light in them.  

Anything which goes against God's law as expressed in the 10 commandment law is definitely not in line with his will

2Second, the Table of Shewbread which represents the entire word of God must be searched.

 Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

3 Third,  they set up the candlestick which represents the Holy Spirit.  It is only after we consult that scriptures that we can discern if it is the true spirit of God speaking to us. His spirit will never lead us contrary to the word of God.  John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.  

4Next the altar of incense is setup.  This is a peculiar order, but for this object lesson we can see why it must happen this way. The  altar of incense represents the prayers of the saints. Psalm 141:2  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense;..  Now in this instance it is used to represent providential workings (miracles) which come in answer to our prayers.  This is why it is important that we go to the Bible first so that we can know the miracles come from God.  If not followed in this order these methods for determinig God's will can be misused. (For example an unmarried couple might pray, if God opens this apartment for us it will be his will for us to live together before we are married.-This is obviously not ever God's will and we will recognize this if we go to his word first.)  

Now some have said,"Shouldn't we pray before reading the Bible, for God to lead our minds?"  Yes, and this too is pictured in the table of shewbread.  There were bowls of frankincense on top of each stack of bread on the table.  Just as the wisemen in sincere, uncorrupted faith followed the star and brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.  The frankincense represents sincere, faith.  We should always by faith ask God to lead our minds when we study his word. 

 

There are three ways in which the Lord reveals His will to us, to guide us, and to fit us to guide others. How may we know His voice from that of a stranger? How shall we distinguish it from the voice of a false shepherd? God reveals His will to us in His word, the Holy Scriptures. His voice is also revealed in His providential workings; and it will be recognized if we do not separate our souls from Him by walking in our own ways, doing according to our own wills, and following the promptings of an unsanctified heart, until the senses have become so confused that eternal things are not discerned, and the voice of Satan is so disguised that it is accepted as the voice of God.  

     Another way in which God's voice is heard is through the appeals of His Holy Spirit, making impressions upon the heart, which will be wrought out in the character. If you are in doubt upon any subject you must first consult the Scriptures. If you have truly begun the life of faith you have given yourself to the Lord to be wholly His, and He has taken you to mold and fashion according to His purpose, that you may be a vessel unto honor. You should have an earnest desire to be pliable in His hands and to follow whithersoever He may lead you. You are then trusting Him to work out His designs, while at the same time you are co-operating with Him by working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. You, my brother, will find difficulty here because you have not yet learned by experience to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, and this places you in doubt and peril. You ought to be able to distinguish His voice.   {5T 512}  

May God bless you as you seek his will in your life!