"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Monday, June 7, 2021

EXODUS – GOD’s MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE of ISRAEL FROM EGYPT – Chapter THIRTY ONE

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Exodus by pastor Chuck Smith
  
EXODUS 31: “THE HOUSE THAT GOD BUILT WITH OUR HANDS” – by Albert Lopez, watch the Facebook video here.

INTRODUCTION:
In the previous chapters we have read about the tabernacle and its furnishings. Now we will read about how it all came to be. God didn’t say, “Let there be a tabernacle” and it miraculously came to be. Although he could of, no; he used His people to carry out His purpose as that is God’s way. 

Chosen people were used to build this tabernacle and everything in it and chosen people are used in order to expand the Kingdom; God’s Kingdom. The Israelites would construct the tabernacle and it’s furnishings by using a wide variety of skills that the Lord had supplied to the builders. 

Their calling and enabling came from the Lord by His Spirit. Let us remember that Church. As Paul the apostle said in:
1 CORINTHIANS 15:10-11
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed

With this Idea specifically in verse 11, We preach to every creature because we don’t know who God has called and chosen (1 PET 2:9). As the Word says, God doesn’t want anyone to perish but wants everyone to come to repentance and a saving faith in Jesus (2 PET 3:9).

EXODUS 31:1-5
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 "And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 "to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 "in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship
.

I have appointed by name: in the Hebrew this is qara “to call, invite to summon (as kings would do)”.
Bezalel- “In the shadow ( the protection) of God”. He was also from the tribe of Judah. Who else is from the tribe of Judah? The Lion of the tribe of Judah (Jesus)!
Verse 3: God speaking says: I have filled him with the purpose to carry out what God had for Him. 

God was not like, “I have these instructions for him and I’m going to leave him to it”. No, this word “filled” is in the Hebrew: male or mala means to be full or fill; but it also can mean “accomplished, aloud, completed, or armed”. 

So, it would be God doing the work through them by the power of the Holy Spirit as we read “filled them” – with what, or really, Who? God’s Spirit.
The Bible tells us that our Lord Jesus was filled with the Spirit without measure (JOHN 3:34).
Jesus was filled without measure but not so He would say, “I’m holier than thou”; (even though He was!) no, it was to fulfill the will of the Father, as He put it many times. 

One time the Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil as Matthew 4 tells us. Yet He always fulfilled the will of the Father, even in such distressful temptations by Satan!
Jesus told the Pharisees in MATTHEW 12:28
But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you

Jesus was carrying out the Father’s work and He did this work all the way to the cross. Then He cried out, “It is finished!”
In a similar way of doing the Father’s will, the Israelites built this temple according to God’s instructions.
So, what about us? 

“What about me?” you might be asking yourself. “Am I part of this building project?”
If you are a child of God, a born again believer, then the answer is Yes!
The Bible says in: 
EPHESIANS 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them

Note that He formed you, but not just formed you, He formed you or created you (remember in 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17, It says you are a new creature; the old things have passed away and behold all things are become new) in Christ Jesus for good works. Just as Jesus performed good works and did good for many. 

God prepared not just works; but good works just like He did for these men we are reading about in Exodus. Just like God prepared these good works for them and for us. He doesn’t stop at preparing them. He also prepares us, equips us for every good work. So how does God prepare us? 

We read in:
2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for [j]rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work
.

He does it through the Word; which is God’s Word to teach us, rebuke us, to correct and to train us in righteousness: His righteousness. 

So that by this means, we may be not only capable but fully capable, equipped for everything God has us to do for Him while we are here in this body, in this world.
In addition to this, as if this wasn’t enough help, God’s Spirit comes along side of us to help us carry out everything through the power and timing that He has already determined beforehand (JOHN 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). 

Remember church, our God is Omnipotent and also Omniscient!
Also, in Verse 3 the Lord says He has filled this man “…with wisdom, understanding, in knowledge and all kinds of craftsmanship.”
The terms for wisdom, understanding and ability appear also in:

PROVERBS 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
We can see and confirm that the source is the Lord

The Bible tells us that every good gift comes from the Father of Lights (JAMES 1:17).
The purpose for filling this man is told to us in:

EXODUS 31:4-5
4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

To make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver and in bronze.
Remember some of the tabernacle and its furnishings were made of these elements. Also, in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship.
This is like comparing someone who plays sports and can play any position pretty much. Or for those of you who don’t like sports, think about a very talented handy-man.
The same can be said of us church if you remember back in the book of Acts, Jesus promised this:

ACTS 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth
.

Just as God called these men in the book of Exodus; Jesus calls his disciples to build His Kingdom by being a witness: Spread the good news (the gospel) of my Kingdom where I am King, and I am reigning and will reign forever!

EXODUS 31:6-11
6 And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all who are gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 "the tabernacle of meeting, the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle 8 "the table and its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 "the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base 10 "the garments of ministry, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests, 11 "and the anointing oil and sweet incense for the holy place. According to all that I have commanded you they shall do."

Speaking of the men in the book of Exodus, not only did God call Bezalel but he also called Oholiab and he called all who are skillful. The name Oholiab
 means, Father’s tent; it was fitting because he was building the Father’s tent of meeting!

Like other matters in Exodus, these abilities to make beautiful objects involved the person’s heart.
Remember the heart is the center of the whole person; the spring of all desires. It involves the will, intellect, and feelings. All who are skillful is everyone who is wise of heart; which helps in recognizing that the wise and wisdom in Proverbs, among other things refers to skills for living in relationships with God and other people. 

Even as wisdom shows itself as skills needed for building the tabernacle, the Lord provided what people needed to make things that would honor Him and be valuable to Him and other people. In the same way God has provided all to His people that will be needed in order to honor Him and accomplish His will in the power of the Holy Spirit.

EXODUS 31:12-13
12 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you
.

You shall surely observe my sabbaths: In Hebrew, Shabbath means “cease or rest”. The Sabbath became the 4th and most detailed of the Ten Commandments. God associated shabbath with his sanctification of the week’s seventh day when He ceased his work in creation. 

You probably have heard the saying all work and no play is not very fun. Well God here is showing them how good He is, that He remembered and cared about how Egypt had them slaving away and they had no rest. 

He is saying, “All work and no rest is not what honors Me and I have set apart this day to have you not only rest but rest in Me and find rest for your souls (as the LORD Jesus stated regarding Himself in MATT 11:29). Let us enjoy each other in fellowship and while we are at it, let us do it all as a group; congregated as the word says: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity!” (PSALM 133:1).
This could not be done if God’s people were always working and thinking about how they can ‘get ahead in life’. As a result, God said rest from your labors, delight yourself in Me and be refreshed, ready to take on tomorrow!

EXODUS 31:14-17
14 'You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 'Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 'Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed
.'

Regarding verse 14 Therefore: knowing that He is the Lord Who is holy, Who sanctifies you and is commanding you to keep His Sabbaths.
“Sanctifies” in the Hebrew: qadash which comes from qodesh means to be consecrated or set apart.

The command of GOD is: You are to observe the Sabbath
Observing of the Sabbath was so serious that anyone who didn’t, was in open rebellion not against just anyone but against the Lord. This rebellion would not go unpunished as we read there, it says anyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death.
It got so bad that the Lord allowed for the Jews to become enslaved for their disobedience of not keeping the Sabbath!

We read in 2 CHRONICLES 36:21
21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years
.
To observe the Sabbath would be a sign forever of the covenant between the Lord and the Israelites, reminding them of the Lord’s provision as the One Who had made the heavens and the earth and as the One Who had made Israel a new nation. 

As part of their loyalty to the Lord their Sovereign, the Israelites could participate in the rest GOD enjoyed to bless them with. The attitude the Israelites had was probably one of “I have to” and not “I get to” and that got them into trouble as we will read through out the Old Testament. 

We as the Church also need to remember that the world, the flesh, and the devil will try to keep us from keeping the Sabbath so to speak. 
A teaching on OUR THREE ENEMIES is available on TTUF; check it out here
In other words, these enemies will keep us from having a close relationship in obedience with our Lord and Savior, if we ignore the written instruction that God left us in His Word. We need to remember that we are co-laborers and also servants of God (1 CORINTHIANS 3:9).

And as the word says in:
1 PETER 2:5
you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
.

EXODUS 31:18
18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God
.

The two tablets of the testimony contained the Ten Commandments and were to be placed inside the ark, in the most holy place in the tabernacle to remind the people of the covenant that the Israelites had promised to keep. 

The people said, All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do’. The translation of that is, ‘I will trust the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding’ (PROVERBS 3:5-6) no matter what the circumstances are. 

Sadly they failed to do this and so do we at times, but we love our God, and we can see that He is a good God, slow to anger and quick to mercy. However, as we will find out in the next chapter of Exodus, after the golden calf is made and worshiped later God inflicts a plague on the people for what they did. 

Our plague is sin, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Who took the wrath of God has paid the penalty and offers a better covenant than that that the Israelites enjoyed with God; we read about in the Old Testament. 

We read about here also in:
HEBREWS 8:10
FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT WHICH I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, DECLARES THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE

It’s a better covenant which has been established on better promises and it’s available by grace through faith in Jesus who is seated at the right hand of majesty in heaven. It’s available to the Jew but also available to anyone who is looking for the rest that the Lord of the Sabbath offers.

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