Ok… sorry about the title but after reading a recent secular “study” on individuals who left various sects of Christianity and thus found more enjoyment in their sex lives I feel the great need to write on something that is very near and dear to my heart (I am still a newlywed after all)- the powerful truth about sex and Christian sexuality.
Symbols in the Tabernacle
The tabernacle was a portable sanctuary for the Levites to do their holy work in. It was constructed according to the strict and precise blueprint that God gave to Moses. This tabernacle of Exodus served a real purpose for the Israelites but it also served a prophetic purpose being an image of the things to come. The objects within the tabernacle combined with the activities that took place there stood for things that we are now able to enjoy, thanks to Jesus’s finishing work of Law (Heb 9, Mat 5:17).
In the beginning everything was good (Gen 1:31), everything was as God intended it to be – perfect. So what happened? Why is everything so bad and why do we encounter such difficulty finding God? The perfection that God created only lasted until Satan disrupted the harmony that God had established. Now we find ourselves in the middle of the telling of a cosmic drama where God is working towards the restoration of everything that was lost, eventually God will put things back in order like they use to be (Rev 21:3). However, God is not doing nothing about the problems that currently exists. He is only doing it on His schedule and not our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Currently we await the return of Christ which is yet another step in God’s great plan to restore us to Himself as well as to restore the original glory to all that He created (Act 1:11). To know what it will be like when God restores everything in the end we can look at Genesis and see glimpses of what man enjoyed before sin as well as what we will enjoy after Satan is put away (Rev 20:10).
1. Being completely in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27)
2. Dominion over the Earth (Gen 1:26, 28, 29, 2:19)
3. Peace and freedom (Gen 1:28, 29)
4. Union with each other (Gen 2:21-25)
5. Innocence (Gen 2:25)
6. Relationship with God (Gen 3:8-13)
7. Eternal life (Gen 3:22-24)
The Golden Calf
The account of the Israelites worshiping the golden calf is among one of the most famous stories of the Bible, and probably the only one that most people know of when they think about the book of Exodus, or the Old Testament. Moses had been on the mountain for 40 days getting what I call the “Holy Spirit download” of the Law and perhaps Genesis as well. Can you imagine being in God’s presence for 40 days? Moses did this on 3 different notable occasions (and perhaps more) and fasted during some of them. If we set apart this much time to be with God imagine what we would know, what we would have experienced, and how much closer we would be to our God!
Victory over Amalek
At the end of chapter 17 in Exodus is a short story of Israel’s engagement in battle against Amalek and his forces. As strange as it sounds, somehow Moses discovered that when he raised his rod, the Israelites began to win in the battle, and when he lowered it they began to loose. I wonder if Moses caught on to God using him and his rod, probably everywhere he went he took that rod, you never know when God would ask him to use it. God turned it in to snakes and back in to a rod before Pharaoh, He used it to part the Red Sea, He used it to bring water out of a rock, and now to be victorious over the enemy. Perhaps our modern equivalent to Moses’s rod is the memorized and spoken Word of God. We lean on it and God uses us as we use it (the scriptures) in obedience to Him.
In Exodus chapter 16 we find Israel leaving an oasis with 12 springs and 70 palm trees (perhaps symbolic of the 12 disciples and 70 disciples in Luke 10) and entering the wilderness once again. This is now 2 months and 15 days after leaving Egypt. Despite Israel’s abundant praises to God in the previous chapter they are once again complaining to Moses (instead of praying to God) about their unfavorable conditions. One of Israel’s problems which may have originated from their years in Egypt was that they never prayed to God for help but complained to a man (Moses) instead. To get through our desert we must put our trust in God instead of man (Psalms 118:6-8). None the less, in response to their complaining, God promises bread from heaven and quail for meat. Here God has provided for their basic need – food, but later with the coming of the Messiah we see God providing for an even more important need – salvation and forgiveness (John 6:27).
God commands the Israelites to put some of the manna they gathered in a jar to remind the future generations of God’s provision in the desert. This jar was later stored in the Ark of the Covenant and kept with Israel as a reminder. Take time to remember what God has provided you. Don’t forget His many blessings.TO help you in this I suggest making a “blessings journal” and write in it every detail about each circumstance that God brought you out of. With this you can remind yourself in dark times of God’s faithfulness and you can share your many testimonies with others.
The Manna was considered bread from heaven, in the Bible, bread has many significant roles.
- The manna in the desert gathered and eaten daily.
- The bread of the tabernacle (and the temple) baked daily and set before the holy of holies.
- The bread (and fish) which Jesus divided for the multitudes.
- The bread that was eaten in the last supper which symbolized Christ’s body.
In John 6 Jesus calls Himself the “bread of life” which came from heaven to feed the spiritual need of man which no other thing could satisfy. Manna in Exodus was a prophetic type of Christ, it came from God, not from man. It was God’s provision, and it was just enough for each person as Christ is always enough for us. They had to gather it daily as we should commune with Christ daily.
The Red Sea
Soon after leaving Egypt, God led the Israelites to the Red Sea. By this time the Egyptian army was chasing after them because Pharaoh had changed his mind (again). God instructed Moses on what to do with his rod and he simply obeyed. As a result the Red Sea was split by a miraculous wind which allowed the Israelites to pass through to the other side safely. An important lesson to be learned from this is the unlimited ability of God to save you regardless of your circumstances (Ephesians 3:20). Never doubt because He is always able (Luke 1:37).
Often God deals with us as He did with the Israelites, He leads us to a place where we are unable to do anything so that He can show His ability and love to us. However, we often misinterpret this situation and feel abandoned by God, unsuccessful in our faith, or trapped without a solution. This is the farthest thing from the truth! God is willing and able to save you from any situation. Now I am not an advocate for “anything bad that happens in your life is from God” but I do believe that the bad things that happen, God can use them for His glory and your growth. These places can be the most uncomfortable to be in but they are the best for your faith. When we are trapped between our Enemy and a sea there we must fully rely on God to save us. We often have no other choice. The way we behave in these hard times decides if we mature in faith or not. Throughout the Bible there have been many impossible situations such as God’s promise of a son to old Abraham (Genesis 15), Mary’s virgin birth (Luke 1), and Jesus’ call for Peter to walk on the water (Matthew 14). Perhaps God led Israel to the Red Sea so that they could see the faithfulness of God and begin their journey with faith in God.