Opening Prayer

Living God, help me to focus on You now, to clarify my commitments throughout this day.

Scripture Reference

EXODUS 25:1–22


Offerings for the Tabernacle

25 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather[a]; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

The Ark

10 “Have them make an ark[b] of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.[c] 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

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  1. Exodus 25:5 Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
  2. Exodus 25:10 That is, a chest
  3. Exodus 25:10 That is, about 3 3/4 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide and high or about 1.1 meters long and 68 centimeters wide and high; similarly in verse 17

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



‘… see that you also excel in this grace of giving.’1

Think Further

As soon as the covenant was confirmed, the Lord instructed Moses to build Him a dwelling place. Details about its construction take up nearly all the rest of Exodus. The tabernacle ensures that God is at the very center of Israel’s community, as intended at creation. Worshipping the Lord exclusively was the only response they could reasonably offer for the salvation they’d experienced and would continue to enjoy. The immediate question was where the resources were going to come from. While wood was available around them, the other materials would need to be supplied by God’s people (vs 1–9). Giving was voluntary but, as always, reflected how deeply they appreciated God’s grace. It wasn’t a tax, imposed unwillingly on them. The gifts varied but suggest that nothing but the best is suitable for God. Some would have given up what they took from the Egyptians,2 and all involved a degree of sacrifice. All this sets a pattern that governs the way God’s people give, as Paul taught the Corinthians3 and which continues today.

The general gives way to specific instructions about the tabernacle’s furniture, starting with the ark (vs 10–22), a box denoting the covenant. It was to be placed in the innermost part of the tent and served a number of purposes. Its rich golden beauty, guarded by two winged cherubim, witnessed to God’s majesty. Its lid served as God’s throne. Its cover was the place of ultimate atonement, through blood being sprinkled on it on the Day of Atonement.4 The box contained a record of God’s Law, received at Sinai, and of his provision of manna and quail. It testified to both God’s holiness and his grace. It was to serve as a vital symbol of God’s presence until lost sometime during the exile.


What we give to God’s work indicates our priorities and is something of a temperature gauge of our spiritual health. What temperature would you register?

Closing Prayer

Generous God, teach me to give from love; love for You, love for others, and proper love for myself. May my love be accompanied with gratitude and joy in giving.

2 Cor 8:7 Exod 11:2 1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 9:6–15 Lev 16:15–19

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Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar

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