Term 2 – Week 2

Big Idea – God told Moses to build the tent (tabernacle) so that He could live with them.

Exodus 25 – 27; 40:34-38

Lesson Background

This unit of work is an overview of the Old Testament from creation in Genesis 1 up to God’s promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7.  The theme for the unit is: God always keeps His Promises.

The story so far…. God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and were now on their way to the Promised Land. Last week, we learnt that God gave the law to help the Israelites live as God’s people in the Promised Land. This week we are going to see how our Holy God can live amongst his people.

Throughout the Bible, we see God’s desire to live with the people he created. We see this first in Eden, when God created Adam & Eve and (presumably) came down regularly to be with them (cf. Gen 3:8). When they rebelled against Creator God, one consequence of their sin was banishment from the garden (with angels guarding the way back) and from God’s presence.

God appeared to different people throughout Genesis, but it wasn’t until Sinai when God came down to be with his people again, although the people stayed at the bottom, God stayed at the top, and only Moses could approach. So, when the people left Sinai to go to the Promised Land, how would God go with them? How can the holy God live with a sinful people?

God instructed his people to build a tent, God’s tent, The Tabernacle (lit. ‘Dwelling Place’), where He would dwell among his people, pointing back to Eden. Whenever the Israelites travelled, they broke down this tent and carried it with them. Then, when they arrived at their destination, they set up the tent once more, placing it strategically and meaningfully in the centre of the camp. God was not just with His people; He was at the centre of His people. That was the place he deserved. When the people settled in the Promised Land, the Tabernacle would later give way to the permanent temple built in Jerusalem, once again at the centre of his people.

One important feature was the veil, or curtain, separating the innermost chamber from everything else. This sacred area was the ‘Holy of Holies’ or ‘The Most Holy Place’, the place where God’s presence would manifest above the ark of the covenant. The curtain was big, heavy, as thick as man’s hand, and covered in angels. In Leviticus, we learn that only the High Priest could enter this area, and even then, only once a year on the Day of Atonement. The curtain was a picture of the ongoing separation between God and humanity because of sin. God wanted to dwell with his people, but sin prevented people being in God’s presence.

Sin is the reason sinners must worship the holy God just as The Lord has commanded. Sinful people can’t just live with God and enter into His presence. It’s like going into space without a spacesuit – it’s dangerous and destined for destruction! That’s why it’s so important they built the Tabernacle “just as the Lord had commanded”.

So far this term, we’ve seen that Moses has a special role for God’s people. He’s the Israelites’ Rescuer and Mediator. This Bible passage underlines how special Moses is. Moses is the one God speaks to. Moses is the one the LORD commanded, and whom the people obey. When the people finish the work, Moses (not God) blesses the people. Moses is the one who sets up the tabernacle, and it’s Moses who completed the work. And yet at the end of the Exodus, not even Moses could enter the Tabernacle and actually be with God!

Link to Jesus: Jesus is God in the flesh and ‘God with us’ (Matt 1:23; Jn 1:14). When he came, he lived a holy life and then died on the cross to pay for the sin of his people. When he died, the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom, symbolizing that the barrier is gone, sin is dealt with and through Jesus we can go into The Most Holy Place, back into God’s presence. Jesus died to make sinners holy, so we can live with the Holy God. We have someone better than Moses, one who went into God’s presence on our behalf.But that is not the end of the story. Jesus has paid for sin, but sin continues to corrupt the world. Jesus lives with us by the Holy Spirit, but we don’t see him face to face. So, Christians are waiting for the day when Jesus will return, put an end to death and sin, and renew creation. Then all God’s people will truly be in God’s place, living perfectly under God’s rule, and enjoying his blessing forever. And the biggest blessing will be living with God.

Outcomes

The children will understand that God is a God who always keeps his promises, he is always in control and will always work things out according to his good plan. Therefore, we can put our trust him.

The children will know that God provided a way to live with His people despite their sin. The children will give thanks for Jesus who makes it possible for God to live with His people despite our sin.

Songs

My God is so Big (Colin Buchanan – Remember the Lord)

Memory Verse

He said, “I am the Lord, the Lord. I am the God who is tender and kind. I am gracious.

I am slow to get angry. I am faithful and full of love….

But I do not let guilty people go unpunished.

 

Exodus 34:6-7

Leaders PDF

this has been put together using purchased external material and therefore this resource may only be used by Dundonald Church. For more information please contact natasha.small@dundonald.org

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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