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Verses of Exodus 40

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Exodus 40:1 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 117
THE TABERNACLE SERVICE COMMENCED

Exo 40:1-2. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.

THE beginning of a new year is, not without reason, considered by Christians in general as a fit occasion for more than ordinary attention to religious duties. I say not, indeed, that the generality of Christians actually so employ that hallowed time; for, in fact, the whole season wherein we commemorate the incarnation of our blessed Lord is by the generality made rather a time for carnal mirth. But still, this is acknowledged by all to be rather an abuse of our religious privileges than a suitable improvement of them. There is in the minds of all a consciousness, that to review our past errors with penitence, and to prepare for a more diligent performance of our duty in future, is the proper employment of that period, when we are entering, as it were, upon a new scene of things. In my text, “the first day of the first month” was appointed by God himself as the time for commencing the services of the tabernacle, after the Israelites had abode in the wilderness nearly a whole year. Doubtless, both Moses and the various artificers had used great diligence to get every vessel ready for the service which it was destined to perform: and great exertion must have been made on the day here spoken of, wherein the tabernacle and all the vessels of it were not only got ready for their destined use, but were employed in the very service for which they had been formed. But the command of Jehovah animated the people on this occasion: and, I hope, their conduct will encourage us also to prosecute with becoming earnestness the labours which this season calls for at our hands.
For the advancement of this blessed object, I will set before you,

I.

The work here assigned to Moses—

He was ordered now to set up the tabernacle with every thing belonging to it, and to commence the service of it. A pattern of every part of it had been shewn to him on Mount Sinai, and according to that pattern had every thing been formed. No less than eight times in this one chapter is it said, that he did every thing “as the Lord had commanded him” For all this care, both in relation to the pattern given him, and to the execution of it by himself and all under his command, there was, no doubt, a very important reason. The very injunction given him at the time of shewing to him the pattern, “See thou make all things according to the pattern shewn to thee in the mount [Note: Exo 25:40.],” strongly marked, that, in the divine mind, there was some very important end to be accomplished by it. What that end was we are informed in the Epistle to the Hebrews: The tabernacle itself, and all its vessels, were intended to be “an example and shadow of heavenly things,” that is, of the things revealed to us under the Christian dispensation. In a word, the law and its ordinances were intended to give a just representation of the Gospel and its mysteries; and the two were to accord with each other in every the minutest part, even as an impression with the seal by which it was made [Note: Heb 8:5.]. Behold, then, here was the work assigned to Moses, namely, to give to the Jewish people such an exhibition of the Gospel and its mysteries as should suffice for them under that shadowy dispensation, and prepare them for that fuller manifestation which should be vouchsafed to the Church by the ministry of Christ and of his holy Apostles.

[The tabernacle itself was a representation of Christ, “in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily [Note: Col 2:9.],” and who in his incarnate state “dwelt (tabernacled) amongst us [Note: Joh 1:14 ἐσκήνωσεν].” The priests, the altar, and the sacrifices, shadowed him forth as “the Great High-Priest,” through whom alone we can come to God [Note: Heb 10:19-22.] ; and who, being himself the altar that sanctified the gift [Note: Heb 13:10.], “offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world [Note: Heb 10:12.],” even “an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet smelling savour [Note: Eph 5:2.].” The altar of incense also designated that same divine Saviour as ever living to make intercession for us [Note: Heb 9:24.]. The candlestick also, and the table of shewbread, represented him as “the light of the world [Note: Joh 8:12.],” and as “the bread of life, of which whosoever eats shall live for ever [Note: Joh 6:48; Joh 6:58.].” The lavers too represented him as “the fountain opened for sin [Note: Zec 13:1.],” in which every one “who washeth is cleansed from all sin [Note: Rev 1:5.].” The same may be said of every the minutest vessel in the sanctuary: they all shadowed forth the Lord Jesus in some part of his Mediatorial office. But I must by no means omit to mention the ark, in which the tables of the Law were placed, and which was covered by the mercy-seat of precisely the same dimensions, and which represented him as fulfilling the Law for us [Note: Rom 10:4.], and as obtaining mercy for all who should come to God by him [Note: Heb 7:25.]. Now all of these, whether the vessels, or the persons who officiated in the use of them, “were anointed with oil [Note:, 13–15.],” to shew, that even Christ himself, “being anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows [Note: Psa 45:7.],” had “the Spirit given to him without measure for the performance of his work [Note: Joh 3:34.] ;” and that no person or service can ever be “acceptable to God,” unless it be “sanctified by the Holy Ghost [Note: Rom 15:16.].”]

Let us next turn our attention to,

II.

The corresponding work that is now called for at our hands—

We are now called, every one of us,

1.

To realize in our minds the things here shadowed forth—

[The wonders of Redemption should occupy our attention every day: but on this day especially should we be coming to God in “that new and living way which Christ has opened for us through the veil.” We should go to the Lord Jesus Christ as our sacrifice, and as the altar that sanctifies that sacrifice, and as the priest that offers it. Under all the characters that have been before contemplated concerning him, we should apply to him — — — “receiving every thing out of his fulness [Note: Joh 1:16.].” From day to day, as long as the Jewish polity existed, were the various sacrifices and services of the Mosaic ritual renewed: and as long as the world shall stand, must we look to Jesus as here shadowed forth, feeding on him as our bread, washing in him as our laver, and living altogether by faith on him [Note: Gal 2:20.]. Would to God that every one of you would this very day begin these services, if you have hitherto been strangers to them; or prosecute them with redoubled ardour, if you have already entered on this life of faith! — — —]

2.

To get them spiritually wrought within our own souls—

[We have said that Christ was mystically shadowed forth in all the services of that day. And this is true. But it is also true that the life of God in our own souls was spiritually represented. Yes, Brethren, “we are temples of the Holy Ghost [Note: 1Co 6:19.] ;” and “God will come down and dwell in us [Note: 2Co 6:16.] ;” yea, “Christ will dwell in our hearts by faith [Note: Eph 3:17.].” And in us are “the sacrifices of prayer and praise to be offered to him continually [Note: Heb 13:15.].” In truth, we ourselves are to be living sacrifices to him [Note: Rom 12:1.] ; and, as an holy priesthood, we are to be offering ourselves to him [Note: 1Pe 2:5.]. Every faculty of our souls is to be sanctified to his service by the Holy Spirit, lightened by his light, and nourished by his grace. We are, in fact, to be “lights in this dark world [Note: Php 2:15.],” and “witnesses for Jehovah, that he alone is God [Note: Isa 43:12.].” My dear Brethren, this conformity to Christ is at once our duty and our privilege: and to “grow up into him in all things as our living Head,” is the work of every day throughout our whole lives [Note: Eph 4:15.]. Now, then, I call you to commence this work, if it be not yet begun; or to proceed in it with augmented ardour, if, through the grace of God, it be already begun in your souls. And for your encouragement, I will venture to affirm, that the tokens of God’s approbation which were vouchsafed to Moses, shall as really, if not so sensibly, be renewed to you; for “the glory of the Lord shall fill” your souls, and the most signal manifestations of his love shall abide with you, both in this world, and in the world to come [Note: 4, 35.] — — —]

And now I appeal to you, whether this will not be a good employment for the season on which we have just entered?

[Who does not regret that he has lost so much time already? Moses, considering how many months had been consumed in the wilderness before he began his work, could not have well completed it before. But who amongst you might not have begun long before, and been now both serving and enjoying God in a tenfold greater degree, if he had duly improved his time, and prosecuted his work with unremitting care? Well; let it then be your endeavour now to “redeem the time;” that, if this be the destined period that is to put an end to your earthly existence, you may enter with joy into the presence of your Lord, and be for ever happy in the bosom of your God.]


Verses of Exodus 40

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Consult other comments:

Exodus 40:1 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 40:1 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

Exodus 40:1 - Through the Bible Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Exodus 40:1 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Exodus 40:1 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Exodus 40:1 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 40:1 - Expositor's Dictionary of Text by Robertson

Exodus 40:1 - F. B. Hole's Old and New Testaments Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - Gaebelein's Annotated Bible (Commentary)

Exodus 40:1 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 40:1 - Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Exodus 40:1 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 40:1 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 40:1 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 40:1 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Exodus 40:1 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Exodus 40:1 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

Exodus 40:1 - Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch

Exodus 40:1 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

Exodus 40:1 - Grant's Numerical Bible Notes and Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Exodus 40:1 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Exodus 40:1 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 40:1 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

Exodus 40:1 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 40:1 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Exodus 40:1 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)