I Will Dwell Among the Israelites and Be Their God

29: 42b-46

    DIG: Why was the burnt offering so important to Israelite worship? What was the ultimate purpose of the exodus? What does Immanuel mean? How was the Immanuel principle foreshadowed here in the book of Exodus?

   REFLECT: Can God dwell with you while you are in the world (First John 2:15-17)? Where is your citizenship? Earth or heaven (Philippians 3:20)? Why does it matter? Is Immanuel with you today? How can you tell?

    For Aaron and his sons, dedication led immediately to service. The priests were to officiate daily at the bronze altar by sacrificing to God two burnt offerings – one in the morning and the other at twilight (29:38-42a). ADONAI Himself promised to meet with and speak to His people on every such occasion.650 He said: There I will meet with you and speak to you (29:42b-43). The burnt offering was the heart of their worship, and the priesthood existed to mediate between God and His people.

    It was ADONAI’s intention to dedicate Aaron and his sons to serve Him as priests, to dwell among the Israelites and be their God. The ark of the Covenant was where the Shechinah glory, or the visible manifestation of God’s presence, dwelt. God’s ultimate desire was that the Israelites would know that He was ADONAI their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that He might have a personal relationship with them and dwell among them (29:44-46). The final three verses here are a fitting end to the topic at hand. The writer ties together the Tabernacle and the priesthood with the exodus itself. The Tabernacle and the priests had been dedicated, and the LORD was able to dwell with His people. Now they could look back at what God had done in bringing them out of Egypt. In that way, they would know, without any shadow of a doubt, that ADONAI was their God. We must always keep in mind that the purpose of the exodus was not simply to free the slaves. It was to bring the LORD’s people into a covenant relationship with Him through the Torah, the Tabernacle and the priesthood.651

    Isaiah prophesied that the virgin would be with child and would give birth to a son, who would be called Immanuel, meaning God with us (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus fulfilled that prophecy when Matthew wrote: The virgin will be will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means God with us (Matthew 1:23). It was in that way that the Word became flesh and dwelt, or tabernacled, for a while among us. The Word was with God, and we have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son. And the Word was God, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1 and 14). Thus, the purpose of the Tabernacle was to be fulfilled in the visible presence of the God-man, Jesus Christ, or Yeshua the Messiah.


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