May 21, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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In this study, we’ll wrap up our 26-part journey through the Book of Exodus with an exploration of Exodus 40. This study will help us understand the importance of remembering and celebrating what the Lord has done in our lives and how we can live today—and every day—in the light of His glory!
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
READ: Exodus 40:1–11
In Exodus 40, we see the Lord give Moses instructions on setting up the tabernacle. In the first few words, God says, “Set up the tabernacle . . . on the first day of the first month.” This kind of detail can easily be glossed over by us, but it’s actually really important. Why? Because this indicates it’s been a year since Israel came out of Egypt (40:17)!
This was an amazing year in the history of Israel. And how do the Israelites get to celebrate and commemorate this truly amazing milestone in their history? By assembling the tabernacle where the very presence of the Lord Almighty would always reside amongst His people!
In this, the Lord is showing us the importance of milestones and of remembering AND celebrating what He’s done! In the same way, the one-year anniversary of Israel’s exodus from Egypt was an important milestone, we should reflect, remember, celebrate, and commemorate the season of our exodus “from the dominion of darkness . . . into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13 NIV).
As believers, we should be using the passage of time to see how far the Lord has taken us from where we were before we knew Him to where we are now so we can see the amazing work the Lord has done in our lives.
Discussion Question 1: Why is it important to remember and celebrate the work of God in your life?
READ: Exodus 40:16–33
In Exodus 40:2–33, we see Moses set up the tabernacle. He had all the pieces in place. It was the special day God had assigned, and it was time to put it all together. But before the assembly, God instructed Moses to do something significant: consecrate and anoint Aaron and his sons, “so they may serve me as priests” (Exodus 40:15 NIV). Wait, the same Aaron who, while Moses was gone, not only allowed the people to worship a golden calf, but also encouraged them and even associated the perverse worship of this idol with the pure worship of the Lord? Yes, that Aaron!
You see, God’s call on our lives isn’t independent or mutually exclusive of our past mistakes and sins. And our past mistakes or sins don’t ruin or disqualify us from the purposes and plans God has for us. God knew before the foundations of the earth that Aaron would fall short, sin, make some terrible decisions along the way, and that He was still going to ordain Aaron and his descendants to the priesthood.
In the same way, God knew all you would do before you were ever born, and He still sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be reconciled to Him. He also ordained you to be His ambassador and accomplish the work He has prepared for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). This is not an open invitation to live in sin. Just the opposite! It should serve as a never-ending motivation to live set apart unto the One who loves you and has given you life, freedom, and a special, beautiful purpose and calling.
Discussion Question 2: How does the anointing of Aaron and the construction of the tabernacle reflect your own relationship with the Lord?
READ: Exodus 40:34–38
The last thing we see on this epic journey of Exodus that began with 400 years of slavery is the glory of the Lord on full display and the presence of the Lord physically dwelling with His people! We’re told the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, and the cloud and fire that had guided the Israelites throughout their journey was now covering the entrance to the tabernacle.
Moses wasn’t able to enter the tent until the splendor of God lifted. But what Moses couldn’t do, Jesus did. In fact, in Matthew 17, we see Jesus not simply enter into the place of the glory of God, but as God in the flesh He displayed His glory! “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2 NIV). And because “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3 ESV), He has brought us near to God, enabling us to come boldly even to the mercy-seat of God, and live forever in His presence. He has caused His glory to shine on us and in us forever and ever. BLESSED BE GOD FOR JESUS CHRIST!
Discussion Question 3: How can your life display the glory of God to those around you?
Discussion Question 4: What has this journey through Exodus taught you?
Establish your milestone born again/life with Jesus date and set it aside. You may not remember the exact date. Maybe you don’t remember any of it. Guess what? That’s okay. If you can’t remember a date or year, then create a milestone marker date to look back on all the Lord has done. It could be the new year, Christmas, Easter, end of the school year, your birthday, or even today. The key is to reflect on all He’s done over the last year and beyond, to spend intentional time in His presence expressing thanksgiving for all He’s done, and to celebrate!
If you can this week, take some time away from all the craziness of life and sit in quiet reflection with the Lord, in His presence, and consider what He’s done through this study of Exodus and in your life.
Next week, we’ll kick off a new four-week study examining how our relationship with Jesus impacts the various areas and relationships in our lives.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.