"For I am a great King,' says the LORD of hosts, 'And My name is to be feared among the nations." Malachi 1:14b
Text: Exodus 25 : 6-7
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN WORSHIP FORM
Some may think that it does not matter how we worship. They postulate that “all that matters is the heart”. A careful study of the Biblical text would teach otherwise! It was the Lord who gave instructions concerning the new way of worship!
The Lord went on to ask for other things for the construction of the Tabernacle.
“Oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil
and for the sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set
in the ephod and in the breastplate.”
1. Exit – The simple patriarchal forms of worship
Patriarchal worship costs next to nothing in contrast to this proposed Tabernacle worship the Lord was introducing! Since it was the Lord Himself who introduced the concept of Tabernacle worship, it meant only one thing. Patriarchal worship would make its exit after Tabernacle worship was formally introduced!
2. Entrance – An elaborate Tabernacle worship
Let us briefly ponder the new elements that were introduced:-
a) “Oil for the light”
“Light” would represent “illumination”. The Tabernacle would always be kept lit! Never would it ever be shrouded by darkness! Israel must ensure a steady supply of oil!
b) “Spices for the anointing oil”
“The anointing oil” was used in different ways. One of the most significant uses was to anoint those who were to be consecrated to serve in the Tabernacle as priests! The anointing oil was to be made of “spices”. (These were not easily obtainable!) Israel would be tasked to locate and purchase these spices.
c) “For the sweet incense”
Spices were to be used to create special “incense”. The “sweet incense” would be offered up together with prayers! The idea of offering “public prayer” to God would now take on greater meaning and significance as well!
d) “Onyx stones and (other stones) to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate”
We have a description of special clothes that the high priest would don when he led in the worship of God! These stones were “semi-precious”. Twelve stones were to be found and placed in the ephod/breastplate worn by the high priest. These stones would represent the twelve tribes of Israel!
All these ideas were ENTIRELY NEW to Israel. Moses would have to devote himself to teaching Israel how to offer acceptable worship to the Lord!