What do you suppose God’s people were doing on New Year’s Day roughly 3500 years ago? Would you believe they were putting up the tabernacle? “On the first day of the first month, you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting” (Exodus 40:1). “And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up” (40:17).
Earlier in Exodus (chapters 25-31) God had given Moses explicit and detailed instructions about the tabernacle and all of its furnishings, beginning with this exhortation: “According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so shall you make it” (25:9). The Lord repeated this command several times as He specified the dimensions, materials, design, etc., of the tabernacle and its furnishings. “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain” (25:40). “And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain” (26:30). “As it was shown you on the mountain, so shall they make it” (27:8).
Moses and the Israelites took God seriously! “Thus Moses did; according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did” (Exodus 40:16).
The tabernacle and things associated with it were a shadow of the better things Jesus Christ established in the New Covenant. The Hebrews writer taught that we ought to be even more diligent to be faithful in the New Covenant than Moses and the Israelites were in the Old Covenant (Hebrews 2:1-4; 10:28-31).
In this new year, let us renew our determination to follow God’s pattern set forth in the New Testament!
Monday, January 4, 2021
Following the Pattern in the New Year
By Joe Slater
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com