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May 25, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Exodus 33-36

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Context: The Lord ordered that the Israelites remove the ornaments they were wearing.  These ornaments represented pagan beliefs, keeping them from whole heartedly worshiping the Lord.  God calls the Israelites "stiff-necked" people.  The Israelites were chosen as God's people, but not because they were superior.  While the Tabernacle is being built, a tent is set up away from camp where Moses could meet with the Lord.  Joshua is mentioned and is being prepared to take over for Moses, although no one yet recognizes that.  Like many today, Moses wanted to see God, however, he was separated from God by sin, as are we.  God once again created stone tablets for Moses, since the last ones were destroyed.  God also provided a warning for the future, not to make treaties with any in the land they were to conquer or else the Israelites would be led back to idolatry.  God provides instructions to the Israelites on sacrifices, work, and feasts.  Moses face shines from being in the glory of the Lord.  God re-emphasizes the importance of the honoring the Sabbath.  The Israelites freely donated the supplies used in the construction of the Tabernacle.  God assigned two people, whom He had blessed with gifts, to be in charge of the building of the Tabernacle.  Previously, in earlier chapters, we read the Lord's instructions to Moses on how to build the Tabernacle.  Here, we read of the work being completed.

World History: The Israelites were fresh out of slavery.  Where did they get the materials to donate for the construction of the Tabernacle?  Simple!  From the Egyptians, who were so thrilled to have them out of their land that they gave them whatever they wanted.  The Israelites were not robbing the Egyptians, but rather, collecting back wages for the years they had spent in slavery.  God was fulfilling His word, for He had said that the Israelites would leave Egypt wealthy.  The Tabernacle, although a simple and small building, was richly decorated.  Today, it would be worth several million dollars.

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