Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lesson - The Tabernacle

VERSES:   Exodus 35-40; Hebrews 9:2-7

MEMORY VERSE:   Exodus 40:38   "For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys."  (This is a long verse this time. Feel free to shorten it for younger students.)

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Last time to review all of the 39 books of the Old Testament. We will begin memorizing the 27 books of the New Testament soon.

PRAYER:  Thank God for providing His Word as a Light to the lost and a comfort to His children.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog)

VISUAL AID:   Pictures of blue, purple, and red cloth and fine linen, goats hair, ram's skins dyed red, badger skins, oil, spices and onyx stones. At the end, produce a picture or drawing of the tabernacle.

LESSON POINTS:   (Note: The last six books of Exodus are combined due to fact that they all are written concerning the construction of the tabernacle. Maybe I am the only one, but for some reason, this is a more difficult lesson to teach the younger children. Again, feel free to simplify. Older students may enjoy more detailed lessons on how the tabernacle was made and its many details.)
  • Moses called all of the people together and told them God had special things that He wanted them to do. Moses started by telling them, like he had before, that God wanted them to remember the Sabbath Day and reminded them not to work at all that day because it was a day of rest. No matter what jobs they had to do, or how much work there was to do, there was no working on the Sabbath Day! They still needed to remember this day and to keep it holy.
  • Because the children of Israel had seen the people in Canaan and Egypt bow down to idols for many years, they did not think it was strange to worship idols. The people at that time seemed to want to worship something that they could see with their eyes, but the Canaanites and Egyptians had not known God like the children of Israel had known Him. The children of Israel could not see God because God was everywhere. Then Moses began to explain what God had in His mind for the people to do: They were going to make a place where God could live among His people. It was called the tabernacle and it was a very special place. It was unusual because it wasn't like one of the houses that we know. The people lived in tents and were traveling. Where were they going? That's right! To the Promised Land! So, like the tents that the people lived in which could be put up and taken down, that is how God's house was. It was like a big tent that was put on poles for easy traveling on the priests' shoulders, moving when God told the people to move. 
  • Moses told the people that God commanded anyone with a willing heart to bring offerings of gold, silver and brass for the tabernacle. They could also bring blue, purple, and red cloth and fine linen, goats hair, ram's skins dyed red, badger skins, and special wood. They were to bring oil for light, and spices, and onyx stones. God commanded that any of the people who were skillful or had a special talent to make things to come and create all the things that God wanted them to make. God told them exactly what to do and where things should go. 
  • Men and women brought their bracelets, earrings, rings, all their jewels of gold, and all the things that God told them to bring. There were many people who gave willingly and freely. There were women who spun fabric and goat's hair with their hands. Even the leaders of the people gave precious onyx stones. Every man and woman brought something to offer (Ex. 35:29). Moses said that God called certain men and filled them with special knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to work with the gold, silver, and brass, and how to cut stones the right way, and carving wood, and other artistic works, and how to embroider and weave.The people kept bringing so many offerings that finally Moses had to tell the people to stop because they had enough materials. 
  • God told the people the exact lengths, widths and quantities of everything He wanted and the people made it exactly like God told them. They made the boards, pins, sockets, veils, cherubims, door hangings, and hooks that went into the tabernacle. They could not go to the store and buy things since they were out in the wilderness, so God commanded them to make everything for the tabernacle and told them how to do it. The people made the ark that God wanted, the altar that God wanted, and the holy clothing for Aaron that God wanted. They made the furnishings in the tabernacle like the candlestick, the table, the lamps, the laver that God wanted. A laver is like a big basin or tub to wash in. Before Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons went into the tabernacle, they had to wash their hands and their feet in the laver like God wanted.There was a sanctuary where God wanted the candlestick, the table, and showbread. There was also a VERY special place in the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies area in which only the high priest could go. It was here where God wanted a golden pot of manna , Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant. (Heb. 9:2-7) Finally, the tabernacle was finished.Then a cloud covered the tabernacle and the glory of God filled the tabernacle. 
  • Let's turn to Exodus 40:36-38 to see how the children of Israel knew when they should travel on to the Promised Land. (Read verse.) Let's place our bookmarks right here until next time. How did the people know when to leave? That's right! When the cloud went up from the tabernacle, the children of Israel moved closer to the Promised Land. But if the cloud did not go up, then the children of Israel stayed where they were until God told them to move and the cloud went up. The cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day  and fire was on it by night. All of the children of Israel could see the cloud or the fire throughout all of their journeys.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Perhaps the older students could draw a picture of the tabernacle and place the furnishings, altar, etc. in it. As you read the verses concerning the tabernacle, draw as you read.
ACTIVITY:  The Tabernacle and the Cloud and Fire
Materials needed:   9" x 15" piece of brown construction paper, orange tissue paper, cotton batting, crayon or marker.
  1. Hand out brown paper to student. This is the tabernacle.
  2. Fold brown paper in half, lengthwise.
  3. Fold brown paper in half again, lengthwise.
  4. Unfold brown paper.
  5. Write "The Tabernacle" and "Exodus 35-40" on the tabernacle.
  6. "The Tabernacle" is able to stand on its own.
  7. Hand out removable cotton for cloud and tissue paper for fire, so the student may tell the story to others easily.