After the tabernacle is constructed, God commands Moses to anoint it “so that it may become holy” (40:9). Before this in Exodus, only one location has been described as holy: Mount Sinai (3:5; 19:23). Significantly, both of these verses describing God’s presence at Sinai emphasize the distance required between God and his people. However, through the tabernacle God brings his holy presence right into the midst of his people. In what ways does this foreshadow the gospel?
What is your basic want in life? Select one of the following questions and give your answer to the group: What do I consider to be the goal of my life? What would it mean for me to do something really significant? When it’s all over, what do I hope I will have accomplished? What do I want for my epitaph?
In introducing the Ten Commandments, God recalls what he has done for Israel (20:2) before calling them to obey him (20:3–17). Based on this, how should we understand the role of obedience in Israel’s relationship with God? How does this parallel the role of good works in relation to the good news of Jesus?
Read Exodus 17:8-16. Israel’s battle against Amalek contains the last appearance of the “staff of God” (17:9), which was the instrument used to bring the plagues against Egypt (e.g., 4:17, 20; 7:17; 8:5, 16; 9:23), to part the Red Sea (14:16), and to bring water from the rock (17:5). What do these prior uses of the staff suggest about the nature of the battle that ensues?
Read Exodus 15:1-12. The majority of Israel’s song of praise recalls God’s destructive judgment against Israel’s enemies, as does the reprise of verse 21. How might we apply this emphasis to our understanding of our own salvation? For clarification, see Eph. 6:10–13.