Foundations

“And for the tabernacle you shall make the boards of acacia wood, standing upright.  Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the width of each board.  Two tenons shall be in each board for binding one to another.  Thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle.  And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side.  You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under each of the boards.  And for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, there shall be twenty boards and their forty sockets of silver:  two sockets under each of the boards.  For the far side of the tabernacle, westward, you shall make six boards.  And you shall also make two boards for the two back corners.  They shall be coupled together at the bottom and they shall be coupled together at the top by one ring.  Thus it shall be for both of them.  They shall be at the two corners.  So there shall be eight boards with their sockets of silver – sixteen sockets – two sockets under each of the boards.

“And you shall make bars of acacia wood:  five for the boards on one side of the tabernacle, five bars for the boards on the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards on the side of the tabernacle, for the far side westward.  The middle bar shall pass though the midst of the boards from end to end.  You shall overlay the boards with gold, make their rings of gold as holders for the bars, and overlay the bars with gold.  And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain,” Exodus 26:15-30.

For the tabernacle he made boards of acacia wood, standing upright.  The length of each board was ten cubits, and the width of each board a cubit and a half.  Each board had two tenons for binding one to another.  Thus he made for all the boards of the tabernacle.  And he made boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side.  Forty sockets of silver he made to go under the twenty boards:  two sockets under each of the boards.  And for the other side of the tabernacle, the north side, he made twenty boards and their forty sockets of silver:  two sockets under each of the boards.  For the west side of the tabernacle he made six boards.  He also made two boards for the two back corners of the tabernacle.  And they were coupled together at the bottom and coupled together at the top by one ring.  Thus he made both of them for the two corners.  So there were eight boards and their sockets – sixteen sockets of silver – two sockets under each of the boards.

And he made bars of acacia wood:  five for the boards on one side of the tabernacle, five bars for the boards on the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the tabernacle on the far side westward.  And he made the middle bar to pass through the boards from one end to the other.  He overlaid the boards with gold, made their rings of gold to be holders for the bars, and  overlaid the bars with gold, Exodus 36:20-34 NKJV.

We’ve talked about the different curtains and screens that covered the tabernacle, but we can’t ignore the framework which held it up and together!  All these details may seem boring and difficult to read, but I think you’ll see some great and encouraging truths in them.

I know we’ve mentioned this before, but it’s important to remember that God is in the details.  From the tiniest atom to the largest galaxy, God is there.  Nothing escapes His notice or providence.  Who knows what big thing the tiniest detail may lead to?  God does.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention even to “boring” parts of the Bible.  God has a reason why they are there.  Our verses today might be considered to be in that group.

As we read, each board was 15 feet long and 27 inches wide.  Each board had two tenons on one end, each of which fit into a foundation socket of silver, which held it securely in the sand or soil of the wilderness.  Each corner was also just one board.  You do that by sawing the board with a diagonal cut down the middle.  Then you turn one half of the board over and the cuts fit together at a 90 degree angle.

We have to remember that this was a portable building, designed to be taken apart and moved from place to place.  At the same time, it was designed to be a stable building, built to withstand the wind and the weather.

The whole enterprise depended on its foundation, in this case, sockets of silver.  This is noteworthy because the sockets for the linen fence that enclosed the whole affair were bronze, or actually probably copper because bronze as we know it hadn’t been discovered yet.  The linen fence shut people out from the presence of God.  The fence spoke of “righteousness,” something only the Lord Jesus Christ ever had.  The bronze sockets spoke of God’s justice.  His righteousness, indeed, His whole being, is one of absolute and impeccable righteousness, justice and holiness.

Silver sockets speak of redemption, of “ransom,” as they were cast from the “ransom money” of the male Israelites.

Our Lord had something to say about “foundations.”  In Matthew 7, concluding His remarks in Matthew 5-7, He said,
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, I liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:  and the rain descended, the floods came and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall,”
vs. 24-27.

No wonder the people were astonished at His teaching.  The scribes and other teachers would never have dared to assert their own authority.  But this One has all authority.

Now, there are some things which might be said in favor of the foolish man.  It’s a lot easier to build on sand than to anchor a building on bedrock.  It’s also no doubt quicker.  It’s a lot less work and expense just to build on sand.  The foolish man would be able to enjoy his house much sooner than the man laboring away on the rock.  He could sit on his patio and laugh at his neighbor.

And, what people may not stop to think about, as long as the sun is shining one house is as good as the other.  It’s not until the rain and the floods and the wind come that the real value of the foundation is discovered.

So it is.  The worldling and the fool looks at the Christian and scoffs.  All that work!  All that going to church, reading the Bible, trying to live by old and outdated viewpoints!  What good are they?  And so, an openly gay professing Christian can run for President, people can come illegally into this country and be welcomed, we worry about the “constitutional rights” of convicted felons, while those who try to live according to Scripture are ridiculed and hounded, and the sun rises every morning and “life goes on.”

Nobody pays any attention.

But…

…the rain is coming,

the floods,

the wind.

They’re all coming.

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