Moses Carefully Carried Out God’s Commands

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This must have been what it was like for Moses and the Israelites. The book of Exodus has given a list of the various components for the tabernacle and the assembly instructions are given. Picture one of the Israelites finishing one of the component parts and bringing it to Moses at the “tent warehouse” where all the tabernacle parts are being kept. The more pieces that are completed, the greater the anticipation of the first time all of them will be put together. The excitement of seeing the tabernacle “come together” must have been great, but waiting for the exact timing of this to happen must have been even harder.

  1. The precise timing was indicated (v. 17). There was a particular day determined by God for this momentous occasion to occur. It was to be the first day of the first month of the second year.2.2222
  2. Obedience with regard to the carrying out of God’s instructions (vv. 18-33). We are told seven times in this passage that Moses did exactly as God commanded him (vv. 19, 21, 23, 25-26, 29, 32).
  3. A priestly role. Moses seems to have had a priestly role, which continued until Aaron and his sons were anointed and installed into the official priesthood of Israel (vv. 27, 29, 31).


The physical assembly of the tabernacle required a long list of tasks and each was important to God. There are many seemingly unimportant tasks that need to be done to keep God’s work progressing. I just need to be willing to do whatever God has for me to do, whenever He wants me to do it.

Exodus 40:17-33 (English Standard Version)

In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Moses erected the tabernacle. He laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars. And he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He took the testimony and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark and set the mercy seat above on the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the ark of the testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil, and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, and set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the veil, and burned fragrant incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put in place the screen for the door of the tabernacle. And he set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed, as the LORD commanded Moses. And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

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