Exodus Chapter 25 Verses 1-9 

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” 

From reading the above we make the following observations: 

1.  The people were to make a free will offering.  It was to be an offering from their heart and not compelled upon them.  They were not being forced to make this offering, but were to make it as God placed it upon their heart. 

2.  Most of the things that were to be offered were both expensive, of great value, and often rare.  Their worship came with a price to be paid.  Likewise, unlike what many people think today, true worship costs.  If you are not willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ, then you probably will not be willing to practice true worship of God.

3.  All of the items that were to be offered have a biblical significance, which we will attempt to show as those things are used in the building of the tabernacle, its furniture and in the garments of the priests and in the worship service.

4.  The tabernacle and all its instruments were to be made after the pattern God showed Moses in the mount.  There was no room for deviation.  Man was not to take from it or to add to it.  True worship today has the same criteria.  We are to worship according to the pattern shown us in the New Testament and we are not to add to it or to take from it. 

Verses 25:10-16 

:10 “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.” 

The Lord said in John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  The scriptures are a continual testimony of Jesus.  At the time this was said the New Testament had not been written.  When studying the Old Testament we should be constantly looking for the testimony of Jesus.  Paul wrote in Heb. 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”  Obviously this is a reference to what we read in Ex. 25:9.  Therefore what we read concerning the tabernacle and its furniture is a shadow of good things to come.  While the shadow is not the object itself, it does outline to us the shape of the object and leads us to the object.   

The Ark of the Covenant described to us above is a shadow of Jesus Christ.  We will now notice some of the parallels between the Ark of the Covenant and the covenant work of Jesus Christ:

1.  The Ark of the Covenant was a vessel that held and was used to preserve and protect the two tables of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel.  Similarly, the work of Jesus Christ including preserving and executing the covenant of redemption and those embraced by that covenant. 

2.  The Ark of the Covenant also had placed within it a bowl of manna for preservation to future generations.  The manna was the food that the children of Israel were given by God while they journeyed in the wilderness.  Similarly, the Lord said, Matt. 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  Moreover, he said, Matt. 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  The manna being a type of the written word of God, Jesus lived and kept every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.

3.  The third object in the Ark of the Covenant was Aaron’s rod that budded.  Aaron’s rod was chosen over the representatives rods of the other eleven tribes as it budded and brought forth fruit.  They were all dead rods, yet Aaron’s rod came back to life or was resurrected.  Jesus is the resurrection and the life.  Jesus arose from the dead after three days and nights in the grave.  Moreover, Jesus is our hope of the resurrection of our bodies.

4.  The Ark of the Covenant was covered within and without with pure gold.  Gold in the scriptures is used in connection with kings and kingdoms.  Jesus is the King of kings and reigns today as the King of the kingdom of God.  That which is pure is symbolic of that which is holy or righteous.  Jesus is the Holy One of God and he alone is altogether righteous.  Moreover, he is altogether righteous in his divine nature and in his human nature. 

5.  The Ark of the Covenant was crowned with gold.  According to Heb. 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” 

6.  There were two rings on each side of the Ark of the Covenant making a total of four rings.  There were two staves each of which went through two of the rings on each side of the Ark of the Covenant.  The staves were used to bear the Ark of the Covenant.  Man’s hands were not to touch the Ark of the Covenant.  The number four is associated with the work of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures whereas the number two is associated with the subject of witness in the scriptures.  Only the Levites were to bear the Ark of the Covenant.  In parallel, the work of Christ is his work alone and man has no part in executing that work.  Moreover, the carrying of the Ark was the work of the Levites.  Likewise, the gospel message today of Jesus Christ is borne by his called called ministers.  They did not assist in the work (man’s hands were not to touch the Ark) but simply carry the message of what Christ has done for his people.  This message is found in the scriptures which is the work of the Holy Spirit.