The Tabernacle Was Built
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Exodus 15:2a
Thirteen of the last sixteen chapters of the Book of Exodus contain instructions for building the tabernacle. The word tabernacle means “dwelling place.” The tabernacle was a portable tent where God met with His people. God wanted to dwell among them. (See Ex. 29:45-46.)
Moses had been on the mountain talking with God for 40 days. God wrote the Ten Commandments, the words of the covenant, on tablets. When Moses returned to the camp, he called all of the Israelites together and gave them the instructions God had given him. (Ex. 24:3-4)
God’s directions for building the tabernacle were very detailed. God was not trying to burden the people; He was trying to show them His holiness and absolute authority. God appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to oversee the building of the tabernacle, giving them wisdom, understanding, and craftsmanship. Every skilled person “whose heart moved him” eagerly worked on the tabernacle of the Lord. (See Ex. 35:30-35; 36:1-6.)
God gave the Israelites the tabernacle as a visual picture of His dwelling with them. The tabernacle—and later the temple that replaced it—was a temporary place for God’s glory to dwell until the coming of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) Every part of the tabernacle was designed to illustrate God’s relationship with His people.
Jesus is the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament tabernacle. John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” Jesus made His dwelling with people.
As you talk to your kids about the building of the tabernacle, show themGod instructed the Israelites to build a tabernacle where He would dwell with them. God desires to be with His people. As part of His plan to save sinners, God sent Jesus to “tabernacle,” or dwell, with people on earth.Emphasize that in the future, He will dwell with us forever. (Rev. 21:3)
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God wanted to be with His people.
- God told His people to build the tabernacle.
- The people built the tabernacle just as God had said.
KEY PASSAGE: Exodus 15:2a
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Who lives with you? What is it like to live with others?
- Why would God want to live with His people?
- Who came to earth to live among people and then rescue us from sin?
- Use blankets and furniture to make an indoor tent. Climb into the tent and read the Bible together.
- Look at clouds. Talk about how the Israelites followed a cloud and Jesus left earth on a cloud. Talk about what it will be like when Jesus comes back to earth and we will live with Him forever. See Acts 1:9-11 and Revelation 21:3.