Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20070502.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Hopeless Trials
M. God's Establishment Of The Tabernacle Of Meeting
7. The Courtyard: God's Work To Draw All Men To The Cross
Lesson: The vast, bland, foreboding courtyard wall created a desire in the outside viewer for something better until he came to the beautiful, appealing doorway curtain that led to the altar; thus, the Holy Spirit calls people to Christ's salvation by way of the cross that they might believe and be saved!
- We all care about the eternal welfare of people we know who do not yet trust in Christ, people for whom we pray that they might be saved just like the Apostle Paul prayed for Israel, cf. Romans 10:1.
- God also wants them to be saved according to 2 Peter 3:9, and just how He translates His own concern into action is revealed by the typology of the Tabernacle courtyard wall (as follows):
- The Courtyard: God's Work To Draw All Men To The Cross, Exodus 27:9-19.
- The tabernacle was located in a court that was bordered by a wall of fine twined, undecorated white linen 7 }> feet high held up by brass pillars and sockets with "silver hooks and bands", Exodus 27:9-10, 18 NIV.
- On both the north and south sides, the courtyard was bordered by 100 cubits of this wall so that every five cubits, the white, undecorated linen wall was interrupted by a brass pillar, Exodus 27:9-11.
- Then, on the west side, the courtyard was bordered by 50 cubits of this wall so that every five cubits, the white, undecorated linen wall was interrupted by a brass pillar, Exodus 27:12.
- However, on the east side, though the courtyard was bordered by 50 cubits, only part of the wall was composed of the white linen and bass pillar arrangement: in the center 20 cubits of that east wall was a brilliantly decorated curtain doorway of white linen with blue, purple and scarlet yarn embroidery, easily the most attractive part of the courtyard to an outside viewer, Exodus 27:13-16.
- Then, all the other articles used for the service of the tabernacle, even the tent pegs for the courtyard wall, were to be made of brass, Exodus 27:19.
- This plan for the courtyard typifies God's marvelous work to draw unsaved men to the cross of Christ:
- The 7 }> foot wall surrounding the courtyard, composed mostly of undecorated, white linen held up by brass posts and even brass tent pegs decorated only occasionally by silver hooks and bands revealed the Holy Spirit's work to convict unsaved people of their sin and their need for God's spiritual fulfillment:
- John 16:8-9 reveals the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin since it has not believed on Christ. In the same way, the fine twined white linen bare of decoration around the bulk of the tabernacle court pictured the sinless separation of God from man and thus of man's need to handle his sin problem.
- John 16:8, 10 reveals the Holy Spirit convicts the world of righteousness because Christ has gone to the Father, and they see him no more. Likewise, the long, white, 7 }> foot tall linen wall signified the absolute righteousness of Christ, and that all His fulfilling glory is hidden from the unsaved who are outside the fellowship of God due to their sin that separates them from that fulfilling fellowship.
- John 16:8, 11 reveals the Holy Spirit convicts the world of judgment because Satan, the prince of this world, has been judged at the cross, cf. Col. 2:14-15. Similarly, the brass posts that interrupted the white linen every five cubits typified the Spirit's work to convict the world of this judgment.
- However, just inside the beautifully decorated gate stood the bronze altar, the symbol of the cross of Christ, the place where every man must go to begin a fulfilling relationship with Christ, John 3:16; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1929 ed., vol. V, p. 2890. Accordingly, God the Holy Spirit calls the lost to trust in Christ and His atonement on the cross for salvation, Revelation 22:17a!
- So, just as the outside viewer would see the blandness of the courtyard wall, and so be led to look for a more appealing sight until he came to the beautifully decorated, appealing doorway that led to the altar, so the courtyard wall typifies God's work to draw men to trust in Christ and His work on the cross!
Application: (1) May we pray for the lost that they might be saved. (2) Then, just as the courtyard wall was left bland and foreboding to point all outsiders to the beautiful door and the altar, may we focus on pointing the lost to faith in Christ and His work on the cross for salvation and blessing, Rev. 22:17!