Exodus 25-31 Sermon Notes – The Tabernacle


Pastor Rick Duncan

One of my favorite passages is Matthew 11:28–30. Jesus cries out, “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.” 

Jesus invites you and longs for you to come into His presence. And what do you get when you get there? Two weeks ago, we talked about 7 benefits of living in the presence of God. I did more study this past week and found 3 more benefits.  


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4a 


Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.  Psalm 73:23-24a 


And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 

Add these three to what we discovered 2 weeks ago and here are to benefits to living in the presence of God.

  • Courage (Psalm 23:4a) 
  • Guidance (Psalm 73:23-24a) 
  • Transformation (II Corinthians 3:18) 
  • Rest (Exodus 33:14) 
  • Protection (Revelation 7:15b) 
  • Renewal (Acts 3:20a) 
  • Strength (Psalm 105:4) 
  • Help (Hebrews 4:16) 
  • Reward (Hebrews 11:6) 
  • Joy (Psalm 16:11) 

Which one do you need more of most today? You’ll get more of that by living in his presence. 

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, had all of that when they lived in the Garden. But they lost it when they sinned. And because our hearts are disobedient, ungrateful, sinful, rebellious hearts like theirs, Paradise has been lost to us, too. It’s why we live our lives without a sense of God’s presence.  

But God has been on a mission since the Garden. He has been pursuing His people so they can enjoy the benefits of His presence. And what we have in Exodus is the story of God hearing the groans and the cries of His people, bringing them out of slavery in Egypt, leading them to the Promised Land, and, along the way, providing them with His presence. Last week, Pastor Joe reminded us that God saves His people – you and me – for relationship with Him, for closeness to Him. 

That’s why it’s significant that we come now to Exodus 25-30, the building of the Old Testament Tabernacle.  

It would be easy for us to dismiss this as a boring study of archaic architecture that has absolutely nothing to do with our lives today. But we would be wrong. The Tabernacle gives us a pathway into the presence of God. It’s super-relevant for us today. 

Read Exodus 25:1-8.

God knows the people need His Presence!  

Now, we know that God is omnipresent. Psalm 139 tells us that He’s everywhere all the time. He’s with and all around you. And if you are a follower of Jesus, He’s in you.   

However, sometimes God manifests Himself in ways that cause us to see and sense Him more. Theologian John Frame calls this “the intensive presence of the Lord.” The intensity and the intimacy of His presence can be expressed by Him and experienced by us in increasingly powerful ways. 

And that’s what God has in mind with the Old Testament Tabernacle. He wants His intensive presence to be experienced. 

Today, we’re going to share with you a video we found that walks us through the Tabernacle and shows us where this intensive presence of God was made manifest.  

The Ark of the Covenant

Exodus 25:10-11, 18, 21-22 

Moses met with God there. And then, once a year, the High Priest would be able to go into the Holy of Holies on behalf of all the people and  

So, what was the pathway to the ark?  

The Bronze Altar – Exodus 27:1-4

The Bronze Basin – Exodus 30:17-20

The Golden Lampstand – Exodus 25:31-32

The Table for Bread – Exodus 25:23-24, 30

The Altar of Incense – Exodus 30:1, 3, 6

The Veil – Exodus 26:31, 33

We are meant to see Jesus in the Tabernacle.  

The Gate. 

I am the Way…John 14:6 

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…John 10:9 

The Bronze Altar 

[Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26 

The Bronze Basin 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The Golden Lampstand 

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 

The Table of Bread 

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger…”  John 6:35 

The Golden Altar of Incense 

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you… Psalm 141:2a 

[Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 

The Curtain 

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Mark 15:37-38 

The Ark 

We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us… Hebrews 10:19-20 

I know you’re facing challenges and opportunities and troubles and temptations. I know you have hardships and hurts. I know you have questions and conflicts. I know you need help with all these things. More importantly, God knows you need help! He’s waiting for you to linger unhurried in His presence.  

Could it be that God brought you here today to let you know that what you need it’s not a better plan of action, but a better experience of His Presence?  

God knows everything you’re experiencing. And He also knows that if you will spend time in His presence, then you will gain perspective and power to handle anything that life throws at you.  

You don’t need strategy; you need a Savior. You don’t need a plan; you need a Person. 

In order to teach us how to pray effectively, Jesus gave us a Model Prayer, commonly called the Lord’s Prayer. Through the centuries, Christians have used Jesus’ pattern as a way to stay focused and fervent in prayer.  

Christian leaders have also seen a pattern for prayer in the architectural layout of the Old Testament Tabernacle.  

I want to model for you how you can follow the floor plan of the Tabernacle, praying through each station so you can experience more of His presence.