And you shall make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare…
I. THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE.
1. The situation of the altar.
(1) It faced the worshipper as he entered. The cross of Christ must be held up before men, if they are to be brought nigh to God.
(2) It stood before the holy place, and had to be passed by all who entered there. The realisation of Christ's atonement for sin is the only path to God's presence.
2. The altar, on which the sacrifice for sin is laid, is the place of power. The horns, the symbol of Divine power. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation.
3. In Christ God gives us a place for accepted offerings. The altar was Israel's as well as God's: upon it were laid their offerings as well as those prescribed for the daily service and the great day of atonement. In Christ we are able to offer sacrifices that are well pleasing to God.
II. THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE.
1. Its limits were appointed by God himself. The Church must be made no broader than his commandment makes it. In his own time he will make it conterminous with the world; but meanwhile we must obey his commandment and fulfil his purpose by making it conterminous with living faith.
2. It was for all Israel. Living faith in Christ should be a passport to all his churches.
3. How the court was formed -
(1) Its walls were made of fine linen. The distinction between the world and the Church is righteousness.
(2) The gate was formed of blue and purple and scarlet. Entrance is had not by man's righteousness, but by bowing beneath the manifested grace of God in Christ.
III. THE OIL FOR THE LAMPS.
1. It was the free-will offering of the people. The light of the world springs from the consecration of believers.
2. It was to be pure. Believers must keep themselves unspotted from the world.
3. It was to be beaten, not pressed, and thus be the finest which the olive could yield. The highest outcome of humanity is the Christ-like life.
4. The lamps were to burn always. Our light, the flame of love, must burn constantly before God, and its radiance be shed always before men.
5. The lamps were to be tended by the ministers of God. The aim of those who labour in weird and doctrine should be the development of Christ-like life, love to God and man. - U.
Parallel VersesKJV: And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.