The Lord has sanctified His people; now Moses is given instructions pertaining to the fabrication of the furniture within the Tabernacle. An important point relative to this is in 25:9, 40; what the Lord details is not for man to alter. In a study Bible it is likely that one will see the chapter broken into 4 parts: contributions to the tabernacle (25:1-9), the Ark of the Covenant (25:10-22), the Table of Show-Bread (25:23-30), and the Golden Lampstand (25:31-40).
It is worth mentioning that at the foundation of this structure lay the voluntary material contributions of the Israelites. The Tabernacle proper would be the “Holy Place” and the “Holy of Holies.” Inside the “Holy of Holies” would be the Ark of the Covenant. The ten commands given by the Lord to Moses would be inside the ark, and the lid that “sealed” the box (ark) would be known as the “mercy seat.” This mercy seat (or covering) would, figuratively, protect/cover the Lord’s commands from the sin of man. The Table of Show-Bread, in the Holy Place, would represent, from a Jewish perspective, the Lord’s prosperity and that it flowed to the whole nation (Chumash, p. 449). The Lamp-Stand had a practical benefit – one that gave light inside the Tabernacle. The structure was closed and light inside would be necessary. There is much in the way of symbolism associated with this lamp, but the only appropriate symbolism for our purposes is the contrast between the artificial light and the true light (John 8:2).
The Tabernacle served an important purpose: it was the meeting place that God set up for Him to meet with man. A Hebrew word often used in this context is the Shechinah (or God’s presence); this does not mean that the Lord’s presence was localized only, but only that the “form of worship” was divinely organized and authorized at a designated location – the Tabernacle.
Application: The application I want to emphasize – mostly because many in the religious world do not – is the importance of following the Lord’s will (25:9, 40). Way too often man has taken it upon himself to alter what the Lord has set forth as if he had authority from the Lord to do so. This is nothing more than presumption of the part of man. Aaron’s son learned a hard lesson on being presumptuous (Leviticus 10), and we too will learn a hard lesson if we continue presuming on the Lord’s authority.