AN AWESOME SIGHT!! The people were gathered around the base of Mt. Sinai. Moses built an altar and placed twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Since the priesthood had not yet been established, he called for young men to prepare the burnt offering for the altar.
The blood of the offering was used to seal the covenant between God and the Israelites. Half was sprinkled on the altar and the other half was sprinkled on the people. After hearing Moses read the covenant of God to them. They all said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”
Moses then left the people, taking Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Joshua and seventy of the elders with him up the mountain. At that point, they saw the manifestation of God in His glory. From there, Moses and Joshua proceeded even farther up the mount.
After spending six days on the smoke covered mountain, God called Moses on the seventh day to come alone to the top of Mount Sinai. Again, that was an awesome sight. The people at the base of the mountain saw what seemed to be a devouring fire. Moses was in the midst of that cloud forty days and forty nights without food and water in the presence of God.
God demanded and expected the best from His people. In preparation for the building of a place for Him to meet the Israelites for them to worship Him, He gave orders for a free-will offering to be made. This offering was to consist of precious metals, gems, linens, skins, dyes, acacia wood, oil and spices. These items had been brought from Egypt and some were probably spoils from battle.
One of the most important pieces of furniture to be placed in the sanctuary was the ark (of the Testimony). Using eighteen inches as the length of a cubit, the ark was to be forty-five inches long, twenty-seven inches wide and twenty-seven inches deep. It was to be constructed of acacia wood and overlaid inside and outside with pure gold with a molding of gold around it. Two poles of acacia wood overlain with gold were to be passed through a golden ring on each corner for carrying purposes. Since the Israelites would be moving from time to time, everything needed to be easily transported.
A mercy seat made of pure gold the same length and width of the ark was to be placed on top of the ark. Two golden cherubim were to be fashioned and placed facing one another at each end of the mercy seat with their wings covering it. Various items, including the Testimony were to be stored in the ark. God would meet and talk with Moses there.
The table for the showbread was to be constructed of gold covered acacia wood also. It was to be thirty-six inches long, eighteen inches wide and twenty-seven inches high. A gold covered molding was placed around it. Four golden rings and two gold covered acacia poles were used for transporting. Various golden utensils were to be placed upon the table with one of them always containing the showbread.
Another item to be used in the worship was the pure golden lampstand. All of the six branches with holders and ornaments were to be made of pure gold and according to God’s specifications. The completed lampstand with its lamps was made from a talent of gold. It is thought that a talent was seventy-five pounds or more.