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  • Rick LoPresti

The pattern in the mount


The ten commandments are well known all over the world. Even unbelievers quote them often without realizing it. They are foundational moral rules for all society, not just the faithful. They are prominently displayed in several places in the U.S. Supreme Court building. Children used to be required to memorize them. They can be simply summarized for easy memorization as follows:

1. No other gods

2. No idols

3. Don't take the name of the Lord in vain

4. Remember the Sabbath

5. Honor your parents

6. Don't kill

7. Don't commit adultery

8. Don't steal

9. Don't lie

10. Don't covet

What many people don't realize is that Moses actually made 8 trips up Mt. Sinai and received over 600 commandments. A large portion of them are about the tabernacle and its administration. The tabernacle was the worship center for Israel during their wilderness journey, and until Solomon built the temple about 400 years later. Jesus fulfilled the symbolic purpose of the tabernacle when He came and died for us. That is why John called Him the Lamb of God, and it is why the veil in the temple was supernaturally ripped from top to bottom when Jesus died (Mt 27:51). We no longer offer animal sacrifices because the blood of Jesus was offered once for all (Hebrews 8-10). However, it is highly valueable to study the tabernacle because its many details offer great insight into the mind and plan of God for the ages.

God told Moses to build the tabernacle according to the pattern He showed him on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 25:9 & 40, Hebrews 8:5). Just as God gave Noah the pattern for the ark (Genesis 6), and David the pattern for the temple (1Chronicles 28), God gave Moses specific, detailed instructions on how to build. They followed them (Ex 39:32 & 43). God honored this with His presence (Exodus 40:34-38). God will not honor what we do unless we build according to the pattern He gives us. This pattern is given to us in the Bible. It is the template. It is the blueprint. God is the architect (Psalm 127:1, Matthew 16:18, 1Corinthians 3:9). If we do not follow the blueprints, the architect is not responsible for the failed results. This principle applies to individuals, marriages, families, societies, and churches. The word of God is the only solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27, 1Corinthians 3:10-15, Ephesians 2:20, 2Timothy 2:19). When we try to use any other source, it is doomed to fail. Jesus said plainly that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:1-16). This has been the issue since the garden of Eden (Genesis 3), and it will be until the end of time. If we follow the pattern God set in the Bible, it will work. We ignore it at our own expense.

The Bible has the principles we need for every area of life. All we need to do to be successful is to follow it (Joshua 1:7-8). Even our definition of success must be founded on the scriptures, or we will be chasing rainbows. People, marriages, families, societies, specific church programs, and churches fail not for lack of effort, but for lack of following the pattern. The famous saying "work smart, not hard" applies. We should invest our time, effort, abilities, and resources into executing what God has already laid out instead of trying to rewrite the plan. It is frustrating to try to go about establishing our own agenda (Romans 10:3. Galatians 2:21, Philippians 3:9). Peace and fruitfulness come when we do it God's way.


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