The Purpose of the Wilderness Tabernacle: The Metals and Their Meaning - Owlcation - Education
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The Purpose of the Wilderness Tabernacle: The Metals and Their Meaning

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Tamarajo is an avid Bible Studier who loves nothing more than to seek out the treasures in God's Word and share them with others.

the-wilderness-tabernacle

Introduction

On Mount Sinai, Moses received more than just the Ten Commandments. Also included were the detailed instructions for building a meeting place for God and His people. The Tabernacle was a temple of worship that involved specific protocols and procedures. These protocols purposely provided a possible means for God's people to dwell with Him per God's request.

Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.

— Exodus 25:8

From the fall in Genesis up until the Tabernacle construction, the Bible records people occasionally walking and talking with God but not dwelling with Him. As we shall see, it is within the framework of this Old Testament sanctuary that God draws His people closer to Himself through an intricate sacrificial system. This arrangement can speak volumes to us today about the specifics of such a great salvation and indescribable gift.

. . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation . . . ?

— Hebrews 2:3

Every detail that Christ accomplished to restore our relationship with God can be discovered in the particulars of the wilderness tabernacle.

In this lesson, we will learn that giving is not random. God asks specifically for certain things, and lying resident within the symbols of each is a precious lesson concerning God's lavish provision. We begin with the metals.

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Three Metals

The Tabernacle construction project's first requested items concerned three metals: gold, silver, and bronze (sometimes translated brass but most likely copper).

And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze (copper) . . .

Exodus 25:3

Two of these were acquired before leaving Egypt.

. . . let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.

— Exodus 11:2

Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

— Exodus 12:34-36

A genuine unalloyed tarnished copper mirror Circa 1500 BC

A genuine unalloyed tarnished copper mirror Circa 1500 BC

The Bible doesn't expound on where the third metal, copper, came from, but we could assume that the women were already in possession of it in the form of mirrors before leaving Egypt.

He made the laver of bronze (copper) and its base of bronze (copper), from the bronze (copper) mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting

— Exodus 38:8

Copper mirrors still exist today.

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Special Properties of This Metal Trio

These three metals have many things in common, and viewing their physical commonalities can explain why these metals go together in Bible typology. Each one exhibits the necessary elements of salvation that made it possible for us to be in contact with God.

  • Gold, silver, and copper are the first three on the list of seven metals of antiquity as they are the first three to be discovered from a human history perspective, and relative to this, they are native metals.

The tabernacle has its roots in the very first tabernacle of the garden in Eden.

  • They are all three known as group eleven elements and appear together vertically on the periodic table of elements, as displayed in the above chart. They are understood to be transition metals that form a bridge between two sides of the periodic table.

These metallic elements will illustrate for us how God bridged the gap between heaven and earth, that sin created, through His Son Jesus.

  • Only gold, silver, and copper qualify as genuine, noble metals based on their electron structure, making them resistant to corrosion and oxidation. Although silver and copper can tarnish in color, this process does not break down the metals themselves. Tarnish is simply a reactive coating on the surface.

The tabernacle concerns connection with eternal and unchanging things.

  • These three also are noted for their antimicrobial features that resist both bacteria and viruses.

Contact with God is cleansing and healing. It is interesting that when Moses destroyed the golden calf, he burnt it, ground it to powder, put it in water, and made the children of Israel drink it. With its germ-fighting qualities, this could have been a remedial prescription for possible infectious conditions that may have occurred when they "rose up to play" before their self-created god.

  • All three are ductile, which means they can be stretched into a thin wire as well as malleable.

Contact with God through His prescribed system will soften us and make us pliable in His hands.

  • All three are excellent conductors of heat and electricity.

Contact with God includes power that we cannot generate nor produce in and of ourselves.

Reading just a little bit into these natural properties of metal gives us a glimpse of heavenly, eternal, and spiritual illustrations that we will look at more specifically with each metal.

In relationship to heavenly things, science theorizes that these metals came from other heavenly bodies that either collided with the planet or trajected these elements towards and into it at some point in creative history. This theory might explain why there is a heavenly or spiritual association with metals in the Bible and why God uses them in connection with the spiritual act of worship. In particular, silver and gold were used in the fashioning of idols; the other "gods."

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.

— Psalm 135:15

These metal's heavenly origins also explain why these three metals, and only these three metals, are used in the construction of this tabernacle of worship patterned after heavenly realities.

Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us

— Hebrews 9:24

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The Currency of Metals

Gold, silver, and copper are referred to as the "royal family" in the world of metals because they are considered currency metals and, therefore, can be attached to concept ideas having to do with value. These are used in this respect in the New Testament when Jesus sends out His disciples.

Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts.

— Matthew 10:9

Also, currency implies transactions between parties, of which this structure is all about. Our spiritual condition concerned a transaction. Salvation, therefore, required a transaction. Economic metaphors and language are standard tools used in the Bible to express concepts of sin and righteousness.

. . . the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

— Romans 8:23

These metals will serve as tools in this portion of our lesson to understand the illustration of value and transaction, considering that the price paid was something even more precious than these.

. . . you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot . . .

— I Peter 1:18-19

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Gold

The first mentioned of these metals is gold. Gold's very first occurrence is in Genesis chapter two. Once again, we see the temple pattern themes with their origins in Genesis.

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good . . .

— Genesis 2:10-12

Gold is the only metal mentioned before the fall. Gold also stands alone as the last said metal of the Bible at the restoration of all things in the heavenly city.

And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

— Revelation 21:21

Gold's connection with God's pure, glorious, eternal, and holy characteristics is displayed in plan "A" of creation and restored in plan "B."

The writer of Hebrews also makes this connection with gold, holiness, and glory when discussing the Old Testament tabernacle with three mentions of gold in the "Holiest of All."

behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory (these were gold too) overshadowing the mercy seat.

— Hebrews 9:3-5

Gold is set apart (holy) from the others; in that it is the only one of the three metals that do not tarnish. It remains virtually unchanged throughout time and exposure, hinting at the glorious eternal illustrations gold exhibits for us in terms of faith. Faith is the currency of heaven.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.

— I Timothy 6:12

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Gold and Faith Refined

Gold in scripture is symbolic of tried and tested faith in the goodness of God. Faith finds its most exquisite exhibit in a life that glorifies Him.

Gold and faith are both refined and purified by fire.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ . . .

— I Peter 1:6-9

In connection with this concept of gold, glory, and tested faith, the Hebrew word for glory means heavy with substance. Gold is understood to be very dense and, therefore, heavy metal.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

— II Corinthians 4:17

A characteristic of gold is that it is the most pliable and versatile metal. It is so soft that it can be scratched with a fingernail.

“You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

— Exodus 28:36

As our faith comes forth as pure gold through test and trial, He will inscribe His holiness on our lives. May we be as pliable and malleable as gold in our faith as we trust him in and with everything.

. . . Today, if you will hear His voice “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness . . .

— Psalm 95:7

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Silver and Redemption

Each of these metals is considered currency metals, but silver is the one most commonly tied to expressions of monetary transactions in the Bible.

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for silver, many times translated money in the Bible, is the present-day Hebrew word for money which is keceph כֶּסֶף.

Silver will illustrate for us the price paid for our redemption in monetary terms. Our ransom was not without cost, as was also mentioned in another section.

In terms of the tabernacle, silver was the foundation that undergirded the entire Holy Place connected with the Holy of Holies. Silver illustrates for us that the whole Christian life lived in fellowship with God is undergirded by the redemption price paid on our behalf.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works

— Titus 2:11-14

This redemptive concept can also be understood when viewed through the census taking atonement money described in Exodus chapter thirty.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord . . . This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary . . . The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord . . . when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the atonement money (silver-keceph כֶּסֶף) of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.

— Exodus 30

This requirement was given after God had delivered His people from slavery to the Egyptians. God purchased their lives with the blood of lambs (a type of Christ) from their harsh servitude, and now they owed their lives to Him.

This would be classic Ancient Near Eastern covenant practice, in that, if someone saved your life, you were indebted in service for life to the one who saved you. The value of restoring a servant was thirty shekels of silver.

If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

— Exodus 21:32

Jesus, the Son of God, humbly takes on this servant position to save us.

the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for man

— Matthew 20:27-29

In return, we become His servant.

"those who by faith have become sharers in the blessings of redemption, have ceased to their own property and become that of their redeemer . . . ye are not your own"

— William Brown

Jesus used monetary/ownership imagery to communicate this same concept to the religious rulers seeking to entrap Him.

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.”

So they brought Him a denarius (a silver coin).

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”

They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way

— Matthew 22:15-22

He was essentially telling them that they owed their lives to the one whose image they were created to bear. Caesar's image was on the silver coin and therefore belonged to him. God's image was stamped on humankind from the beginning, and He now stakes His claim.

God created man in His own image

— Genesis 1:27

Biblically speaking, there is a connection between blood atonement and silver.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

— Leviticus 17:11

Silver was considered the price of blood. Blood was the pure precious commodity required for the cost of redemption. The scene of the betrayal of Judas illustrates this connection for us.

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him (Jesus) to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver . . .

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!

Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

— Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-9

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Copper and Judgement

Our final metal is copper translated bronze or brass in most translations and concerns God's rightful judgment of sin.

There is no copper in the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. It is found in the outer court, where the judgment of sin takes place. This outer portion of the structure was entirely undergirded and pillared with copper.

Just about everything concerning the altar of burnt offering, where sacrifices were made at the door, typifying God's judgment on sin, was covered in copper.

Copper was also used to make the laver of water, as was discussed earlier. This particular furnishing also was housed in the outer court and dealt with a type of self-judgment.

A great example of this connection between copper and judgment is offered to us in a scene where the children of Israel fall under God's judgment and are eventually carried away captive by the Babylonians. Copper receives nine mentions in the account of their exile. Nine can be a number that expresses divine judgment.

At Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes and also slaughtered the Judean commanders. Then he blinded Zedekiah and bound him with bronze (copper) chains...

Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze (copper) pillars for the Lord’s temple and the water carts and the bronze (copper) reservoir that were in the Lord’s temple,and carried all the bronze (copper) to Babylon. They took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, dishes, and all the bronze (copper) articles used in the temple service. The commander of the guards took away the bowls, firepans, sprinkling basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and drink offering bowls whatever was gold or silver.

As for the two pillars, the one reservoir, and the bronze (copper) bulls under the water carts that King Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple, the weight of the bronze (copper) of all these articles was beyond measure. One pillar was 27 feet tall, had a circumference of 18 feet, was hollow—four fingers thick— and had a bronze (copper) capital on top of it. One capital, encircled by bronze (copper) latticework and pomegranates, stood 7½ feet high

— Jeremiah 52:10-11. 17-23

The book of Ezra records the return of these captives after seventy years, as was prescribed. Among the list of returned items that went with them was only one tiny mention of copper, compared to 18 mentions of silver and gold.

And I separated twelve of the leaders of the priests—Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them— and weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the articles, the offering for the house of our God which the king and his counselors and his princes, and all Israel who were present, had offered. I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, silver articles weighing one hundred talents, one hundred talents of gold, twenty gold basins worth a thousand drachmas, and two vessels of fine polished bronze (copper), precious as gold.

— Ezra 8:24-27

Understanding these metals' symbolism helps us discern that their judgment was complete and left behind in Babylon other than the two vessels, which I would surmise was the altar of burnt offering and the laver.

The examples of connections between copper and judgment are endless.

The judgment of sin involved a blood sacrifice. Interestingly, copper is the only one of the three metals with a reddish hue.

Conclusion

A progressive story unfolds with these three metals that speak to how we connect with God through His one and only Son.

To "pass over" into the presence of God, which was in the Holy of Holies, one had to first "pass-through" the entrance of the outer court founded in copper, with a sacrifice, showing us that the first order of business is dealing with our sin.

He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

— Hebrews 9:26

The next "pass over" occurred at the Holy Place entrance, connected to the Holy of Holies, where the presence of the Lord was. This part of the structure was undergirded with silver, which represented the redemption price paid at the expense of God's one and only Son Jesus.

How much more shall the blood of Christ (recall blood's connection with silver), who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

—Hebrews 9:14-16

There will be no meeting with God in the glorious golden Holy of Holies without our sins forgiven and the price of our redemption paid. Our sin required destruction. And our lives need to be purchased back.

Sources

"The Tabernacle: Its Priests and Its Services" by William Brown. Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh and London Publishers. Original copyright 1899

"Tabernacles in the Wilderness" by John Ritchie Kilmarnock Scotland 1891

"Seeing Christ in the Tabernacle" Ervin N. Hershberger. Vision Publishers 2007

Questions & Answers

Question: Is the picture of the Wilderness Tabernacle at the top of the page the same as the model built in Timnah, Israel?

Answer: Yes, the image is the Timnah model. It is from Wikimedia Commons. Thank you for asking. I will be adding this info to the article.

© 2018 Tamarajo

Comments

Tamarajo (author) on June 29, 2020:

Hello again Johnson,

Wow! That is a lesson in and of itself. The Gospel shows up in every detail once again.

Thank you for this lesson and adding to the conversation about the metals and their meaning. I will be further contemplating what you wrote.

I would love to hear more of these connections.

God bless!

Johnson on June 28, 2020:

Thank you, sister in Christ, Tamarajo. Appreciate your work for the Lord!

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ! and He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

Yes, as you mentioned Gold is only mentioned before fall and in new creation (New Jerusalem), without change, beginning (alpha) to end(omega). The First river flowed only where the Gold was and the same is true for heavenly Jerusalem where Life giving river of water flows only the Gold street in Bride (Rev 21:9).

Gen 2:10  And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 

Gen 2:11  The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 

Rev 21:21  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

After seven days of creation, God said first time that the Land (first river flowed) was good.

Our Lord said in Gospels, the good ground (Land) only produces fruit .

Mat 13:8  But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Kindly note that there are four lands mentioned in the Parable of Sower, 1. Way side, 2. Stony places, 3. Thorns and 4. Good ground. Is it not amazing that there were four rivers and lands mentioned in the Genesis 2, but only one ground is Good!

Our Lord is referring to the good ground from the Scriptures as we know from the Promise of Abraham:

Deu_1:25  And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.

Deu_1:35  Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,

Any one has good gound (Heart - Matt 13:19) before Born again? Answer is NO, (Rom 7:18, Eph 2:5),

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We can receive new heart (Good Land or ground) by promise as written in Ezekiel (the same promise was given in Torah)

Eze_36:26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Apostle Paul is referring to the same promise :

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

What is exact meaning of New Heart and how it is different from our natural heart? By nature we don't have love God, so that only we are rebelling against His commandments (Eph 2:3, 1Peter 2:10, 1 Tim1:13, Gal 2:15)

In the gospels, Jesus (and His teaching) was not received by Jews and our Lord answer was:

Joh_5:42  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Joh_8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

When we receive Jesus Christ in our Heart by hearing Gospel with faith, We are born again, and make Him Lord in our life, so receive New Heart which has full of LOVE!

We can see faith and Love works together, the covenant is pure LOVE of God and Love Him!

Gal_5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

1Co_8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

God is love (1Jn_4:8 ) we know Love (God) does not change. So that only we can see the beginning and end of the Gold was there without any change. Who is from the begining to end and there is no change - Lord Jesus Christ! (Rev 1:8, Eph 1:4, Heb 13:8, John 8:58, Isai 44:6)

1Co 13:13  But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 

Without abiding in Lord Jesus Christ (His new covenant teachings, words are Spirit and Life), we can not bear Fruit.

Joh_14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

First church in Ephesus our Lord is saying in revelation,

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 

Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 

In Philadelphia Church our Lord is saying that as the church kept His word and Lord promised to show His love:

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 

Rev 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

The river of water Life is Holy Spirit, proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb, flows to the Gold street. In the Moses Tabernacle, the Holy and Most holy place vessels and walls were built only by Gold. Similarly Solomon temple also only Gold was used in Holy and Most holy places and vessels. We are the temple and if have (like Philadelphia Church ) LOVE our Lord (keep His commandments) surely the river of water Life (Holy Spirit) flow from us to bless all the nations! Let us keep commandments of our God (Love) and call Him, Come Lord Jesus Christ! 

Tamarajo (author) on June 20, 2020:

Hello Johnson,

Your question provokes some interesting thoughts. Perhaps the Revelation counsel to buy gold is intentionally connected to God's counsel to the Israelite children to ask for gold from their neighbors.

God's issue with Laodicea was their dependence on luxury and comfort rather than on God. They had become self-sufficient. The whole Exodus narrative centers on testing and trial that required total dependence on God. The counsel to buy/ask for gold is to forfeit the here and now comforts for a fiery development of our faith through trial.

We see this idea hinted at when the people begin to complain in the wilderness about how they were comfortable back in Egypt with their onions, garlic, and leeks.

Thank you for your thoughtful question. I will continue to ruminate on this one.

I appreciate your visit.

God bless!

Johnson on June 16, 2020:

Hello sister in Christ!

Can you tell me what is the connection between the Hebrews were asking the gold from his neighbor in Egypt and Lord's counsel to buy gold tested by fire (Laodicea- revelation). Do you see any revelation here?

thank you

Tamarajo (author) on May 22, 2020:

Hi Zechariah. I'm pleased that you have found this study useful. Your welcome to use these findings however the Lord would direct you.

Thank you for your blessing. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

God bless!

Zechariah zayin on May 21, 2020:

So much love to use your findings in my project.

May the LORD continues to impute you with rich Divine wisdom in all matters regarding HIS all glorious Kingdom.

Tamarajo (author) on October 01, 2019:

AllandSundry,

My sincere apologies for the late reply.

That is an interesting take on the connection with the scientific ages considering that the writers of the Hebrew/Aramaic Biblical text most likely had not categorized time periods and history in this way. Prophetic perhaps.

You bring up the topic of humanity's idolatry with greed, and wealth, as opposed to values of virtue and generosity. In the "garden" narrative in Genesis chapter three the scene includes a "type" of greed and monetary transaction. Most translations record that Eve viewed the tree as something that could make her wise. The Hebrew word used in this situation is not the most common word for wisdom. It is a word that includes the ideas of wealth and success. This scene immediately follows the details of God's generous provisions.

They rejected the offer and what happened next was nothing short of a seriously bad deal. In fact, the book of Ezekiel calls it "trading"

"In the abundance of your trading, they filled the midst of you with violence, and you sinned, and I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I expelled you, the guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire"

Ezekiel 28:16

The more detailed description of this "trading" is described in Ezekiel 27 where the word "trading" is used 11 times and the description very much resembles the time period in which we live in terms of buying, selling, and acquisition. More more more.

Entitlement and pride are very much at the root of addiction and greed. The drive to acquire more monetarily or otherwise with no strings or loyalties attached to the generous provider will inevitably result in chaos and decomposition rather than order and peace. (Genesis 1:2 day 2 the only day not called good) This pattern of mankind has been cycling ever since. "Nothing new under the sun"

We certainly are insatiable creatures who seem to never be able to accumulate enough to satisfy ourselves whether it be money, status, or chemical high. I think that was the lesson of the third chapter of Genesis. Although they were provided with everything they chose to greedily take what was not theirs. even though they had enough. They only wanted what they could not have. This appears to be a problem with all of us sadly.

I also think that is why so many of Jesus' teachings were set in monetary terms. Greed, selfish gain, and corruption altogether all come with a price and a trade. "The wages of sin is death . . . "

"Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money."

Isaiah 52:3

He really is the All-Sufficient Generous God. In submission to Him we have no need for greed.

"The Bible Project" guys have an excellent podcast on the generosity of God that is fantastic as it relates to this topic.

Thank you so much for stopping and adding to the conversation on this article. I will be pondering more on this.

Sincerely,

Tamara

AllandSundry on September 27, 2019:

Speaking for myself, I know for a fact that I am always better off idolizing a live, ethereal and a lofty ideal, than idealizing and a dead, stony, and a lowly idol. But the passage I was looking for, which I was not all that familiar with, since I am not christian but what struck me is that part about the idol made out of different metals, which is smashed by a rock, since the metals represent the different scientific ages namely the iron age, bronze and copper age, the silver and golden age, which will be smashed by a rock, returning civilization back to the stone age apparently, which I feel is significant, but perhaps it had to be or rather it was inevitable, since we tend to value money and wealth more than we value morals and virtue. Greed and Generosity are opposite value systems. Every smoker, drinker and drug addict , is proud when he takes up the habit in thinking to himself, "I can quit it any time I want", but how many have truly succeeded, since it is not all that easy to give it up. Till the last time I checked , money only corrupts morals, debases character and vulgarizes conduct and behavior, so things are bound to take a turn for the worse. However I am an optimist at heart.

Tamarajo (author) on June 04, 2019:

Hello Anosike, Thank you for the blessing and I am blessed that this lesson was of benefit to you. I agree that as you beautifully stated that "Salvation is indeed a deep and thorough work of grace" and it is valuable for us to examine every aspect of this great Salvation

I appreciate your visit and your comment.

God bless!

Anosike ugochukwu on June 03, 2019:

Very insightful and Rich. May God continue to enlighten your understanding and ours too. Salvation is indeed a deep and thorough work of grace. Love you Jesus Christ.

Tamarajo (author) on January 07, 2018:

Thank you Bill,

I probably mentioned this before but I'm learning so much myself from studying this.

Looking deeply at this structure is causing me to examine my own complacency towards the relevant details of so great a salvation.

It is my sincere hope that sharing the studies will be similarly useful to "whomsoever" would wish to draw near and understand salvation more profoundly.

I always appreciate your encouragement Bill! Thanks for stopping by.

God bless!

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on January 07, 2018:

Tammy, you amaze me. All the digging and research you bring out leaves little doubt as to what God's message has always been, down to the finest detail. Thanks for another well-done article.

Tamarajo (author) on January 05, 2018:

Hi Richard, I'm glad to hear the study is useful. It's amazing how deep the well gets when we just keep digging. It appears to be infinite.

I thank you much for your visit and comment.

Richard Parr from Australia on January 05, 2018:

Love your work! Well researched and presented, and very enlightening. Thank you