A People Set Apart for Worship: The Divine Purpose for Deliverance from Egypt

Exodus 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.

Specifications for the Sanctuary

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

A Continual Burnt Offering, A Continual Light and a Perpetual Incense

Exodus 29:42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. (Also verses 44-46.)

Leviticus 24:2 Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.

Exodus 30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.

7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.

8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.

Free Will Offerings

Leviticus 19:5 If ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, ye shall offer it at your own will.

Not After the Pattern of Other Gods

Deuteronomy 12:29 When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

31 Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods…


MEMORY VERSE: And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. —Exodus 25:22


CENTRAL THOUGHT: In His law, God laid down certain eternal requirements as to what kind of worship He would accept. They were physically carried out in the worship of the tabernacle, but were shadows and figures of our spiritual worship in the New Testament church.




Exodus 3:12 “Upon this mountain”: Mount Horeb, where Moses received his commission. When God brought the children of Israel safely from Egypt and over the Red Sea, they journeyed to the foot of the very same mountain, in the wilderness of Sinai, where God spoke to them and gave them the law. “The first reference to Mt. Sinai in the Bible uses the designation “Horeb” (Exodus 3:1). Of the 17 times this name appears in the Old Testament, mainly in Deuteronomy, only once is it given the designation ‘Mt. Horeb’ (Exodus 33:6), otherwise it is simply ‘Horeb.’ It is apparent from the many times the term is used in reference to events that occurred at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 33:6; Deuteronomy 4:10; 5:2; 9:8; 18:16; 29:1; 1 Kings 8:9), that Horeb is an alternative name for Mt Sinai an.d not another mountain or area near Mt. Sinai.” —biblearcheology.org.

Exodus 25:8 “Sanctuary”: a consecrated thing or place–chapel, hallowed part, holy place.

Deuteronomy 12:31 “Abomination”: something disgusting, morally; an abhorrence, especially idolatry, or an idol.




The worship of the true God and His corresponding fellowship and abiding with them was the real purpose for which He delivered His people out of Egypt. In the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai, He revealed the pattern for the tabernacle of worship with exact dimensions and specifications of materials, sacrifices, cleansings, clothing, fabrics, times, order, and manner. There is not enough time in our lesson to include all the commands; we have made only a brief outline of a very few of the essential elements of the worship in the tabernacle.

If you go through the entire law, you will see a prevailing theme: holiness unto the Lord. Everything was to be consecrated entirely to God. Every practice was to be holy, every item was to be cleansed and anointed, every sacrifice was to be without blemish, and every person who served was to be dedicated, washed, anointed and atoned for before he could minister.

Concerning the sacrifices of worship, R. R. Byrum writes in Shadows of Good Things:

“The Levitical sacrifices, excluding those of a special nature such as the Passover, were of five kinds, which are Scripturally divided into two main classes: Sweet-savor Offerings: Burnt, Meat, and Peace; and Sin-Offerings: Sin and Trespass.

“The main idea of the sweet-savor offerings was acceptance and worship. The latter class [Sin offerings] had for its primary purpose the expiation of sin. In the detailed description of all these sacrifices in Leviticus chapters 1 through 7, the sweet-savor sacrifices are described before the sin-offerings, but in practice the sin-offering came first and the worship-offerings afterward, as in the consecration of the priests. (See also 2 Chronicles 29.) Worship cannot be acceptable until atonement is made for sin.”

Another important element in the tabernacle worship was the concept of free will. God truly wanted to be the object of their own choice. The atonement was a necessary requirement for worship; praise, thanksgiving, service and gift-giving was to be entirely voluntary as to the time, frequency, and amount given to God.

Obedience and faith were the underlying characteristics of heart expected by God in the heart of every worshipper. These two qualities motivated the offerings for the atonement of sin, the putting away of false gods and sins of the flesh, and the voluntary offerings of gratitude. They also produced in the heart the perfect hatred of the idolatry and immorality of the nations round about.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



  1. Called Out: What did God want Moses to ask of Pharaoh? What was the reason He wanted His people delivered? (A clue to the real motivation of Pharaoh’s refusal and pursuit!)
  2. By the Pattern: Why do you think it was important for Moses to follow every detail of the pattern God laid out?
  3. Pointing Ahead: Share what the spiritual meaning of the perpetual atonement, light and incense might be.
  4. Never Coercion: Share your own feelings as you comprehend how God’s perfect way is always to let mankind serve Him by choice.
  5. Not Like the Heathen: How may this concept apply to our lives today?





Look deeply into the heart of God as you comprehend these concepts. See how His heart longed, not for distant homage and blind worship, but for fellowship! Over and over He expressed His desire to be with them, to dwell among them, to meet with them, and to talk with them. He wanted to be theirs; He wanted them to be His. Not His slaves, but His cherished treasure (Exodus 19:4-6)! The entirety of His laws for them can be summed up in one thing: His desire for their well-being (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25).

The desires of His heart have not changed today. Nor have His requirements. It is important to note again that atonement and cleansing must come before worship. The “Hey, just worship, just praise Jesus” trend today is completely disregarding God’s command. One must be trusting in Jesus’ atonement for sin, putting away the sins of the flesh, and setting apart one’s self for God alone. Then and only then can the worship of God, thanksgiving, songs of praise and exalting His Name be acceptable offerings to Him. “Holiness unto the Lord” is still the law of His house.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” —Psalm 96:9

There has always been a tendency for mankind to try to reduce God to a manageable concept, then to worship that which they’ve created in their own minds. Yet, we find the scriptures constantly pointing us to God’s greatness, consistently lifting our eyes upward and redirecting our hearts to His holiness.

Truly seeing God for who He is puts our lives in perspective and puts true worship in perspective. Our perception of God affects our worship of Him. It influences how we worship Him or whether we worship Him at all.

Isaiah saw a vision of God sitting upon a throne high and lifted up. He heard the seraphims cry, “Holy, holy, holy! The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Against this backdrop of God’s holiness Isaiah saw his own spiritual condition—a man of unclean lips. He saw the spiritual condition of those around him—people of unclean lips. And he saw that God was their only hope for purity. It wasn’t God who needed them. It was they who needed God. Worship is for our benefit, not God’s. It is our privilege, not His. We don’t do Him a favor by our gathering together. We do ourselves a favor. Worship helps to keep us spiritually calibrated to God’s omnipotence and our utter dependence on Him.

There were certain protocols that had to be met when approaching royalty in Bible times and even so today. Is it then not reasonable for there to be a divine protocol when we approach God’s throne in worship? We must see Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. That is Who we worship.

Our hearts must be humbled before His majesty. Our minds must be tuned to His authority. Our lives must be clean. Our motives must be pure. We must be holy as He is holy. Our worship of the Lord must be in the beauty of holiness.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson