Finishing The Work


image courtesy of

Exodus 40:33-37 (KJV) … So Moses finished the work.  [34]  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  [35]  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  [36]  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:  [37]  But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

God Saves A People To Work With Him

God does not NEED us to do His work, but LOVES us, and BLESSES us when we work with Him.

The Bible declares of the Christian:

Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God saves us, then shapes us. He builds our faith. He calls us to serve Him. That which brings the blessing of God on a people is that they do as the Lord says. God gave Moses a task to do. Moses was to honor God in the creation of the Tabernacle.

God Never Bids We Work Alone

Moses did not do the work by himself. God set apart others to become invested in the work. The Children of Israel all contributed. Moses recognized others that the Lord pointed out to do the work. We read:

Exodus 35:30-35 (KJV) And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 And He hath filled {Bezaleel} with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; 32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. 34 And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

The work that God set before Israel was the building of the Tabernacle, a movable Church. The Tabernacle was the precursor to the Temple. Israel could not build a permanent structure until they settled in the land of Canaan. But until then, God wanted them to build a Tabernacle, a place to learn of Christ. We are told in:

Hebrews 10:1 (KJV) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

John 1:17 (KJV) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The Tabernacle, the furniture, the implements, and the sacrifices we SHADOWS of the Christ. The lamb without blemish that was slain taught Israel that the Lamb of God must be slain for their sins. The Burnt Offering emphasized the judgment of God poured out on His Son for us.
The Tabernacle was a teaching tool to bring Israel to Christ.

God Ordered Without Explaining Why

God put an exacting and difficult work before His people, but He didn’t explain the WHY of it. God ordered it. He decreed it. He didn’t explain it. God can do that. In our arrogance we often want to ask God,

But WHY, Lord?”

God is gracious and often does give the “Why”. But many times God does not, and will not. God may never explain why. And that is fine, because God is God. When God came to Noah He didn’t explain anything. God told Noah:

Genesis 6:13-14 (KJV) … The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark …

God did not tell Noah how long he had to make the “Ark”. God didn’t explain why babies would be killed in the floods. God just told Noah to build an “Ark”, and that those who got on the Ark would be safe. And God gave Noah everything he needed to build the Ark.

God gave Moses and Israel everything they needed to build the Tabernacle. God never asks us to do anything that He does not equip us to do. God put every person in every place with every tool and material needed.

But they must finish the work!

When Moses and Israel finished the work we read:

Exodus 40:34-35 (KJV) …Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  [35]  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

God manifested Himself when the work was finished. In fact, God did something else. His Presence led the people. Previously God led Israel by pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. But now the Lord does something different:

Exodus 40:36-37 (KJV) … And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:  [37]  But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

When God’s glory left the Tabernacle, they folded up their tents. The Levites all gathered the holy things, and they traveled once more. If God’s glory was on the Tabernacle they stayed in that place until God’s glory departed. Then they moved – ever forward – toward the Promised Land.

We Are Never Finished Working For God

Moses and Israel finished the work God gave them.
The Book of Exodus ends.
Cinderella has her prince.
The Three Little Pigs roast marshmallows in the fireplace.
Little Red Riding Hood outwits the Big Bad Wolf.
Everyone lives happily ever after.

This is the difference between Christianity and a fairy tale, the Gospel and a myth. When God saved you by Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5-7 (KJV) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

He could have taken you to Heaven. But God wants His people to live for Him FIRST on this earth. So He always gives another work. We never rest. Some people think they are saved so that they can drift through life. That is absolutely wrong! God gives us a work to do, then another, then another until, we reach Him in glory.

Israel Must Enter The Promised Land

God promised the Promised Land to Abraham. We read in …

Genesis 15:18-21 (KJV) In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

God made a covenant with Abraham, giving the land to him and his children. The land was occupied with a godless people. But at the right time God would send His people into the land. Israel was supposed to trust God and dispossess the godless from that land.

The Tabernacle would one day become a Temple, the portable would become fixed. But only when Israel possessed the land. They must finish the work.

The “sequel” to Exodus is the Book of Numbers. Israel heads toward the Promised Land. When they get to the border of that Land we read:

Numbers 13:1-2 (KJV) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

Twelve spies from Israel went into the land. God had already given the land to His people. He said:

which I give unto the children of Israel

Not “I shall give” but “I give”. God owns the land. He just wanted the spies to return and tell Israel how bountiful that land was. Israel needed to finish the work. They needed to go and take what God gave them to finish the work.

The Tabernacle taught of Christ.
The Tabernacle must become a Temple.

Christ must come.
Christ must be born in Bethlehem.
Christ must teach in the Temple.
Israel, you must finish the work!
You must do the hard thing so Christ can come!
Christ must die on Calvary.
You must enter the land, for the future depends on it.

You know the story. The spies went into the land and searched through it for forty days (Numbers 13:25). At the end of that time the spies returned and gave their report:

Numbers 13:27-28 (KJV)27 And they told {Moses}, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

The children of Anak were exceptionally large people. Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to go forward, saying:

(vvs 30) Let us go up at once, and possess it;
for we are well able to overcome it

God is with Israel. God sent them to finish the work. God will empower us to do this. Yet the other spies disagreed, and discouraged the people:

Numbers 13:32-33 (KJV) And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Fear Crowded Out Faith And
Blasphemy Destroyed Blessing

Israel let their fear control them rather than their faith in God. Fear caused them to say NO, then their NO turned into blasphemy. The people blasphemed God rather than glorifying Him. They began to revolt against God rather than finishing the work:

Numbers 14:2-4 (KJV) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

Because they would not finish the work God caused them to wander in the wilderness. They were controlled by fear rather than faith. They would not finish the work, so God finished them. God told Moses:

Numbers 14:21-23 (KJV) But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:

God demands that He be glorified. God demands His people finish the work.

The Lord’s Table Is A Reminder Of Finished Work

Our Master came to finish the work that God set before Him.

John 4:34 (KJV) … My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

For 3 ½ years Jesus did exactly as the Father asked Him to do. As the end came the Bible tells us that:

Luke 9:51 (KJV) And it came to pass, when the time was come that {Jesus} should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

Jesus knew that His time was at hand. He must be betrayed. He must be beaten and bruised, whipped and shamed. He should be received up, offered as a lamb without spot or blemish. He must be put on display with two criminals, the innocent with the guilty. He must be mocked, humiliated. And most of all the hand of God’s judgment should be put on Him.

This is what the Tabernacle taught Israel.
This is what the lamb without blemish, killed and burned, showed.
Jesus must take the place of the little lamb.
The Lamb of God must died for the sins of the world.

Jesus knew what was coming, but He set His face to go to Jerusalem. When in Jerusalem Jesus sat with His disciples at the Feast of the Passover. At the end of that meal we read:

Mark 14:22 (KJV) And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

Christ was not yet sacrificed, but knew He must finish the work. Three and a half years of ministry would mean nothing if He did not go to Calvary. He must finish the work. His body must be broken, crushed, so that we can be blessed. Oh what a Savior!

Mark 14:23-25 (KJV) And {Jesus} took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Jesus blessed the broken bread, His Body. Then He THANKED God for His spilled Blood. His Blood must be shed. He must finish the work so that we can be saved.

Nailed to the Cross the next day, He kept His eyes on the work set before Him. Naked, mocked, and hanging from the Cross He prayed:

Luke 23:34 (KJV) … Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Crying out “I thirst” they thrust gall in His face. Yet Jesus was not defeated. He finished the work. Weary and suffering one of the thieves cry out:

Luke 23:42-43 (KJV)42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Saving souls to the very end, Jesus did not shirk His duty. As He died He said:

John 19:30 (KJV) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The last thing Christ tasted before He died was VINEGAR. Even this did not discourage Him. He bore our sins, and our sorrows. He cried out “It is finished!” The work was finished. Our salvation was secured by Him.

Let Us Imitate Christ And Honor The Father

If you are born again, then I encourage you to finish the work set before you. Honor God with your lives. I have known professing Christians who have refused to be baptized. Jesus commanded baptism.

You haven’t even STARTED the work if you haven’t obeyed Him in this simple request.

Hebrews 10:38-39 (KJV) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Those who live by faith in Christ walk by faith in Christ. We do as He calls us to do. Let us finish the work. Let us follow Him. Let us glorify God. Let us not be weary, nor frightened of the work. I admit there are weeks when I feel so weary. But God says to me:

Galatians 6:9-10 (KJV) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

God is worthy of our best. Let us keep on serving Him, living for Him, glorifying Him. The Apostle often compared the Christian way of life as a race, saying:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Keep running. Keep serving. Keep going forward. Keep doing what God has called you to do. We’re not to sit down until the Lord calls us into glory.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Exodus, Faithfulness of God, Following Disciples, Following Jesus, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.