“who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’” (Hebrews 8:5).
We are not given any precise details as to what and how Moses was able to see the pattern (or blueprint) God had for the tabernacle, but we do know his eyes beheld it. The pattern was clear and precise enough that Moses could describe the dimensions, materials, and important details of everything related to it (Exodus 25-31, 35-39).
Not only did God provide the pattern, He also included a stern command to make sure the physical structure precisely corresponded to the divine blueprint (Exodus 25:40). Moses was not permitted to freelance. He was not to add to or subtract from the divine pattern.
In Exodus 39-40, when the tabernacle was erected “…as the Lord had commanded Moses” was declared fourteen times about various matters. In addition, Exodus 39:42-43 declares: “According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it; as the Lord had commanded Moses, just so they had done it. And Moses blessed them.” Exodus 40:16 states: “Thus Moses did; according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.”
Two immensely important and timeless truths are embedded in this one-year construction project at Mount Sinai. They are:
When God gives a divine pattern for something, it can be followed, and thus done acceptably in His sight.
When God specifies how He wants something, it ought to be done exactly how He says. This is what obedience looks like.
In light of these two truths, the command to “Hold fast the pattern of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13) ought to be crystal clear.