This passage is the pinnacle of the book of Exodus—the holy LORD of all creation comes to dwell with his people. God's presence demonstrated his power, guided Israel, and extended mercy. This is true for us today, as well; through the Holy Spirit and by the cross, God's presence empowers us, guides us, and extends daily mercy.
The detail and care with which God laid out plans for the tabernacle – and with which Moses meticulously obeyed – is a reminder to us of the care that we need to take in obeying God's Word in our own lives. God alone determines how he is to be approached in service and worship.
We see in Israel's worshiping the golden calf a picture of all idolatry. Idolatry establishes a counterfeit god, religion, and salvation. God jealously protects our love for him and forcefully opposes our idolatry. The way out of idolatry is repentance, grounded in our sure hope that God will show us mercy through Jesus our Savior. Idols only bring us weariness and unending demands; only Jesus can give us life, rest, and joy.
The law that God gave to Israel and the way that Moses, the Levites, and the angel of the Lord served as mediator between Israel and God all point to Jesus and his perfect sacrifice and mediation between us and God.
The ninth commandment forbids perjury in a courtroom context, but its implications cover our speech in general and, especially, our speaking of others. God wants a people who treasure truth and who also treasure and guard the unity of his church.
God's prohibition of stealing covers a great variety of sins, from robbery and burglary to embezzlement (including how we spend our time at work), fraud, enslavement, and robbing God. There is stealing in each of our hearts, and the root of it is our covetousness and our failure to trust in God's provision. In Christ, who died between two thieves, we find provision for forgiveness and power to work faithfully for our provision so that we may give to others.
God's command not to commit adultery relates directly to his exhortation in Hebrews 13:4 to "let marriage be held in honor among all." We are to esteem, honor, and cultivate our marriages greatly and to flee and fight the sins of adultery and sexual immorality. Fighting these sins requires a practical plan of attack, but it also requires an understanding of the forgiveness and power we receive in the gospel.
God gives us one day of rest each week as a gift, as an occasion to remember his goodness in saving us and anticipate heaven, and as an opportunity to worship him and fellowship with his people.
In the sixth commandment, God forbids murder. This determines our response to the tragedy of abortion. But this also reminds us that anger and hatred toward one another are serious sins in God's sight. Forgiveness and life are only to be found in the perfect one who was murdered for our sake, Jesus Christ.