Of the 69 verses referring to the Cycle in these chapters, 56 are either explanations to Moses for what God is doing or direct instructions on holiness.
First, God gives direction concerning a special incense to be burned only in the tabernacle. But before adding the holiness of the laver of bronze, a wash basin which Aaron and his sons must use before entering the holy place, and the anointing oil used to consecrate everything and everyone considered holy to God, God takes a time-out.
This is to be the pause that refreshes a disobedient Israel – repentance and restoration.
Acknowledging that impending judgment hangs over Israel because of its recurring disobedience, God instructs Moses that whenever a census is taken in the future, a ransom shall be paid as a cash offering for the upkeep of the tabernacle by every man aged 20 or older. Not a fee, not a tax, but a ransom. Who then has been kidnapped?
God explains that it is our souls that are kidnapped by the Cycle elements of temptation and disobedience. And what it takes is a ransom of repentance to get our souls back from Satan.
Since Israel would not repent on its own, God through his never-ending love is showing Israel how to be redeemed. The ransom is a sacrifice, a fair price, and God emphasizes how important it is for Israel to make atonement for their souls.
God goes on with instructions concerning skilled craftsmen and the holiness of the Sabbath, which is to be observed strictly even during the most urgent work of building the tabernacle.
But God knows what is about to happen next, though Moses does not.
Less than thirty days after the incredible holiness exhibited by Israel as the law was given to them, they inexplicably start to panic at the long absence of Moses and demand that Aaron make them a new god to lead them through the wilderness. You know the story – this initial temptation leads to wanton orgiastic disobedience while worshipping the golden calf. Holiness is trampled by ugliness.
The Lord’s anger burns strongly with the desire to wipe them out, but Moses humbly repents on their behalf, and Moses is sent to wreak a lesser judgment in the killing of three thousand men as commanded by God.
Moses then offers his own life in repentance but God says he will judge the people when the time is right. And he does.
Do you see the Cycle beginning to foretell Jesus as our ransom and in Moses offering himself to save his people? The Cycle has far more to offer as we continue.