So we’re working on bringing another part of our support into effect for all of who are taking part in the Bible Challenge for 2014. There is a Facebook page dedicated to the challenge. There is a link on PEMC’s Facebook page, or you can simply look for PEMCBibleChallenge. The posts that are on this website will also be posted on the Facebook page, for those who prefer that venue. The added benefit of the Facebook page is the greater possibility for feedback, comments and conversation around the daily reading we’re going through. Like us on Facebook and journey with us.
Today’s reading is all about detail, in fact, much of what we will read from chapter 25 to chapter 40 is all about detail. Measurements for the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the cloth panels for the Tabernacle, the appointment of the tribe of Levi as God’s servants. They are all there. Don’t treat the discussion of the Tabernacle with any sort of contempt or flippancy. 50 chapters in the Bible are dedicated to it, which makes it a significant part of Israel’s spiritual journey and has something to teach us.
I’m going to talk about this more in detail when we get to the beginning of Leviticus, but notice that the entirety of the Tabernacle is built using offerings. And if you look at the list in verses 3-7 of chapter 25 of what is required, you will see that God wasn’t exactly asking for chump change. Gold, silver, bronze, precious stone, wood (remember they are in the wilderness here), and dyed cloth. Not exactly stuff that you have lying around in the pile for next summer’s yard-sale. But the value of the gift is not what is important, the heart of the giver is what is important. God wanted people “whose heart makes them willing” to bring the offering. Their desire to give grew out of a heart that was willing. When we give from that place we are more likely to give freely of our resources. If we give out of duty or grudgingly, then we are more likely to count every penny we are giving away (and may give no more than a penny).
Also notice what is really motivating the building of the Tabernacle. God desires to live with his people. Right from the beginning of Genesis, we see a Holy, Almighty God who desires to commune with humanity. That has not changed. Sin has changed the nature of that relationship, but not God’s desire for that relationship. But the relationship has to happen on God’s terms and in obedience to God’s plan. The Israelites needed the Tabernacle, the Ark, the sacrifices in order to have that relationship; we need to believe in Jesus Christ as the only Son of God who died to pay the debt for our sins and rose from the dead to defeat death and hell. The principle is the same: a sinful people need a mediating sacrifice in order to be in relationship with God. Jesus just accomplished once and for all what rams and bulls could not.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 28-29