How much money did you spend in the last 5 years keeping, decorating and improving your home? It seems in this world of cold economic climates, declining interest rates and dwindling investment opportunities, our homes are seen as an easy investment opportunity. We can almost always guarantee that house and property values will increase over time, an increase we can help along with those new kitchen cupboards, strategically placed ceramic tile and improved heating/AC systems. Because of this investment value we tend to treat our homes with respect and care.
As you read Numbers 7, consider it in light of what it says about the Israelites that they brought that much wealth and that many sacrifices to the dedication of the Tabernacle and all of its furnishings. Forget about all of the repetition (you can just read the offering from the first tribe and then skip to verse 84 and read the summary, because the offerings are all the same), and instead consider that the dedication of the Tabernacle was the fulfillment of part of God’s promise to Israel, that he would dwell with them as their God.
I wonder if we value God’s house as much? Don’t misunderstand me! The New Testament understanding of the “house of God” was the gathering of believers. We make a mistake a lot as Evangelical Protestants, thinking that the church buildings are the places where God dwells, when that is not the case. We as the body of Christians are the temple of God on earth, his presence dwells with each of us and with the corporate body. That doesn’t mean that we should neglect the physical buildings that God has given us as tools for ministry, outreach and the building up of the church. But sometimes I see Christians more concerned with the well-being of their physical buildings than they are with the well-being of the saints.
Either way, we must remember that God’s desire is to dwell with is people, and as New Testament believers, that privilege is much more intimate than what the Israelites were experiencing. Do we value that privilege?
- 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: Numbers 8-10