Maybe the Beatles were onto something (or on something?) when they wrote All You Need Is Love. But, the love they were referring to wasn't the agape--or unconditional love--our Savior drenches us in. As we conclude the final chapter in Exodus (hooray!) and forge our way towards the Christmas season, there's no more ideal time than this to pause and be steeped in His love.
It may not be the crisp white tee, dark wash skinny jean, or the perfect black dress -- but Exodus 39 teaches us about the priestly garments and the meaning behind what they wore. Only one week left in our verse-by-verse study of this book. Keep a watchful eye for the Messiah, Not Mayhem advent study I'll release soon!
We continue this week in Exodus 38, which focuses on the altar for burnt offering, the basin for washing, the courtyard, and the account of the materials.
The lampstand in the tabernacle represented the nation of Israel and the light they were to be to the world. Whether a Gentile light or a Jewish light, we must have fuel in order to shine brightly. What fuel do you use to get through your day? Let it be the oil of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) who empowers you to shine and don't try to create your own oil!
Let us build, let us build, let us build for Him! After days and days of instruction from God to Moses, it is finally time for action. Isn’t it awesome to think about all the preparation that went into this one task? That is how it is in our lives, too. We can’t always see it, but God is actively preparing us for something wonderful. He will provide the vision, the material, and the resources necessary to accomplish that which He desires to do.
In Exodus chapter 34, the Sabbath was mentioned, and in chapter 35, it is again re-emphasized. Anytime we hear or read something repeatedly, it should give us pause. As Margaret Feinberg puts it in her book The Sacred Echo, "When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once, he echoes. He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, and even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work." Let's study Exodus 35 together today and listen for His echos.
How blessed we are to have Jesus Christ, Who fulfills the covenant put in place during this Old Testament time. As New Testament believers, we don’t live by an if/then statement like this: If we follow His word and never sin, then He will love us. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” What Jesus asks of us is that we believe in Him, and then rest in His accomplished work.
God's presence provides rest. Have you ever had a season where you didn’t make time for God and then you found your life to be total chaos? God is not a God of disorder, and when I’m feeling the chaos creep in, I must stop and realize it’s because I’ve opened the door to something other than Him.
There are lots of things we can “worship” in this world, even without realizing it. Make a list of the things you do with your time, with your money, and with your thoughts. You're digesting those things into your life. The idols in our lives go down to the inmost parts (Proverbs 18:8) and they don’t just stay compartmentalized. They travel throughout our spiritual bloodstream.
There were many preparations and details to follow in constructing the tabernacle, and God knew that the Sabbath must be kept or the work would become a distraction instead of an outlet of His glory. What distracts you from spending time with Him? These distractions may not be inherently sinful – but they can be unnecessary or imbalanced. Make a conscious and intentional decision to choose what is better.
So far in Exodus, we’ve learned about five of the seven pieces of furniture associated with the tabernacle: the ark and mercy seat, the table, the lampstand, and the altar. Everything has a divine connection and meaning – it all points to Christ. It makes me stop and think about the “furniture” which takes up residence in my temple (heart). What story does my thoughts, actions, family, career, bank account, free-time, and so forth tell? Lord, show us what creates clutter.
As parents, teachers, leaders, and the like, we have a responsibility of training up the next generation and “passing down” the Truth of Christ Jesus to them. Let the garments which you wear today – that which makes up your life – be worthy of being passed down.
What spiritual garment are you wearing today? Are you clothed to serve and ready to shine for His glory? Do you have the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3) about you? Just as we choose what we’re going to wear each day, so we choose who we will represent. Here’s to wearing godly clothing!
God knew that corporate worship was necessary for the life of the believer. In Hebrews 10:25 we’re told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Like mentioned in Exodus 26 , how can we bear one another’s burdens if we are not fastened together? Christ did not die for us to stand separately, but sacrificed Himself so we could be tied to Him and to the other believers. God desires a unified body – a tabernacle – for Him to dwell in.
The Tabernacle was to be a single unit. It had diverse structures and parts, but cohesively came together into one. Division and hatred have been in the current events spotlight recently, and I'm not going to recount those headlines or draw attention to them. Regardless of what is happening in these final days, as believers, we know where to fix, fasten, and focus our eyes: the unified Trinity.
God doesn’t want us to “basket-ize” our life. He wants us to let His light shine freely to those around us. Maybe it’s the basket of busyness, or the career basket, or the baby basket. Regardless, it doesn’t need to be covering up His light. Get your oil from the Holy Spirit, through communing at the table with Christ, and praise Him who sits on the throne of mercy and grace!
The theme of chapters 1-18 in Exodus is how the Lord delivered His people from Egypt (bondage). In chapters 19-24 – what we are currently studying – the Israelites are at Mount Sinai so the Lord can adopt them as His children. He’s allowed them to experience Him and be taught by Him through Moses’ words.
We’re over half-way there! Persevere in your study as there are so many parallels between the Old Testament law and our freedom in Christ Jesus now.
Rest assured: little by little, God will continue His sanctifying work in our life through His Word. We know this because Jesus prayed it Himself in John 17:17, which says, “Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.” Be in His truth, day by day, and allow Him to drive out the sin of your life through that truth.
God desires our best because He gave His best: Jesus. This a rich truth for us to anchor in our life, especially as we begin each morning. I understand not everyone is a morning person, but we see Christ’s example throughout the gospels of how He rose very early in the morning (Mark 1:35) to pray. Jesus knew that feeding our spiritual man first, would bring about a godly harvest for the day.
In Exodus 20, we learned about the Ten Commandments. Aren’t you thankful that you live in the New Testament and have the privilege to know God’s grace through Christ Jesus? Hebrews 10:1 tells us that the law was a shadow of the good things to come. God knew giving a law to the people wouldn’t bring about true righteousness; but, it was another step toward the revealing of His Son.