An Exact Representation

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 35:4-10; 20-35; 36:2-7 (day four)

Who would have ever known that the atonement of man would look like gold, silver, bronze, fine linen, and acacia wood?   When God plundered the Egyptians as the Israelites left Egypt, gave Moses very detailed design instructions, and placed understanding, knowledge and craftsmanship in Bezalel and Oholiab…He had a specific plan for worship.  The Tabernacle was to be the place of worship for Israel, but more importantly, it was a picture of Christ and His work of atonement.  It was to be an exact picture…a shadow…of the true Tabernacle in heaven.  To give an inaccurate picture of God’s plan for redemption was not an option.  God rightly demanded an exact representation so that mankind would know the singular plan for redemption.  God’s instructions are for a purpose…when He gives us directions in Scripture it is for a purpose.  Our obedience is required to give an exact picture of the reality of heaven.  Christianity is not just a list of rules…it is a relationship.  We are to be a picture of our Creator God and His Kingdom work!

The Next Step

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 32:1-19, 30-33; 33:12-17; 34:1-7 (day five)  Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them.

It happened that fast.  Perhaps it was an idea or a fleeting thought.  Maybe it was born out of fear or frustration.  The end result was an immediate derailing from God’s plan and path.

This summer at Youth Camp we are studying Galatians 5:24-25.  25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

This verse speaks to the attention and the determination we MUST have in order to serve and follow the Living God.  Sin and disobedience are as close as “the next step”.

One of my new favorite songs has these lyrics:  To my heart I preach Your sovereignty and the power of Your name.  God, let hope arise and faith become the fortress of my heart.  I will lift my eyes and see You as the awesome God You are, believe You as the awesome God You are.

How and when do we “preach” to our hearts the power, strength, and goodness of the Living God?


Re: Verse reading–Exodus 32:1-19, 30-33; 33:12-17; 34:1-7 (day three)

“His anger burned…”  Moses saw the Israelites living the life they had learned over the last four centuries in Egypt: If your God is bigger than your own desires, your God is too big.  Moses knew that to give up on God is to give up on reality, and death follows soon thereafter.  Egypt itself was already dead; God had shattered that culture and taken the children of Israel out into the wilderness to rebuild a new culture powered by a new worldview—one based in reality, not in false perceptions of the universe.  Now, the children of Israel had returned to a dead culture in all but geography.  Moses’s anger called them back.  They listened, and they returned.  Are there Christian mentors or elders or leaders in your life tablet-smashingly troubled over your spiritual direction?  Are you listening?

Give ’em What They Want

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 32:1-19, 30-33; 33:12-17; 34:1-7 (day two)

“Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 32:1-2

Aaron is a leader. He has demonstrated that he has the ability to communicate even under very difficult decisions. He also seems, for the most part, to be more even-keeled than his brother Moses. So what happened? Now that the people are looking to him, asking hard questions, and his brother is still on the mountain his leadership skills take a nosedive.

The mob will always take the path of least resistance. The people had been uprooted, but protected. It seems interesting that they acknowledged God’s provision to bring them out of captivity, but are unwilling to trust for 40 days. They demanded action, answers, and only on their terms. This isn’t surprising, this is what we do.

Aaron knew better. Aaron’s proximity to Moses and to God should have given him the courage to tell hard truths to a hostile audience. Leaders must do this. Leadership isn’t about giving folks what they want, it’s about seeing a greater vision and holding a people accountable to that dream.

Moments and Meeting

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 25:1-11, 17-18, 23-24, 31-32; 26:1-2, 7-8; 27:1-2; 29:43-46 (day five)

What a sight it must have been, God’s presence and glory surrounding Mt. Sinai.  (Chapter 24)  Can you imagine the majesty and magnitude the people both saw and felt?  The human tendency is to ask or question, “When is the next big moment”?  “What will God do next to grab my attention or have the wow factor”?

God’s plan for leading and caring for His People included more than grandiose moments, it included regular meeting.

We see it in the faith development of teens:  depending on God’s power and presence only at events like Camp, Retreats, and Freedom Weekends.  But the teens (adults too) that spiritually thrive, are the ones who understand and discover that faith grows deeper and stronger as they daily encounter the dwelling presence of God, rather than a “mountain top” moment here or there.

43 I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory. 44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar;  45 I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. 46 They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.

Our Sovereign God

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 25:1-11, 17-18, 23-24, 31-32; 26:1-2, 7-8; 27:1-2; 29:43-46 (day four) 

The Lord spoke to Moses and called for the Israelites to bring a contribution for the purpose of building a Tabernacle for Him.  But wait…the Israelites have been slaves for over 400 years.  How could they possibly have anything to bring as a contribution to the Lord?  Remember back to Exodus 12:35-36…God told them to ask the Egyptians for silver, gold, and clothing.  God caused the Israelites to have favor in the eyes of the Egyptians and they plundered Egypt.  God provided for the needs of the Israelites, even before they knew that they had a need.  How often God does that!  Before we even know that we have a need, He has prepared a supply.  God may move in the heart of someone to provide food in the time of hunger, to provide protection in the time of danger, to provide supply in the time of need, or to send a witness in the time of crisis.  God is a sovereign God!

God with us

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 25:1-11, 17-18, 23-24, 31-32; 26:1-2, 7-8; 27:1-2; 29:43-46 (day one) 

After the Passover, after the Red Sea Crossing, after the 10 Commandments, after the Covenant was ratified, God commanded Moses to build a sanctuary.  Hebrew=miqdash, “holy or sacred place”.  The sanctuary (Tabernacle) was to stand in the center of the camp signifying worship as the center of this new society.  The sanctuary was to be made exactly after the pattern God gave Moses–v 25:9.  It was for the purpose of worship and God promised to meet the people in this holy place.  “And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them.”–v 29:46.  What a lofty, beautiful vision of human life!  God with us!  Immanuel.  May the symbol of the sanctuary drive our hearts to hunger for this promised unbroken fellowship with the Living God.  May we dream of the safety and profit and joy that comes when He is near.

Twice Mine

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 20:1-17 (day seven) 

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.”–v 2-3.  Old story.  Boy builds a toy boat.  Loves “sailing” it in a pond near his house.  Loses it one day.  Sees it later in a pawn shop window.  Buys it back.  Says, “you are twice mine, I made you and I bought you.”

God owns us the same way.  He made us in creation.  He purchased us through our redemption in Christ.  We are “twice His”.   A clear claim in this week’s text.  “I AM the Lord your God (creator), who brought you out of Egypt (savior).  YOU SHALL worship only Me!   Who can dispute that God DESERVES our obedience?  We are twice His.

I will look for you in worship in a few hours.  We will think together on what we owe Him.  I love you guys!

Remember, Remember

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 20:1-17 (day five)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

What a splendid thought and picture…  The Creator of the Universe commanding us to intentionally and regularly pause, rest, look, listen and worship!!  As we remember and set apart the Sabbath, through His creation, we gain understanding and appreciation for God’s power, wisdom, and divine nature (Romans 1:20).

As Moses reminds the Israelites later of God’s Commandments (Deut. 5:15), he challenges them to remember in the Sabbath observance, another facet of God’s work and character (provider and rescuer).  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.”

God not only created them (us) but saved them (us) as well.  The focus (our remembering) is on God as both creator and deliverer.  A humbling lesson learned and celebrated by keeping the Sabbath Holy:  We did not create ourselves and we could not save ourselves.  Makes a heart turn to God in wonder and gratitude!!

Jehovah Rapha

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 15:22-27; 16:1-18 (day one) 

“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.”–15:26.

Jehovah Rapha.  “Lord, healer.”  I am not sure that the waters of Marah would have made them sick.  I am certain that they feared that drinking brackish, bitter water would do so.  Years of free, unlimited, clean water in Egypt (from the Nile) had made them tender and timid soldiers.  So God toughened and taught His people to trust Him for their health and welfare.  So long as we are in the center of God’s will, walking with Him in cooperative, surrendered life; so long as He orders more days for our story, we are invincible.  He is our healer!