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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7 - Exodus 25-27: God's Instructions on the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant

Today’s Reading: Exodus 25-27

The Message

English Standard Version

Today and tomorrow (Exodus 25-30) are technical laws for that specific generation. Today's reading is design-oriented with design-y language. So use these days to catch up (read both in one day) or review some of the other posts from the past month. Type the link like this (or copy and paste): grahambates.blogspot.com/2013/mm/dd.html.

I will have shorter posts these two days. It is not objectionable to scan through these chapters, but make sure you aren't breezing too quickly.


Thought to Guide Your Reading

God wants the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle to be made through a voluntary offering.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God wanted the Israelites to build a Sanctuary and a Chest to remind them of his presence. The people were to present offerings of fine materials for construction and God gave specific instructions on how it was to be built.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

The Sanctuary and the Chest were to remind the people that God, their god, lived among them.

Although God would never "live" there as other gods were thought to live in their temples, this sanctuary would be the place where God would come down and speak to Moses from time to time and would be his "home" while the Israelites lived in the wilderness. But the most important reason for this to be built was what it represented. The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant were to remind the people that God resided among them. God came to them. They did not need to trek to far-away regions to speak to their God. He would be with them.

God wanted his people to build the Sanctuary and Chest from voluntary offerings.

God created manna for the people every day. God created water from rocks. God turned staffs into snakes. He turned water into blood. God could have created a sanctuary in the exact fashion he wanted overnight and presented it to the people. But that's not what God did. God wishes for his people to respond to his gifts and blessings with thanksgiving. They would prove their thankfulness by giving voluntary offerings of fine material. Then they would prove their faithfulness by constructing them as God had instructed.
This is important when thinking about charity and taxes today. God could give everyone in the world everything they needed now. But he doesn't, relying on charity and taxes to do it. I am not against taxes per se, but I do want to remind everyone that God wants voluntary offerings because they come from the heart. Compulsory taxes may be used to help the sick, poor, widow, orphaned, and needy but they do not help the giver become more like God. If we want to set things right in the world with God we need to encourage others to change their hearts and give of what they have.

Are you a designer? Did you catch some interesting tidbits about God's plan reading this passage? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page. My design ability is woefully inadequate for proper comments.
If you missed a reading or want to go to a specific date, type the link as follows:
http://grahambates.blogspot.com/2013/mm/dd.html
That will take you to the reading for that day. Enjoy!