Instructions to Build the Temple? So What?

In my “read through the Bible in a year plan” that won’t get done in a year (but it will get done), part of what I’m reading is in Exodus where it lays out how they built the chest, the table, the priests robes and all of the rest of the “stuff” needed for the temple.

Boring and frankly so what?

But then I came across Exodus 39:42-43 (from the Message):

The Israelites completed all the work, just as God had commanded. Moses saw that they had done all the work and done it exactly as God had commanded. Moses blessed them.

They did all of the work.    All of it.   They did it just as God had commanded them.   They did it EXACTLY as God had commanded them.   And God’s leader – the man in charge, the only one who actually talked WITH God (think how awesome and scary that would be!) blessed them.

Can I say that?

Can you say that?

Are we really doing what God has commanded us and doing it just as God has commanded us?

Hmmmmm……..

 

That Always Used to Freak Me Out……

In Exodus 14, it talks about how the Israelites walked through the Red Sea.   They walked on dry ground, with a  wall of water on their right and on their left.

Think about it.  According to information I could find from my good friend, Google, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal are ranging in depths from 25 ft to 1 1/2 miles.    Can you imagine a “crowd” of 600,000 or more walking through the middle of a lake that was  even 25 ft deep?    I’ve always had images stuck in my brain of them walking in absolute silence staring up at the wall of water.    The kids holding tightly to their parents hands and everyone knowing that if the water didn’t stay back, they were all goners.

It had to be pretty deep – probably deeper than 25 ft.   I mean after all, it did wipe out the entire Egyptian army when the wall collapsed.    If the water was only 10 ft deep, there would have been survivors.

So why did it always freak me out?   Because it was a tangible and very raw sign of God’s power.   Because it was a sign of how close impending doom is if we don’t trust in God.

That wall of water comes crashing back down 30 minutes too early and thousands of Israelites aren’t going to make it.

God’s power is like that.   Sometimes he shows it, sometimes we can’t see it.    But it’s always there when we absolutely need it.

Not when we want it but when we need it. 

Not always in ways we can see – but it’s always there.

So how can you see God holding back the evil in your life today?

Tom

Hmmmm……..

So, today, I was reading the story of the 10 plagues in Egypt for my personal devotions.    A thought hit me, not quite like a ton of bricks, but close……

God didn’t grant Moses’ request right away because He had people He wanted to influence and impact He wanted to make.

What sort of influence or impact, either on you or men or someone else, is God looking to make by not answering our prayers right away?   Or more accurately, by answering them with a “Not Yet.”

May we all be more open to what God is doing with the “Not Yet” answers in our lives.

Tom

A Little Bit of Moses

I’m not talking about the leadership part of Moses.

I’m not talking about the part where he killed someone.

I’m not talking the baby in the basket part.

I’m talking about the guy standing by the burning bush.

He’s out in the desert tending sheep and God comes to him and says, “Moses I want you to lead My people.”

Moses basically says to God,   “Are you nuts?   I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to talk straight, I can’t go stand up in front of Pharaoh and essentially spit in his face!”

Don’t we all have a bit of Moses in us?    Aren’t we often sensing that there is something we should do but we don’t want to?

Isn’t there things that God wants us to do that we don’t want to?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all stopped being the Moses in the desert and started being more like the Moses in front of Pharaoh?

Stop doubting yourself, stop doubting God and follow what He is telling you.

And then, as Ann Voskamp said,  “Be prepared to be astonished.”

Tom

Don’t Tell God…….

Numbers 11: 23 “God answered Moses, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.””

This particular passage takes place after the Israelites are grumbling in the desert because all that they are eating is manna.   All the time, manna.   No variety – but at least they are eating.

That’s not good enough for the people.   They want meat too.    And Moses is taking the heat for it.   He’s got 600,000  people who he is “in charge” of and they are grumbling and they are getting mad.

So, Moses goes and talks to God and complains about the Israelites.  God says, “All right, I’ll give these ungrateful people meat.   But I’m going to give them so much meat that they are going to get sick at the sight or the mention of meat.”

Moses then switches from arguing for meat to saying, “Hey wait a minute, God, you can’t do that – we don’t have enough flocks to provide meat for everyone.”    He’s essentially telling God, “I know better than you do what you can or can’t do.”

God comes back with the response in vs. 23.   So you think you know better than God?   Do you think you can second guess what God says He’s going to do? 

The audacity  of questioning God – but at the same time don’t we do that every day?   “Why God, why did you allow…….?”    “What are you thinking, God, by allowing………?”

Don’t tell God what He can or can’t do.   We have no idea what God is capable of.

Instead, tell God, “Do what you want, do what you feel is best and let me know what part you want me to play.”

Telling God what to do is never going to end well.

Telling God that you’ll do what He wants always ends well.

Tom