Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jan 30, Ex 36-38.

Today's readings are Ex 36-38.

With a massive effort of unity and cooperation involving everyone in the camp, the work on the tabernacle is completed and the components are brought to Moses. It is just as God instructed. Moses gives a blessing. 

There are many parallels with Gen 1; the work is good, God is pleased, blessings ensue. Many of the same phrases are used in both passages. These chapters are bookended with the beginning of Genesis to show us that a major era has passed since creation. At one end, God has created the universe, man has fallen and been ejected from His presence. At the other, God has called a peculiar people through whom He will redeem fallen man. He has delivered them from bondage then set them apart. His Law has been given. He is once again among them and His people are about to head for their new home. 

The Tabernacle is going to be spectacular, 150 feet wide, 300 feet long, about 15 feet high, built at a cost of about $320,000,000 in today's dollars. All of this has been done through a people that entered Egypt starving, with few belongings and not much hope. God has protected them, delivered them, provided for them and made good on all of His promises to them in spite of their consistent lack of obedience and faithfulness. This should give each of us hope. It should show us His promises are based on His faithfulness to His word and not ours! This should build in us a holy anticipation for what is to come. We should see in these Hebrew people that He is able to take the meagerness of our lives and build a suitable home for Himself in us! What amazing grace! What an awesome God!

There's another lesson here as well. This is a good time for the Hebrews. They experience times when they come pretty close to getting things right. Likewise, they frequently stumble and struggle in their relationship with God. At this point in their history, they are contrite and thankful before God, working together toward a common goal, using their gifts, devoted to God's work and giving sacrificially. As a result, something magnificent rises up among them - the dwelling and presence of God. The church today could learn much from watching the tabernacle and the priesthood grow and mature among the Jewish people. 

This is only the first phase of God's plan of redemption. There is much further to go and many lessons to be learned. 

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