Friday, February 3, 2012
Welcome to Day 34 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Exodus 35 and 36 are a near repeat of Exodus 28-31, with all the descriptions of the tabernacle and all its furnishings, the priestly garments, all of it.
v 20 “Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD.
The significance of these chapters for me was the offering people gave… willingly… 36:4, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” I think that’s awesome. Imagine building something as ornate as this with all the gold, silver, bronze, precious stones, etc and you have more than enough to do the job! Moses had to tell them to stop! Note that they had plundered Egypt as they were leaving, so it’s not like they were still slaves with nothing. But it would be like getting an inheritance, then giving from that. One might think, “I just got this… I’m not letting it go! This is my future… my security for me and my family! Also keep in mind there were over 1,000,000 people. We built a building with 2,000 people…
Acts 10:44, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.” Love that, “even on the Gentiles!” Can you believe it?? The Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles!” A little bit of elitism goin’ on here ya think?
The earlier chapters (Exodus 28-31) were the plans, but they hadn’t been implemented yet. (As Moses was still up on the mountain!) Nothing had been constructed or sewn… no sacrifices had been made at the tabernacle, because it was yet to be constructed. As one reads 28-31 it is could be easy to assume that it was real-time, (especially as these reading are divided into two or three chapter segments from day-to-day… easy to miss a timing issue as this… like Moses is describing the priestly garment, the tabernacle and all its articles as though it was being constructed at that moment. (Until you read on and see that he was still up on the mountain.)
Which puts a little different light on what happened with Aaron and the golden calf and all that… Realizing this for some reason took a little of the edge off that whole situation. If the tabernacle had been built already, perhaps they wouldn’t have made another altar and the calf? Still, what they did was very, very wrong… I’m just wondering about a different outcome if the tabernacle had already been built… The problem was they took matters into their own hands… (Never a good idea.) Aaron went along with it, then, making matters worse, proclaiming, “These are your gods who led you out of Egypt.” Ouch.
Moses inspects the tabernacle and all its furnishings in Exodus 39… Aaron wasn’t ceremonially washed and consecrated until chapter 40! Just looking ahead.
Whatever I am asked (or offered) to do, I should do willingly. That is the key. Willingness and generosity from the heart. Note that they gave a wave OFFERING. Different from a SACRIFICE. There is a difference.
I love that David said he wouldn’t give a sacrifice that cost him nothing. That’s why it’s called a S A C R I F I C E. Because there is sacrifice involved. If I don’t feel it, it may not be a sacrifice…
Lord, help me to give willingly. To give offerings and sacrifices to you and to your work. To have a generous heart.