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Week 4 - Exodus 16-34, Psalm 22-28

Quick Insights from Unpopular Passages!

We are in the second half of Exodus, and for many, it's around this point that the Bible starts to get kind of hard to read. So, this week, I have themed this blog entry around finding interesting and encouraging insights from passages that are not all that fun to read. May these quick thoughts inspire us to continue to dig for the precious treasures in the Word, even when it feels like the digging is tough!

The Detailed Construction

Starting in chapter 25, God proceeds to give Moses detailed instructions on how to make all of the different parts of the Tent of Meeting (aka the Tabernacle). We can probably see how it would be good for Moses and the Israelites to know this information, but why does these detailed instructions make up such a large portion of the Bible? Like, what good does it do for us to have this material?

One reason, the example of the Israelites during this season of their lives shows me that sometimes obedience to God is simple and specific. Their obedience to God in preparing the Tent of Meeting was an act of simple obedience, they did it just as God told them to do it. It's a good reminder for me because I often find myself wanting to complicate obedience to God, thinking about all the what if's. Certainly, there are many times in life where following God does require deep wisdom to navigate complex situations. I am just grateful that this example shows me that there are other times when obedience is as simple as following the instructions as stated.

The Priestly Garments

In chapter 28 Moses is given the plans for how to make Aaron's priestly garments. I love verses 9-12, where it describes two onyx stones that are engraved with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. The stones are fixed to the shoulders of the high priest's garment to symbolize the high priest carrying the people into God's presence. To me this is such a beautiful reminder of how Jesus, our great high priest carries all of God's people into the presence of God.

Exclusive Scent formula

In chapter 30:22-38, God gives instructions for the anointing oil and incense that are to be used in worship. It's a specific formula, but what stands out is the command that if anyone makes either of these and uses it for anything other than worship, they are to be exiled from the community! Why so serious?

There has been a lot written in the last few decades about how scent plays a much more significant role in our memory than we had previously thought. The smell of a particular food triggers memories of one's childhood, things like that. Perhaps God was intending something like this in associating a unique smell with the act of worship, to cause us to remember our relationship with God!

Spirit Filled Artisans

In chapter 31, God explains to Moses that he has set apart 2 people, Bezalel and Oholiab, to take the lead in constructing all the pieces of the Tent of Meeting. To them God has given them skills, wisdom, and understanding in all of the different types of crafts and construction they will need. What I love about this is that God also says that he has filled them with his Spirit. The Spirit of God is given to Bezalel and Oholiab to empower them with the creativity and technical skill to make all pieces of the Tent of Meeting. It is that same creative Spirit that hovers over the waters as God creates the world! It invites some wonderful reflection on how God's Holy Spirit empowers his people in acts of creativity and skill, all used to bring glory to God!

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