SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This chapter is a continuation of God's instructions to Moses about how certain structures were supposed to be constructed and used; in this case, specific dimensions and parameters are given for an altar and a courtyard that would end up being features of the Tabernacle outlined in Exodus chapter 26.
- God also orders Moses to set up a candle that is fueled by a certain type of oil. The candle is to burn from evening to morning.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- These instructions were all part of God's effort to dwell among His people, and ultimately to set the stage for Jesus' importance to be made clear. Before Jesus, the only way people could relate to God was by following a lot of oddly specific laws and making sacrifices. Thousands of years after the Israelites constructed the altar and courtyard, Jesus enabled humanity to connect with God through him, in a relationship that is built on love instead of rules. This is a humbling fact, and we often take for granted the fact that Jesus lived and died solely to make it easier for us to have a relationship with God. We should regularly be grateful for what Jesus did.
- Just as the Israelites were likely confused by the excruciating detail to which they were instructed to build, God can often lead us into situations that are confusing (and even painful). But if we have decided to follow God, he wants the best for us, and sometimes he uses seemingly bad situations to lead us to greater things on the other side of the situation.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- It's easy to take for granted what Jesus did. Take focused time today to thank God for sending Jesus to open the door for us to have a love-based relationship with him.
- If you're in the middle of a situation that seems hopeless, be honest with God about how you're feeling; open communication is a healthy part of any relationship, and our relationship with God is no different. Ask God to use your current circumstances to grow you closer to him.