Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 21 - Exodus 38

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 38. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter contains more details about the construction of the Tabernacle, which was a holy building the Israelites were constructing. Today's reading outlines the methods by which the altar, washing basin, and courtyard were each built.
  • From our previous readings we know that the Tabernacle was to serve as a place of worship, and one area of the Tabernacle was actually inhabited by God himself. 
  • The chapter concludes with specific inventories of gold and silver pieces that were collected from people in the community and used to construct the Tabernacle ("shekels" and "talents" and "bekas" were gold and silver coins that people used as means for bartering). 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Reading through all of these details about how the Tabernacle was constructed can become banal, but it's important to keep in mind that the Israelites went through all this because they wanted to make it easier for God to dwell among them. Because of what Jesus later did, we don't have to erect fancy structures to live in relationship with God; Jesus came to serve as the ultimate sacrifice through which we can do life with God and live in a loving relationship with him.
  • God is interested in the details of our lives. (If he wasn't concerned with details, he wouldn't have been so particular about the way the Tabernacle was to be constructed.) We need to trust God with the seemingly small decisions in our lives as well as the large ones. This doesn't mean we over-spiritualize minor situations by alleging that God causes us to burn the toast, nor should we see God as a cosmic Santa Claus that magically works out every situation to what we think is our advantage. But we do need to think of God throughout the day and invite him into all of our interactions and decision-making thoughts.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • It can be easy to take Jesus' sacrifice for granted. Take time to thank God for what he did through Jesus. 
  • Do you invite God into the details of your day-to-day life? As you go throughout today, look for opportunities to talk to him or consult with him about decisions you face. Maybe you could set an alarm on your phone to go out every few hours to remind you to focus on God.