Sunday, December 29, 2013

Exodus 40:20-38

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 40:20-38. 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?)
  • The Tabernacle is finished! If you've been keeping up with our weekend readings, you know that this was the culmination of a lot of wishy-washiness on the part of the Israelites, followed by a period of intense commitment.
  • This chapter concludes the arrangement of the furniture and decor within the Tabernacle. It mentions that Moses took the "tablets of the covenant law" and placed them in "the ark." The tablets mentioned here were the laws that God gave to Moses in Exodus 34. In this case the "ark" was a trunk-like container, and the "atonement cover" the lid for the ark.
  • Exodus ends with God filling the Tabernacle in the form of a thick cloud. When the cloud filled the Tabernacle, no one could enter it. When the cloud lifted, it was God's indication to the Israelites that they were free to enter the Tabernacle. God used this cloud to guide the Israelites for the rest of their travels.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We see here once again that God wanted the Israelites to construct the Tabernacle so that he could more effectively dwell among them. He takes this one step further by clearly guiding the Israelites and showing them when and where to travel. 
  • God wants to dwell among us and guide us as we make decisions. While God may not appear to us in the form of a physical cloud, we need to look to him for guidance when we're not sure where to go in life.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you letting God dwell among you, or have you unintentionally put up barriers that make it difficult for him to fully live life with you? Is there unconfessed sin, or something in your life that you know is separating you from God? Take time this week to deal with that issue; maybe you need to have a tough conversation.
  • Do you look to God to guide you in your decision-making, or do you rely more on your own power? Starting today, look to God to guide you as you travel through life. Talk to him about questions you have and choices you're making, and be prepared to adjust according to how God responds. The result will be a more fulfilling life and a more fulfilling relationship with God.
Here's a helpful video from a great resource called BibleProject that gives an easy-to-understand summary of Exodus chapters 19 through 40: