One year earlier, God had established a new calendar for the Israelites, establishing the month of their Exodus to mark the first month of every year. Every year as they shout HAPPY NEW YEAR, they will remember when God delivered them out of their slavery in Egypt.
One year later, on the first day of the first month, the Israelites are now commanded to erect the tabernacle.
Coincidence? Not at all. God is a God of intentional timing. God has a plan and purpose in His foreordained timing. He is a “that very day” God. You can trust Him in the waiting.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your perfect timing. You are never late. You are always right on time. Please grow our faith as we wait upon You. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
So the people have painstakingly carried out all the details of what the Lord had commanded through His servant, Moses. And when Moses saw their good work, he blessed them.
This reminds me of the parable of the talents that we read last month in Matthew 25. Both servants who invested well their talents – whether they had received two or five – were praised by their master with the very same words.
Heavenly Father, help us to serve You with a cheerful, willing, eager heart. Strengthen us to give back to You out of the abundance that You have lavished on us. Help us, also, to be encouragers, to speak honest words of praise and blessing to those we meet – whether our children or our husband, or the cashier at the grocery store, make us quick to give honor where honor is due. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Read Through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 35:30 – 37:29
Why did God lead Moses to list all these details in His Holy, Inspired Word?
Why do we need to know all about the curtains and the rods and the clasps and the ark and the table for the bread and the table for the incense?
Why do we need all these details about the lampstands and the altar and the basin?
Well, here’s one blessing made more clear by the amount of detail Moses shared:
He made fifty loops on the one curtain, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set. The loops were opposite one another. And he made fifty clasps of gold, and coupled the curtains one to the other with clasps. So the tabernacle was a single whole.
Exodus 36:12-13 ESV
The tabernacle was made of all these various unique things, things that were donated and constructed by various unique people, yet the tabernacle was a single whole. God wanted all these golden clasps, wooden frames, silver bases, and blue and purple curtains to fit together perfectly to make the tabernacle a single whole.
The perfect unity of Father-Son-Holy Spirit, One God eternally exists in Three Persons.
There is only one bride of Christ – made of thousands and millions of individual, unique souls coupled together by God’s Holy Spirit and washed in the blood of the One Lamb Jesus Christ to be perfectly one in Him.
The tabernacle was a single whole, made of many parts, and so is the body of Christ. Are you a member of that very special body? If not, what is holding you back?
If so, how then shall you live?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for making me Your bride, for inviting me into this holy union between You, Holy Almighty God, and Your bride. Thank You for the beauty that is found in communing with You. It is a precious, priceless gift of infinite worth. I pray that I would be eager to contribute to the building of this sanctuary – to spend my time, talents, treasures, and testimony for the building up of this body, Your bride. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
“Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed– on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” –
Revelation 21:9-14 ESV
“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 34:1-35:29
His face was shining, not because he had just married the woman of his dreams, or because he was holding his newborn son, or because he’d successfully led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, but because he had literally been in God’s presence.
I know that my face will not physically shine from my time with the Lord and meeting with Him in glory … but how I wish for my countenance to radiate the joy, peace, and hope that comes from having communed with God that day.
“Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1Peter 3:3-4 ESV
“Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?
For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:7-18 ESV
Heavenly Father, May my face radiate Your glory. May my countenance reflect the joy that fills my heart. Let Your glory flow out of me, that people would see YOU when they look at me. To the glory of Your Name we pray. Amen.
Please get out your Bible and read Exodus 33. It’s such a rich chapter of the Word. I’d love to spend a week just studying its 23 verses.
The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
Exodus 33:1-3 ESV
How would I feel if I heard these words?
How would you feel?
Well, here’s how the Israelites reacted –
Lord, no news is good news if You’re not in it. If You won’t go with me, I don’t want to go. I don’t just want Your gifts. I want You. You are the center of my life. You are the purpose of everything that I do. You are my strength and my shield, my fortress, my rock. I want to walk with You – whether in the garden or in the valley or in the desert. I want to see Your glory. Hide me in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, who was pierced and broken for me, who shed His blood for me. In His Name I pray. Amen.
What do I live for – My own comfort and pleasure? The praise of man? Wealth or fame? or the Lord God?
Like the sons of Levi, I have been ordained for the service of the Lord. I am a member of the Lord’s army. I am a member of the priesthood of believers. What will it cost me – Time wasted scrolling through Facebook? A relationship that is pulling me away from the Lord? Worldly pleasures and pursuits?
Whatever your commitment to Christ might cost you, let me encourage you with this: He is WORTH IT! True joy will never be found in your phone or a plateful of brownies. True appreciation will never come from that sinful relationship. True happiness is only found in the arms and at the feet of Jesus, Your Lord and Your Redeemer.
Heavenly Father, You did not send Your Son to bring peace to the earth, but a sword. There will be division even within our own households. Let me not love my mother or father, my son or daughter, even my closest, dearest friend or husband more than you. Give me strength to take up my cross and follow You. Make me willing to give up my life for You. Help me to know that true joy is found only in Your arms and at Your feet. In the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Redeemer I pray. Amen.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 10:32-39 ESV
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
This morning I took my youngest two children out for our annual “last day of school” donut breakfast. My youngest son is just finishing up his sophomore year of high school and my daughter just finished her freshman year in college. Where has the time gone? Will you please bear with me for just a moment as I take a trip down memory lane, looking back over 22 years of homeschooling?
My firstborn daughter was born creative … and bossy. Ever since she could speak, she’s been gathering children around her to tell them a story or make a craft or work on a project together.
My second child, a son who was adopted as an infant, has always been super verbal with a fantastic memory for all things movie, TV, sports, and music related. He actually spoke at a younger age than his siblings, despite being adopted from Russia as a six-month-old!
My third child – my little princess – has always been an incredibly thoughtful, caring child. She has a fantastic eye for details. She’s the first one to notice a new haircut or shirt.
My youngest child didn’t start talking until he was almost two-and-a-half, but he loves to learn. He’s my book-smart child, enjoying workbooks and math and school stuff.
If you follow my blog for long enough, you’ll notice several things that I’m especially passionate about with regards to my faith, things that jump out at me again and again as I read through the Scriptures.
God’s heart for the nations.
God’s perfect timing – that He is a “that very day” kind of God.
And God’s purpose for each person that He has uniquely created.
Well, here it is again. God has a unique purpose for Moses – to lead and speak – and He has an equally important, though completely different purpose for Bezalel and Oholiab – to craft the things which God has designed.
“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”
Exodus 31:2-6 ESV
Once again I am reminded that God has designed each person on earth intentionally. Moses, Bezalel, and Oholiab each have a purpose. Even though their purposes are very different, none of their roles are more or less important than another. If Moses doesn’t keep his end of the deal, then Bezalel and Oholiab won’t know what to do … but if Bezalel and Oholiab don’t implement what Moses says, then the tabernacle won’t get built.
Likewise, my four children have each been created for a special purpose.
Our school system tends to heap praise upon the book-smart kids, while overlooking the kind, thoughtful, detail-oriented ones. Our culture elevates the importance of the extroverted speakers and leaders, forgetting the essential roles of the quiet, hard-working, faithful followers.
Let me wrap up today with this word of encouragement: God has a purpose for each of you and each of your children.
Are you a quiet, creative type with an impeccable attention to detail? Use that gift! You’re an essential part of God’s body. Don’t be ashamed to stay behind the scenes and serve the body!
Are you a bold, leader type with a big-picture vision? Use that gift! You’re an essential part of God’s body. Don’t be ashamed to shine and lead and share!
Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for each of my children. Each of them has been fearfully and wonderfully made, intentionally woven together by Your perfect hand. You make no mistake. You don’t make junk. Help me as a mother to encourage each of my children to pursue their unique callings, not to be ashamed of who You made them to be. Please protect my family from the traps of comparison and favoritism, and help us all to enjoy the beautiful variety of Your creative plans and purposes. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
If you’d like to learn more about God’s creative purposes in making each of His children “Unique and United,” I’d love to share more with you. Listen to part 1 and part 2. If you’re a member of a women’s ministry in your area, I’d love to share with you in person! Check out my “speaking ministry” page to contact me.
Exodus 28, which I read yesterday, begins with these words to Moses. “Bring near to you Aaron, your brother, and his sons with him … Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.”
Today, reading Exodus 29, I noticed that it was not only the priest, Aaron, but also his sons who were to be washed and consecrated in preparation for ministry to the Lord.
Aaron and his sons were to lay their hands on the head of the bull. (verse 10)
Aaron and his sons were to lay their hands on the heads of each of the rams. (verse 15, 19)
Moses was to spread blood on the right ears, thumbs, big toes, and garments of Aaron and his sons. (verse 20-21)
Aaron and his sons were to eat the flesh of the ram and the bread. (verse 32)
The Lord knew that the day would come when Aaron would pass into eternity, and He wanted Aaron’s sons to be prepared to carry on the office of priest.
Rather than using this time to talk about how much fathers ought to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” like Ephesians 6:4 says … How about we talk about how we as women ought to bring up our children to follow the Lord?
Precious sisters, ladies, women of God, are we preparing our children for adulthood – or are we expecting someone else to do it?
Are we discipling our children in the ways of God so they are ready for the day that we are no longer just an arm’s length – or a phone call – away?
Are we looking well to the ways of our own household with the teaching of kindness on our tongues? (Proverbs 31:26-27)
Are we following the examples of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice making sure that our children are well-acquainted with the scriptures from his childhood? (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15)
Are we being reverent older women, teaching what is good and so training the young women in our lives to love their husbands and children that the word of God may not be reviled? (Titus 2:3-5)
Let’s stop pointing fingers at our husbands and their shortcomings and start seeing our own need for an attitude adjustment. Our sons and daughters need us to train them up in the way they should go. It’s never too late.
Read the Bible with your children before they head to school today. Spend 5 minutes listening to them when they get off the bus today. Let them cook dinner with you today. Pray with them before they go to bed tonight. Start today. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
Heavenly Father, being a mother is a hard job. I can’t do it without You, Lord. Please give me the strength and wisdom I need to train up my children in the way that they should go. Help me to lock arms with them and do life side-by-side with them. Make my eyes and ears attentive to their needs. Give me a multi-generational vision, seeing my children as the next generation of leaders. Let me not grow weary of well doing. When my own children are grown with children of their own, help me to train the next generation of young women for Your glory, too. May I know that it’s never too late to do good! In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
I loved reading Exodus 28 about the special garments the Lord commanded for Aaron and his sons to wear as His chosen priests. It reminded me of the special armor that we are charged to wear in Ephesians 6:10-20. And I was especially reminded of this throne room scene that John described in Revelation 5.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:1-10 ESV
Heavenly Father, you have made us priests by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price, a costly price. I pray that we would serve you all the days of our life, living holy and godly lives, dressed in the righteousness of Your Son, the only One who is worthy. In His Name we Pray, Amen.
The Lord had provided for the Israelite people by turning the hearts of the Egyptians to freely give to them. Now the Lord is asking the Israelites to freely contribute to Him. They had freely received and now they are being asked to freely give.
Sometimes … oftentimes …. it’s hard to give.
It’s hard to give our time.
It’s hard to give our stuff.
It’s hard to give our children.
We feel like these things belong to us, forgetting that everything that we have is a gift from God, our good Father, the giver of every good gift.
I was reminded of a beautiful passage in 2 Corinthians 9 when Paul was taking up a collection for some needy believers. Let’s take these words to heart – not merely listening to the Word, but doing what it says.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:6-11 ESV
Heavenly Father, You have given to me so abundantly. I have more than I need. I have more food and more clothing and more home than I need. I have more free time than I need. You have blessed me with a husband who loves me and four incredible children as well as a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law and two little granddaughters. Thank you, Lord! I pray that I would be generous with all of these good gifts. Help me also to be generous with sharing my testimony and the Word that I have stored up as treasure in my heart. You have been so, so generous to me. Give me the strength to be generous toward others as a gift of gratitude to You. Inthe name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
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