Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 18 March 2022:
Exodus 25:9 – “Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.”
Worshipping God starts with obedience to His every command. This is non-negotiable. The Bible provides many general principles for how to live, but it also provides very specific commands. Often, people will attempt to interpret the specific commands as general principles in order to give themselves some wiggle room for disobedience. On the contrary, sometimes people take verses intended to present general principles and make them specific commands. For example, when Jesus says to forgive your offending brother seventy-seven times in Matthew 18:22, He doesn’t mean it literally, He means forgive your offending brother without limit. But when the Bible says a man should have only one wife, the Bible means one wife, it is not a general principle.
Exodus 25:30 – And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly.
Bread does not imply that God needs food but serves as a reminder that God provides our every need, and our greatest need is His presence and His word. The Bread of Presence is a picture of Jesus, the Bread of Life — “Who ever comes after me will never go hungry.” (John 6:35)
Exodus 25:31-37 – “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it.
Lampstands indicate God is the source of light for His people and can deliver them from all darkness. God was very specific on how He wanted the Menorah to look. The Lampstand is shaped like an almond tree which was always the first tree to blossom and bear fruit in the spring (first fruits — 1 Cor 15:20-23) and which was a symbol of the royal priesthood (God caused Aaron’s rod to grow almonds overnight) — the Bible says we are the priesthood. The Lampstand was always lit, 24/7-365. Jesus said, “I am the Vine, and you are the branches.” Jesus is the Light of the World and is always present, and in Him, we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). In Revelation 1:20, Jesus says the seven lampstands are the seven churches. The Lampstand points to Christ.
Exodus 25:38-26:16 – God’s provision is provided first that we might have the resources to worship and serve Him.
Acts 27:11, 12, 21, 25 – “But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. And… the majority decided to put out to sea from there…. Paul stood up among them and said…. take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.”
God’s word will quite often defy the experts, ‘common sense,’ and majority opinion. However, God’s word prevails. Everyone will decide in whom or in what they will place their faith, whether they will take God at His word in faith or rely on worldly ‘wisdom.’
Paul had no credibility as a sailor, but as an ambassador for Christ, he tried to warn everyone of impending doom, but they refused to listen. When the sailors, soldiers, prisoners and passengers finally did decide to listen to Paul, he explained that God’s deliverance from the storm required their complete commitment, an all or nothing proposition — “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 27:31) He also demonstrated that faith in God inspires confident thanksgiving in the face of apparent crisis — “He took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.” (Acts 27:35) Through Paul’s faith and leadership, all 276 persons in the ship survived despite the apparently terrible odds against them.
“Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12, 13) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7) Trust and obey God wholeheartedly despite all other influences, even your feelings. When God’s word is clear on a matter, fully commit to it with thanksgiving as a witness to all around you.
- Hebrews 11:6 — And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 Mar 22: Trust and obey no matter what others say, and proclaim Christ along the way.