Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exodus 35-37

First, I must confess that it is 70 degrees and sunny here in Palm Desert California.  Patty and I have been out for a 2 1/2 mile walk this morning and plan to ride the Tram to the top of the nearby mountains later this afternoon.  This weather could be addictive, so I promise to come home to the snow and cold in a few more days.  But, if you could get it to warm up in Missouri to 40 before we return, we would be very grateful.  We do pray that you are experiencing God's presence as we read the scriptures together.

These chapters will seem a little repetitive.  Earlier in our reading we received God's instruction for the building of the tabernacle and all that was within. Now we read as Moses calls on the people to bring their offering in order to do that which God has called them to.

To my knowledge, this is the only time in the Bible when God's people responded in so generous a way that their leader, in this case Moses, had to tell them, "whoa down, we have more than enough to do what God has called us to do."  Perhaps you have heard me pray that prayer after we have taken our Sunday offering, that God would multiply the tithes and gifts that we could do all that God has called us to do as children of Faith.  Isn't it interesting that all of the gold, silver, leather and clothe were given to Israel by Egypt as they left the land.  Isn't it symbolic that we earn a living in the world (Egypt) and then give our gifts earned in the world, asking God to make them holy in order that we might do a work that would affect eternity.  Isn't there some similarity there for us?

There are several numbers that are used repetitively in the Bible.  I do not propose that I understand the numerology involved, but some of the numbers have particular meaning.  One of those numbers is 7.  God called for seven lampstands to be made of pure gold.  In the book of Revelation, later we will read of how the seven churches are referred to as lampstands, symbolically God's light in the world.  These seven lamp stands in the tabernacle are pure gold.....75 pounds, 1200 ounces.  At today's price of $1328 per ounce, those lamp stands were worth almost $1.7 million dollars.  The people gave that and much more out of the grateful knowledge That Jehovah-Jireh was indeed providing them with all that they needed to survive the wilderness that they were in.  My prayer today is that we could also trust as much, that God, who is our provider, will also keep us until we are able to exit this wilderness and enter into his promised land.  Amen

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