Exodus 40: Obey!
Do you cringe a little bit at the word ‘obey’? I think it’s a natural part of our independent, willful human nature to automatically want to do things our own way, or not at all, when we hear that word. If we know it’s in our nature to disobey, then we need to realize that and be disciplined to always stop and think and pray before we (maybe, even subconsciously) choose to disobey. (To be clear, I’m talking about obeying good, caring, safe people in positions of authority in our lives and obeying God).
In chapter 40 of Exodus, the Lord gave Moses specific instructions on how to set up the Tabernacle. It made me think of how God wants us to thoughtfully prepare ourselves for Him. Like preparing for a guest (except that He’s staying forever).
As Moses meticulously completes these tasks, it is noted at least eight times that he did ‘just as the Lord had commanded him’. Not only did Moses do what he was told, he did it right and to completion.
I’ll admit it was hard to read some of these chapters with enthusiasm. Measurements, décor details, explanations that I didn’t feel really mattered. (Wow. Who am I to say that any part of God’s Word is redundant?! Please forgive me Lord!) But, as we see, God cares about the details and even if we don’t understand why they’re important, we need to care and obey, if only because God told us to and we put our trust in Him. We don’t see eternity like God does and even if we could, He’s still Creator God and we’re His creation. I am far from qualified to dictate anything to Him. So even in what we might feel is the mundane, such as the care and maintenance of our church buildings (maybe Scott, our facilities director would disagree about that being mundane) it is still an important part of our worship to God.
In verse 33, Moses’ work is complete, the Tabernacle is finished and Aaron and his sons are in place as the priests. It is through their journey from Egypt and the obedience in the details of Moses that God settles among the people and brings them into relationship with Him. By choosing to be obedient to God, Moses had a profound impact on his family and his people for generations. To think my obedience now, and God’s faithfulness in that, will impact my family and community for generations is extremely humbling.
Just like the Israelites, we were slaves to sin and are redeemed by God and finish our journey living with Him forever.
My prayer is that we will embrace patience and trust in the Lord, even when we are fearful of not seeing what’s ahead and focus on the ultimate reward. Not to gain something for ourselves but to simply be able to say that we served our God completely because He is our Creator and Saviour.