Saturday, May 26, 2007
I know that I have moved on to I Corinthians but I have been trying to discover what God taught me through reading Exodus.

The number one thing that struck me was the building of the tabernacle. I have read that it took about five months to build it though, when I read of all of the painstaking details, and think of doing it all without modern tools and Microsoft, it seems overwhelming that it could have been done that quickly.

But here you have the Israelites ... escaped from Egypt, led into the desert and to Mt Sinai by Moses. Fed by manna. Frustrated because at times slavery looks better than wilderness. Waiting for the promised land ... a bit discouraged as to whether they'd ever really see it.

And yet it is, with the building of the tabernacle, an amazingly productive time for the Israelites. Yes, ultimately, I guess it was a period of waiting for the promised land but yet they discovered the work at hand and kept busy at it.

I have posted before about how I had felt for awhile that I had lost my groove ... I was drifting into the background of my own life ... letting others make my decisions and determine the future. Exodus has taught me that that is not the way to do things.

Yes, I may feel like I am in an "in-between" period ... waiting for something. But yet, like the Israelites, I need to make that a productive time. Yes, they had clear directives from God in building the tabernacle but yet, to them, building this mobile sanctuary was not where they thought Moses was leading them. This wasn't the promised land! They were stuck at the bottom of a mountain in the desert and they weren't even allowed to climb it and take a look around! Yikes! What could be more depressing?

They had escaped Egypt with fine materials, jewelry and other precious things ... yet here, in the desert, for some God-only-knows reason, they were asked to give those things up and build this huge Tabernacle-A-Go-Go!

When I look at my life, I see how the dry spells, if I leave them dry, stay dry. It is in my moments of high energy and enthusiasm that I regain my creativity, that I hear God the loudest, and that I can start to accomplish things of significance.

The Israelites could have moped around in the desert. They could have not seen the point of anything. They could have demanded their own personal moments on Mt. Sinai. Forget about Moses, let me also go up and see God's backside! But, they didn't. Yes, they were waiting ... waiting for the promised land ... but they were also productive ... right where they were at. Had they not built the tabernacle during this period, God never could have led them out of the desert. Getting out of the desert was dependent upon high energy working while they were in the desert! Realizing that has truly been a "WOW" moment for me!

I really don't buy into "health and wealth" theology but one quote from it that resonates clearly is something that was coined by Zig Ziglar but I have heard it often repeated by Robert Schuller and others: "It's your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude."

Exodus has helped me get my groove back. The last couple of weeks, I have taken a stronger, more pro-active role in my own life ... and things have started to happen ... and I feel hugely blessed. I may ultimately feel like I am still at an "in-between" stage in my life but I have a refreshed mind and renewed spirit. My turning the "waiting" into "working" has brought me to new places where I can once again see God ... and see His work around me and, hopefully, through me.

If the tabernacle and everything involved with it was truly constructed in five months, it was only because all of the Israelites threw themselves whole-heartedly into it. They didn't sit around. They got to work! Exodus has been a blessing in showing me that "waiting" is not necessarily about "waiting".

  posted at 10:08 AM  

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Todd M said...

I have been thinking more about this. I think it is safe to say that, for many of them, building this movable monstrosity in the desert wasn't what they had expected when they left slavery. It probably didn't seem a whole lot different than slavery. Perhaps it just seemed that they were now slaves of Moses' instead of Pharaoh's slaves. Yet, they toiled long and hard and, if it was indeed completed in just five months, they had huge productivity.

If, as Christians, we accept the fact that all we encounter is just preparation for our next stage in life ... that this is all a journey ... then can one assume that God does not bless us with opening doors and showing the way to our next stage until we have given it all where we're at?

I mean, the Israelites had to build the tabernacle in order to eventually reach the land of milk and honey. No hard work on the tabernacle, no additional wandering in the desert, no milk and honey.

For me, I hope that I can take from Exodus a renewed enthusiasm and passion for all times of my life ... to embrace the plan that God has for my life, I have to realize that it is all part of the plan ... part of the journey ... and throw myself into it headlong, doing mt best with what He gives me and with the situations I face.

At 11:35 PM, Anonymous John said...

Hi Todd.

I believe, that as you mention, all that happens as preparation for our next stage in life can clearly be seen in the wilderness years, the Tabernacle, the Law. And indeed, slavery has a lot to do with the time of God's people between Egypt and the Land of Promise.

God rescued His chosen through Moses and sought to bring them into the Land He had for them. However, they were not ready for that Land. Yes, physically they were out of Egypt, mentally however, they were still there. God needed to change a mindset that suffered under slave-masters and yet one that knew they received rest and rations-for what they were worth. In their minds, the captives looked to Pharoh, whether they understood that or not. This, God sought to change.

The Tabernacle provided a direction for the worship of the Jews. To God. In it's building and provision the people became part of the Tabernacle, a place where God would ultimately rest with His people. In Ezekiel, God tells the Prophet to tell the Israelites to look at the Temple. This, I believe, was in part to remind them that they were part and parcel of the Temple and God, just as they were with the Tabernacle.

Focus on their God was one thing, living as He required them to live in the Land of Promise was another. Therefore, the Law at Sinai.

The Tabernacle, a time of productivity? Yes. A time of waiting? Most certainly. And yes, as God had desired, the people threw themselves wholeheartedly into the building of the Tabernacle.

As you say Todd, times of preparation, waiting into working. God focused, God enabled. Preparation for us in taking the next step. Moving from one camp to another.

God Bless you Todd, and your ministry.


p.s. Todd, as info for any using link to my blog,the notes on my site are just that-notes. Hopefully people will respond and the notes can be enlarged upon.


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