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Monthly Archives: September 2010

“…by a skilled craftsman.” // Exodus 26:1

This little blurb is seen in many parts of this portion of our reading.  God places an emphasis on the quality of everything dedicated to Him.  The garments that priests wore, the utensils used for sacrifices, and the temple…all were to be made “by a skilled craftsman”.

What does this look like for us today?  God makes it clear that burn offerings aren’t what He desires.  He simply asks for our broken and contrite hearts.  But in our service of Him, what does it look like for things to be done by a skilled craftsman…or is this irrelevant?

I read this and immediately thought of a blurb by Rob Bell (or some other current dude).  His statement was about ‘Christian’ music.  His point was that if music is going to be called Christian, it had better be amazing.  And as we can all attest, there is too much terrible music being labeled as ‘Christian’.  Chris Tomlin has some good hits, but is he really crafting amazing songs of worship?  I find that some of the most amazing worship songs were never even intended to worship Christ.  And the music that was intended to worship Christ is fluffy and weak at best.

Now, not everyone is an amazing worship singer/guitar player (aka Harrison).  But I still feel compelled to sing and play for Christ at times.  I am offering my best, even though it’s not THE best.  Maybe that’s the distinction.  Maybe that’s the point.

I say all this to discuss what it looks like for us as Christians to present our best to Christ instead of just pumping out volumes of work as if we could dazzle God with our industriousness.

Restitution by definition means reparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification. In chapter 22, the word is referenced several times. Mostly, the examples relate to livestock and their death. While I read this, I began to ask myself the question, “What does restitution look like in my life?” Am I providing restitution to God for his loss, damage, injury and death on the cross? Am I even attempting to live a life that could be confused for restitution? Yes I know that his death was restitution for me, for my sins. I know I should freely accept this but I also know that He did not intend that I accept it and live by my own accord. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” May I add to this that Jesus died for us, can I now live for him? Living for him is my restitution.

Exodus 15:26 “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on Egypt, for I am the Lord who heals you.”

The relationship that is described here brings me comfort. I read this and know that God’s intentions are not to harm me but to provide healing and redemption (salvation). That is what He longs for. Yes He might test me but He’ll never tempt me.

Exodus 16:4b “I will test and see whether they follow my instructions.”

The Lord wants us to rely on him. This testing is meant for that. I know that I rely on my own plans because they are completely known to me where as the Lord’s plan requires faith. While my plan seems to be more neatly laid out, it fails. I should never get upset with God for not revealing his perfect plan.

Exodus 16:8b “You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

When I get frustrated, I look for anyone and everyone to vent, gossip or complain to. I need to realize this as an offense against God and maybe I won’t do it as often.

 

“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.  Miriam sang to them:

‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.'”

//Exodus 15:20-21//

I don’t know about you guys, but there is nothing more attractive than a woman who truly loves the Lord.  I have met many amazing, beautiful, talented, intelligent women in my life, but if she doesn’t love Jesus, these qualities only qualify her as a good friend.

Now obviously, not every girl that is a Christian is sane.  Sami, Sarah, Ana, and the plethora of crazy Christian women you have all dated are perfect examples.  But nevermind them.  Go eat some Panda and forget about it.

My point is, this passage of Miriam leading all the women in worship is so gorgeous.  I see a woman that is passionate for God, compassionate for her people, and lovely in every sense of the word.  My footnotes say that she probably had a voice like Mariah Carey or Ingrid Michaelson…scholars still debate between the two.  Anyways, may God drive our hearts to not settle and drive us to search for a woman that rivals the beautiful heart of Miriam.

“I will make a distinction between my people and your people.” // Exodus:8:23

I read this and wonder what we as Christians should look like.  How should our lives be different from those of unbelievers?  How should we stand out?  Should we blend in at all?  I fear I am the worst at blending in with my friends that are not followers of Christ. Verbally, they may know where I stand, but I think my actions certainly profess a gospel of confusion and hypocrisy.

God, grant us the wisdom and boldness to sacrifice the pleasures of this world to glorify and please you in all ways.  Forgive us for forsaking your perfect way of living for the illustrious but empty way of living this world offers.

“And that you may know that I am the Lord.” //Exodus 10:2

Everything that God did for the Israelites in Egypt (plagues, signs, miracles) was all simply to show the Israelites that He is Lord.  My atheist friends read this and think God is simply showing off to prove how great He is. As if he derives some sadistic pleasure from revealing to us how unlike Him we are.

But in reality, God dazzles the Israelites (and even us today) to make Himself known to us.  And not just for us to know that He is an abstract deity in the sky, but that He is a God that took on flesh…flesh in the form of Christ.  He is the God that invites us into constant communion with Himself.  If God is the source of all that is good, lovely, and perfect; it is not selfish for wanting us to know Him and His power, but in reality, is the most loving and selfless act that can be imagined.