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Category Archives: Exodus

“…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.

“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.

“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” //Exodus 4:12

I’m learning more and more that God does not provide everything we need before we set out on our journey.  If you think of a nomad, he does not carry everything he will need for the rest of his life with him wherever he goes.  His heart is guided to where it desires and he finds/acquires the essentials along the way.  Our spiritual life is similar. Not to say that God never equips us beforehand or that we should be careless, but you may find that God simply asks us to go, first.  As Americans, our faith is often tainted by the Western mindset of hoarding , even spiritually.  We want a stockpile of insurance that our next step with God is going to be a success.  We want to feel centered and comfortable in our faith at all times.  I argue that this is not the faith God asks of us.

For those of you that have not read Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus, he writes a lot about the scriptural examples of Jonathan’s (Saul’s son) willingness to do what he thought God wanted done, despite the risks and lack of resources.

It is this faith that God asks us to mimic.  It’s not faith if we wait to have all the evidence and guarantee that everything will work out before we start a ministry, take a new job, meet a new girl, etc.  If we are daily aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit, we can begin to know more of the mind of God and what he would have us do.

May we learn to walk in faith like Jonathan and climb the cliffs, fight the battles, and win the hearts despite all the odds.

One of the most important pieces of scripture is laid out in these chapters. I was able to extract its relevance in my life today. Let me introduce the verses before I go on.

For those who read, this is a repeat. Quick summary, Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and are denied. Pharaoh increases the amount of work and the Israelites grumble and blame Moses/Aaron. They go to the Lord and question His plan (5:22).

The Lord responds with this:

God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD.  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD, I did not make myself known to them.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ ” (Exodus 6:2-8).

The Lord’s response is simple. He reminds the people of WHO he is and WHAT is covenant promised. What more do we need to seek. Within that promise, the Lord states that He will redeem. To redeem means  to purchase or deliver from sin. Jesus purchased us with His blood. Today, I do not need to know anymore than who God is and the covenant that He has purchased me and and continues to redeem me from my own sin.

Thus says the word.