The Meticulous Tabernacle | Devotional Moment
I originally wrote this down to include in my weekly review for tomorrow, but decided that when I do feel led to write these "Devotional Moments", I want them to be accessible to all. Therefore, here is a quick thought from my Bible reading this morning.
For those of you who are still getting to know me, you should know that I practice daily spiritual disciplines. They have ebbed and flowed over the years - in some seasons I have made time to deep dive daily into the Word and in others I have only had time to jot down a couple of prayers in a journal. In this season, I have committed to doing three things every weekday morning: I read ten pages of my Bible, which is the number necessary to read through my Bible in 2018; I read a daily devotional out of "New Morning Mercies" by Paul Tripp, which, even though we don't always see eye to eye on everything, I am enjoying his perspective and the challenge he often levels against me; and I pray by way of bullet journaling, a practice that I highly recommend for people who want to get into a daily prayer habit.
Anyway, my daily Bible reading has led me into the metaphorical and literal dry desert and wilderness of the Old Testament, which is the Israelites' story after being freed from the clutches of Pharaoh. For me, this particular stretch of the Bible is always a tough one because the desert wilderness seems to not only be a literal struggle for the Israelite people, but also a bit of a metaphorical wasteland of unending rules and nitty gritty particularities that I find myself forcing myself to slog through. Interspersed throughout the end of Exodus is of course many of the stories that some of us learned in Sunday school (manna, ten commandments, golden calf, etc.) but, other than those moments, Exodus can sometimes feel like a laundry list of things that the Israelites needed to take into consideration. One of the longer, painstakingly meticulous sections is the portion about constructing the tabernacle. Nearly thirteen chapters are dedicated to this process and as I have been reading through this stretch over the last few days (remember only ten pages a day). My apathy towards this section has begun to dissolve. For that which first looked like an incessant barrage of rules that needed to be followed so that everything could be right for God, started to shift when I asked myself these questions: What is the point of all of this? Why is God so detail oriented?
The detail oriented part stuck out to me, because it is a "strength" of mine that I tend to highlight. And, as any detail oriented person knows, details are important because they are the pieces that must come together to reach the end goal. The grander the end goal the more details required to get it right. So, what's the end goal of nearly thirteen chapters of details? A dwelling place for God to be with God's people. A quest we see over and over again in the Old Testament - God desires to be with God's people. Through this lens, the list of details becomes a testament to God's devotion. cand I hope that next time you or I find ourselves bogged down in the details with a friend, co-worker, spouse, or even God, that we would take a moment to rethink their intent. If we do, I think we might find a deeply passionate person on the other side who just wants to get things right.