Thursday, February 7, 2013

It Matters How You Build

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Thursday, February 7, 2013:  Exodus 26:1-27:21

"And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain."  Exodus 26:30 (NKJV)

20 “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.  Exodus 27:20-21 (NKJV)

The entire Tabernacle structure is a message to us.  It is symbolic of our relationship with Jesus.  It can be really hard to read through all the details about boards and bars, pillars and sockets.  Seems like a lot of technical information that we have to wade through.  But, it is there for a reason.  Exodus 26:30 tells us God's evaluation of all this detail.  "And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain."  God says for Israel to build it EXACTLY as He tells them. 

No sloppy construction here!  God wanted the Tabernacle to be built exactly according to specs.  And He wants your life to be built right too.  No sloppy construction of your life either.  BUILD ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN.

Compare this to a post I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago.  A good friend of mine was building a chicken coop and wrote, Got a little more to do on my chicken coop expansion today. I like this type of "construction"...the kind that does not necessarily require precise measurements and cuts. I love needing a 24" board, picking up a piece and seeing that it's only 23 1/2" and saying, "close'll do".  I laughed when I read that.  And it's true.  There are some kinds of construction that "close" is "good enough." 

That might work for a chicken coop, but it won't work for your life!  Paul echoes this in I Corinthians 3 when he says that our lives are "God's building" -- God's temple or tabernacle.  He goes on to say, "Let each one take care how he builds." (I Co. 3:10)  You can build your life with gold, silver, and stones or with wood, hay, and straw.  When the fire comes, which do you think will be burned up?  IT IS IMPORTANT HOW YOU BUILD!

Each part of the Tabernacle has powerful symbolic importance.  It is well worth further study to see how it directly applies to your life today.  In fact, in the New Testament this is opened up in Hebrews 9.  The Tabernacle is a physical symbol of our relationship with God!

One last detail for today is the Lampstand.  It was placed in the Holy Place to give light to the priests as they came to do their ceremonial activities.  This Lampstand was beautiful.  It shed a golden-hewed light on all around.  The priests were instructed to keep it fueled up with olive oil and to NEVER LET IT GO OUT. 

The Lampstand is symbolic of your PRAYER LIFE.  In the New Testament we read, "Pray without ceasing." (I Thess. 5:17).  Keep the candles of prayer continually glowing in your heart.  This will give light and revelation to your life.  Even during difficult, dark times, God will give you the light of life.  Don't let your prayer life die.  Keep it fueled up with the oil of the Holy Spirit.  This is part of what it means to "pray in the Spirit" (Eph. 6:18).

God has given you a lampstand.  As you nourish it and let it burn in your heart today, it will be a source of light not only on your path today, it will be a guiding lamp into your future.  It will shine into generations to come.  God says that this is to be a statute forever.  Generations from now will be glad you kept your lampstand burning -- and that you did it according to the pattern.

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