Todays readings are Exodus 25 and James 2:20-24.
In a conversation today, I was reminded of the Bill Cosby comedy skit where God speaks to Noah telling him to build an ark. Right – what’s an ark; right – what’s a cubit?? Well again we have in this chapter God speaking to Moses with instructions to build a slightly different ark, or a chest, along with the other furnishings that would form part of the tabernacle. The questions that come to my mind here include:
• The relationship between the Lord and Moses was now so well developed through what we have already read in Exodus. James reminded us yesterday how God invited Moses and a select few to hang out, have a meal. I still wonder what Moses’ response would have been when God spoke to him. Just like the Cosby skit… right – am I on candid camera? Or was it by now that they were BFF’s and chatted so regularly it was just common place? How do I relate to God, am I listening for His voice, do I spend time in His presence as my Lord, Saviour and BFF that I know what he asks of me?
• God is a God of order. The instructions are clear, ordered and very specific. From v9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. Am I obedient to his call, following the plans of the work he has planned in advance for me to do?
• Moses is to receive the offerings on Gods behalf; v2 Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering) . It’s not Moses’ or anyone else’s tabernacle, its Gods. How do I treat God’s world and His people, especially when it comes to offerings in His name?
• God knows in advance what each man will bring as he knows their heart; v2 from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. Is my heart aligned with His that I know what it is he is asking of me?
So if Moses’ reaction was like Cosby’s disbelieving Noah, his response may have been very different. Please allow me to present some (perhaps ridiculous) possibilities…
• Moses has no faith and does absolutely nothing. God’s people, after all they have been through, are not really His treasured possessions (Ex 19:5)
• He has no faith but out of perhaps fear or obligation, decides to do what he is told. Problem is God knows his heart.
• He has faith but fails to complete the specific instructions. Probably not on Moses mind as the faith God has placed in his heart would want to follow the instructions OR
• His faith enables him to do what the Lord has asked – correct answer!
This brings us to the verses in James 2:20 – Faith without deeds is useless! The deeds are like an offering that pours out of our hearts from the faith God has placed there. Lets face it, there is no amount of money, time, effort, words, anything that we can offer God that will ever be enough. All of it is already his. Remember the song…”my god is so big, the mountains are his, the valleys are his, the stars are his handiwork too”.
As we grow closer to our Lord, our BFF, I’m reminded of Jesus commandment to us in Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.
Please Lord, through the work of your Holy Spirit, may my heart be aligned to yours, that as I love you more, I can love others in thought, word and deeds, for your glory. I’m not sure if this work is easier or harder than Moses – after all what is a cubit?