Right – you want me to do what?

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?

3 thoughts on “Right – you want me to do what?

  1. Thanks Karen. The Bill Cosby “ark chat” is a huge favourite in our family – made me giggle just thinking about it again! I too noticed afresh the order of things today and the detail in the instructions for the ark, if I am not still and listen well, I miss the detail far too easily.

  2. Thats it isn’t? To do God’s work in and through our faith in Him and then see part of God’s plan revealed to us. And share in His joy of our deeds, under God’s plans, coming to fruition. As I read of Moses deeds in requiring the gifts and receiving them I am reminded of God moving our hearts and minds to build a new church. For the second or third time at Figtree. Then some 4 or 5 years later standing with our service friends in the body of a half built building and praying and worshiping Him for His provision and sharing in a job commenced in His name to bring glory to Him. Years later this same building is being used for a much broader range of uses than only its primary task of a worship centre. Wow. We too have grown and have been and are being refined to serve our great Lord. Just as Moses and Joshua were. May His name be praised!

    • Thanks Glenn yes some of our building days also came to my mind after reading this passage. God’s people offered much, but can’t recall seeing any goat hair, ram skins or hides of sea cows! And as we meet in God’s house each week it is good to remember the sacrifices of all of our our brothers and sisters giving glory to Christ who sacrificed all for us all.

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