Prayer Focus: Afghanistan

Bible Reading: Exodus 25-28

Scripture

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breast piece. “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.  (Exodus 25:1-9)

Observation

God told the Israelites to bring all the supplies to create the ark, temple, alter and vestments.  Then he gave them plans to create each article in exact detail, right down to the underwear that the priests were to wear!  All of those items were to be symbols that represented His coming son, His throne, and heaven.  The only other time I immediately recall God giving architectural plans to man was when he instructed Noah to build the other ark, the one for human kind to survive the coming flood.

He said “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”

And so they did …and so He did.

Application

I am reminded of all the times, places in time and history that God has breached the void, and reached down to us.  In the garden, he walked with us.  In the desert, he led us with fire and smoke.  In the passage we are reading this week, he dwelt in a tent, making his home with us there.  Later in scripture, he spoke to us through prophets.  He made a cameo appearance to Ezekiel (in 1:4-5, 26-28) who recorded it.  Then two thousand years ago he sent his son, he became flesh, and through that sacrifice he made it possible for the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts.  (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 10:16)

All through history, God has been working to find ways to show us who He is, what heaven is like, and reached out to us through our sin.  He left us clues through symbols and rituals, alters and tabernacles, and arks filled with the manna from heaven to point to Jesus who would be the bread of life, so that we would come to know Him, so that we would recognize Him when we saw Him.

Prayer

Lord, you said in those verses in Jeremiah and Hebrews that you would put your laws in our heart and write them in our minds; that our sins and lawless acts you would remember no more.

The specifications for the construction of this place that you would dwell inside us, you made simple; that we love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves.

Please examine me, Lord.  See if there be any wickedness in me.  Forgive me and clean me, make me a proper dwelling place for you to live.  Give me the courage to look in the dark corners of my heart, I confess my sin and beg the forgiveness that you bring when I repent (1st John 1:9).

Amen.

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