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January 23, 2023 - Exodus 25-27

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me’” (25:1-2). I am immediately struck by several things as God instructs Moses and the people on the building of the tabernacle. First, supplies were needed; I mean, you can’t build something out of thin air. The people themselves were to provide these supplies but not out of mere obligation (though there was that); as always with our service to God, it’s a heart issue. Those who truly know and love God give freely and joyfully.

Second, the command was: “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst” (25:8). It’s not as if there is no great benefit for Israel in the giving of these contributions. God will dwell in their midst! David declared, “O Lord, I love the habitation of your house” (Psalm 26:8). And why was that? It’s because that is “the place where your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8). Mere attendance in the sanctuary without a true love toward God is worthless. But those who truly love God and walk with him find themselves regularly gathering where God dwells among his people.

And, third, there is a particular manner and pattern by which we must approach God in worship: “Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it” (25:9). In coming before God we do not get to freewheel it. When the ark of the covenant was brought into the tabernacle, David gave instruction as to how to worship the Lord. It is good that we listen to David.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” --David (1 Chronicles 16:23-31)

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