Day 7: The First Building Project

Today’s reading: Exodus 20-31, Psalm 10

Today’s reading begins with the giving of the ten commandments to the people of Israel, followed by a detailed list of additional laws which they are also expected to follow. Here in chapters 20-23, the boundaries are being set for the kind of relationship God wants to have with them–a covenant.  There will be more to examine on this topic as we make our way through the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament) over the next couple of weeks. For today, I’d like to turn our attention to what comes next.

In case you missed it, wading through all the laborious descriptions in chapters 25-31, what we get is a description of the people of Israel’s first building project. God gives to Moses all the details necessary to carry out this project. Three aspects of this description stand out to me:

1) The people are to bring offerings, based on what they have and are willing to give (Exodus 25). These offerings become the materials that will be used in the fulfillment of the project.

2) Great attention is given to detail. Such attention, while perhaps requiring an extra shot of espresso in order to read it all, shows that great care and concern went into the design. It is a way of honoring the importance and significance of the project.

3) When it is time to begin the project, God will equip members of the community with just the right skills to get the job done (Exodus 31).

Sounds like a great plan!

Then, at the end, a reminder that takes us back to the beginning of today’s reading: don’t get so caught up in your work and think it’s so important, even if it is for God, that you forget to rest. Keep the Sabbath. No matter what, keep the Sabbath.

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9 Responses to Day 7: The First Building Project

  1. Nancy says:

    I also wanted to see what some of these tabernacle items & priestly garments might have looked like so I Googled it and clicked on “images” and was amazed to see so many images pop up. Now I realize most of them are simply someone’s ideas about what these items looked like, but it still helped me to visualize it all…especially how all the pillars and curtains worked and how the 12 stones on the breastplate might have been displayed. I also found a 3D puzzle of the Exodus tabernacle for sale which might be an interesting summer project to do with the kids and work in a little study of the book of Exodus!

  2. Patricia says:

    Are there any pictures of replicas of the items described here? Why don’t the Jews still offer animal sacrifices?

    • Ken says:

      My study Bible has some great illustrations. It is real easy to get overwhelmed by the details and it is nice to see pictures. The first Indiana Jones movie has some interesting concepts (Steve is cringing).

      I believe sacrifices declined during the time of the destruction of the Temple in 72 AD. I think with the elimination of temple traditions this aspect of worship began to get eliminated.

      • runninrev says:

        Ken is exactly right about the timing. When the temple was destroyed, the people no longer had the proper place to practice animal sacrifice. In the absence of that, other traditions developed in place of the sacrifices for how the people would draw close to God–e.g. prayers and acts of mercy.

      • Patricia says:

        Having butchered chickens, I can’t see how all that blood would be a good thing to have sprinkled around. I would think the Holy place and the priests “doth stinketh”!

  3. Ken says:

    The amount of detail this reading and in some of the ones coming had on the expectation of the Lord offers me a better understanding on how the Pharasees 1400 years later during Jesus’ time could have become excessively legalistic.

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