Archive for August 31st, 2011

Exodus 30

Exodus 30 continues God’s instructions on what needs to be built or created for worship in the Tent of Meeting.  The chapter begins with the building of the altar – to be made of acacia wood – and covered with pure gold.  It is to be carried along with all the other things as the people move.  This altar is to be used primarily for burning incense for God – and we learn later in the chapter that Aaron and his sons are to blend together certain items and make this composition to be used solely for worshiping God.

The use of the altar was clear from God:  “Every morning….he shall burn it….at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the Lord”.  The altar was to be used daily – morning and evening – as a place to burn incense and worship the Lord.  How regular are you in your worship.  Is that reserved for an hour on Sunday morning?  That really is not the relationship God desires to have with us.  Our walk with Him needs to be daily – and not just for a little slice of time we give him as quiet time or some other designation.  God wants to be in relationship with us – to be central to our lives every day all day.  Is He for you today?

One of the tasks defined here is to collect the ‘temple tax’ if you will – money to support the priests and the Tent of Meeting.  It was part of the census process where every person over age 20 was to be counted.  “Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel….the Lord’s offering”.  Unlike our approach today though – it was a very specific amount for each person.  No one was allowed to give more nor were they allowed to give less – each was to contribute the exact same amount as prescribed by God.  “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less”.  It was one amount and it has a significant reason: “when you give the Lord’s offering to make atonement for your lives”. And it has a very targeted use per God’s instruction: “You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the Lord, so as to make atonement for your lives”.

So we see here that supporting the work of God’s chosen was not optional.  It was required for each individual.  The balance of the chapter refers to the instructions on how to create the sacred anointing oil and incense that is to be used as part of the worship experience.  God again shows that He is interested in details and gives very specific direction on how to blend things together to His specifications.  Being a priest and doing it God’s way is not a trivial matter.  As He gives instruction around the bronze wash basin – He says this: “They shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they may not die”.  God expected them to do it His way and that way alone.  Not mere suggestions – do it God’s way or die.  Oh that we would understand that even today God is not in the suggestion business.  His Word is not a mere option – it contains His commandments.  We need to be obedient, just like Aaron and his sons were, if we want to have a life that lines up and is blessed by God.  Will you die if you disobey His Word?  That is not the question.  The real question is why don’t we do what God has instructed us so we are walking in His steps as He desires.  He is our Lord.  He is God.  We must obey!

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