1522.) Psalm 17

March 3, 2015
a prayer for every day

a prayer for every day

Psalm 17

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecutors

1Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

2From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.

3If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.

4As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.

5My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.

7Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

Ps17 Remember me

Luke 23:42-43 (New International Version)

Then one of the criminals said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

8Guard me as the apple of the eye;

"apple" of my "I" phone

“apple” of my “I” phone

hide me in the shadow of your wings,

17-butterfly wings

9from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11They track me down; now they surround me; they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush.

13Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them! By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

14from mortals—by your hand, O Lord— from mortals whose portion in life is in this world. May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them; may their children have more than enough; may they leave something over to their little ones.

15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Luke 2:30-31 (New Living Translation)

I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.

"Head of Christ"  by Warner Sallman, 1940

“Head of Christ” by Chicago painter Warner Sallman, 1940.  More than 500 million copies of this portrait have been sold.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Hillsong’s “One Desire.”  Nothing better than the Crucified One.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
unfailing love.    https://aarondarnell.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/aaron-darnell.jpg
three crosses.  http://markdroberts.com/images/Stations-11-remember-7.jpg
I-phone.   http://www.kitguru.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/apple_iphone_61.jpg
butterfly.  http://www.mybutterflies.com/images/Bookmarks/Psalm_17-8_copy.jpg
Sallman.  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ee/The_Head_of_Christ_by_Warner_Sallman_1941.jpg/220px-The_Head_of_Christ_by_Warner_Sallman_1941.jpg

1521.) Exodus 40

March 2, 2015
"The Glory Fills the Tabernacle"  digital art by Ted Larson

“The Glory Fills the Tabernacle” digital art by Ted Larson

Exodus 40   (NRSV)

The Tabernacle Erected and Its Equipment Installed

The Lord spoke to Moses: 2On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. 3You shall put in it the ark of the covenant, and you shall screen the ark with the curtain. 4You shall bring in the table, and arrange its setting; and you shall bring in the lampstand, and set up its lamps. 5You shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the covenant, and set up the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle.

6You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, 7and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 8You shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court.

9Then you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it shall become holy. 10You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar, so that the altar shall be most holy. 11You shall also anoint the basin with its stand, and consecrate it.

12Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, 13and put on Aaron the sacred vestments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, so that he may serve me as priest. 14You shall bring his sons also and put tunics on them, 15and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout all generations to come.16Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him.

17In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up.

the first day of the first month of the second year

. . . one year after the children of Israel left Egypt.

18Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; 19and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

20He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above the ark; 21and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

22He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain, 23and set the bread in order on it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

24He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, 25and set up the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

26He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the curtain, 27and offered fragrant incense on it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 28He also put in place the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle.

29He set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering as the Lord had commanded Moses.

30He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, 31with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. 32When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

33He set up the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and put up the screen at the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

grunge image of a ladybug climbing cammomile flower

Philippians 1:6 (Contemporary English Version)

God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

The Cloud and the Glory

_________________________

Music:

“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”  HERE  is the wonderful Oslo Gospel Choir!  What marvelous thing has the Lord done for you today already?

_________________________

34Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Psalm 26:8 (New International Version)

I love the house where you live, O LORD,
the place where your glory dwells.

36Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; 37but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

"The cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle" by Marc Chagall

“The cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle” by Marc Chagall

Reflection:

The book of Exodus is the history of God’s people during the year between their deliverance from Egypt and the erection of the tabernacle at Mount Sinai.  It begins with groaning and ends in glory, with God at work throughout.  What situation has you groaning, that you need to have end in deliverance and glory?  God’s presence dwells gloriously in the work and walk of those who are willingly and diligently obedient, seeking the holiness of the Lord!  As God graciously did wonderfully for the Israelites, he will also do wonderfully for you, according to his purposes!

THE END  of the book of Exodus.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Larson.   http://digitalartbytedlarson.com/EXODUS%20GALLERY.dwt
daisy.  http://www.christianwomenonline.net/DaisyGrunge.jpg
Chagall.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/40-chagall2.jpg?w=450

1520. Exodus 39

February 27, 2015
One idea of Aaron and his priestly garments.

One idea of Aaron and his priestly garments.

Exodus 39   (NRSV)

Making the Vestments for the Priesthood

Of the blue, purple, and crimson yarns they made finely worked vestments, for ministering in the holy place; they made the sacred vestments for Aaron; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

“Dress gives one the outward sign from which people can judge the inward state of mind.  One they can see . . . the other they cannot.”

–Queen Elizabeth II, quoted in Class Acts by Mary Mitchell

2He made the ephod of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 3Gold leaf was hammered out and cut into threads to work into the blue, purple, and crimson yarns and into the fine twisted linen, in skilled design. 4They made for the ephod shoulder-pieces, joined to it at its two edges. 5The decorated band on it was of the same materials and workmanship, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 6The onyx stones were prepared, enclosed in settings of gold filigree and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. 7He set them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

8He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, like the work of the ephod, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 9It was square; the breastpiece was made double, a span in length and a span in width when doubled. 10They set in it four rows of stones. A row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald was the first row; 11and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and a moonstone; 12and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 13and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper; they were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. 14There were twelve stones with names corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel; they were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. 15They made on the breastpiece chains of pure gold, twisted like cords; 16and they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece; 17and they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. 18Two ends of the two cords they had attached to the two settings of filigree; in this way they attached it in front to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. 19Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 20They made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod, at its joining above the decorated band of the ephod. 21They bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it should lie on the decorated band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

robe of blue cloth with bells and pomegranates around the hem

robe of blue cloth with bells and pomegranates around the hem

22He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue yarn; 23and the opening of the robe in the middle of it was like the opening in a coat of mail, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not be torn. 24On the lower hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 25They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates on the lower hem of the robe all around, between the pomegranates; 26a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate all around on the lower hem of the robe for ministering; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

27They also made the tunics, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, 28and the turban of fine linen, and the head-dresses of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twisted linen, 29and the sash of fine twisted linen, and of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, embroidered with needlework; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

30They made the rosette of the holy diadem of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the Lord.” 31They tied to it a blue cord, to fasten it on the turban above; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

_________________________

39. red dress

Music:

After all this talk about vestments, I asked my family to name songs they knew concerning clothing.  Here are some of their suggestions (some more appropriate than others!):  “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,”  by Joe Nichols.  “Wonderful Tonight,” by Eric Clapton.  “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress,” by the Hollies.  “Underneath Your Clothes,” by Shakira.  Now each one, in its own way, is a wonderful song . . . but I am going to give you the most romantic clothing song I know!  “Lady in Red” sung by Chris De Burgh.  It was released in 1986 and went to #1 in twenty-five countries.  HERE  it is.

_________________________

The Work Completed

39. Larry Git 'er Don

Colossians 4:17 (New International Version)

“See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

32In this way all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished; the Israelites had done everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 34the covering of tanned rams’ skins and the covering of fine leather, and the curtain for the screen; 35the ark of the covenant with its poles and the mercy seat; 36the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 37the pure lampstand with its lamps set on it and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; 38the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; 39the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; 40the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 41the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the sacred vestments for the priest Aaron, and the vestments of his sons to serve as priests.

42The Israelites had done all of the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 43When Moses saw that they had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded, he blessed them.

39. thankyou_note

”There are two things people want more than sex and money — recognition and praise.”
–Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

A capable leader —

  • makes those who are working with him or her feel important and appreciated,
  • excels at creating opportunities to provide recognition and thanks to his or her staff,
  • creates a work environment in which people are valued and rewarded.

Moses showed himself a good leader by blessing the people who had accomplished their work.

Who are the people helping you accomplish your work?  How can you recognize them, thank them, and bless them?  Should you be careful to do such more often?

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
high priestly garments.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/highpriest.jpg
blue robe.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/39-blue-garment.jpg?w=450
red dress.  http://www.1920s-fashions.co.uk/vintagefashion/reddress.jpg
Larry the Cable Guy.   http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTk1NjE0ODIwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjA4NzUyMQ@@._V1_.jpg
thank you.   http://positivepsychologynews.com/ppnd_wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/thank_you_note.png

1519.) Exodus 38

February 26, 2015

38. god-will-provide-the-lamb

Exodus 38   (NRSV)

Making the Altar of Burnt-Offering

He made the altar of burnt offering also of acacia wood; it was five cubits long, and five cubits wide; it was square, and three cubits high. 2He made horns for it on its four corners; its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. 3He made all the utensils of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the firepans: all its utensils he made of bronze. 4He made for the altar a grating, a network of bronze, under its ledge, extending halfway down. 5He cast four rings on the four corners of the bronze grating to hold the poles; 6he made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with bronze. 7And he put the poles through the rings on the sides of the altar, to carry it with them; he made it hollow, with boards.

The altar of burnt offering represents the cross, where the Lord Jesus offered Himself to God as a complete sacrifice.

–all comments in red are by William MacDonald

Hebrews 10:1-10 (New International Version)

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.’ “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “God So Loved the World,”  by English composer and Oxford professor Sir John Stainer (1840-1901), performed by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir.

_________________________

a “shape poem” by George Herbert, 1593-1633, Welsh poet and priest

Ex38 george herbert-the altarMaking the Basin for Washing

8He made the basin of bronze with its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

The laver speaks of the present ministry of Christ, cleansing His people by the washing of water with the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (English Standard Version)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Making the Court of the Tabernacle

9He made the court; for the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twisted linen, one hundred cubits long; 10its twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 11For the north side there were hangings one hundred cubits long; its twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver.

12For the west side there were hangings fifty cubits long, with ten pillars and ten bases; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 13And for the front to the east, fifty cubits. 14The hangings for one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, with three pillars and three bases. 15And so for the other side; on each side of the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits, with three pillars and three bases. 16All the hangings around the court were of fine twisted linen. 17The bases for the pillars were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver; the overlaying of their capitals was also of silver, and all the pillars of the court were banded with silver.

18The screen for the entrance to the court was embroidered with needlework in blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen. It was twenty cubits long and, along the width of it, five cubits high, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 19There were four pillars; their four bases were of bronze, their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals and their bands of silver. 20All the pegs for the tabernacle and for the court all around were of bronze.

The outer court around the tabernacle consisted of white linen hangings, fifty-six pillars with bronze sockets and silver hooks, and an embroidered screen at the gate.  The only entrance to the court was the gate, and this suggests Christ (“I am the door,” John 10:9) here as the only way of approach to God.  The fine linen is a picture of His spotless purity.  The embroidery: the blue for His heavenly origin; the purple, for His regal glory; the scarlet, for His suffering for sin.

Materials of the Tabernacle

China won Gold, Silver, and Bronze in the Men's Singles -- table tennis, 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

China won Gold, Silver, and Bronze in the Men’s Singles — table tennis, 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

21These are the records of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the covenant, which were drawn up at the commandment of Moses, the work of the Levites being under the direction of Ithamar son of the priest Aaron.

Acts 7:44 (New Living Translation)

“Our ancestors carried the Tabernacle with them through the wilderness. It was constructed according to the plan God had shown to Moses.”

22Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses; 23and with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, engraver, designer, and embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen. 24All the gold that was used for the work, in all the construction of the sanctuary, the gold from the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, measured by the sanctuary shekel.

39. gold rings

gold – a little more than one ton!

25The silver from those of the congregation who were counted was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, measured by the sanctuary shekel; 26a beka a head (that is, half a shekel, measured by the sanctuary shekel), for everyone who was counted in the census, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand, five hundred fifty men. 27The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary, and the bases of the curtain; one hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent for a base. 28Of the thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their capitals and made bands for them.

Ex38 silver spoons

silver — a little more than 3 3/4 tons!

29The bronze that was contributed was seventy talents, and two thousand four hundred shekels; 30with it he made the bases for the entrance of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar and the bronze grating for it and all the utensils of the altar, 31the bases all around the court, and the bases of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court.

39. Ancient_Egyptian_bronze_statue_of_a_reclining_cat_and_kitten

bronze — about 2 1/2 tons!

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
God will provide the lamb.   http://livingjourney.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/god-will-provide-the-lamb.jpg
The Altar, by George Herbert.    http://dailyoffice.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/georgeherbert-thealtar-1000.png
gold-silver-bronze.  http://eng.tibet.cn/Features2008/2008olympic/china/200808/W020080824485625257704.jpg
gold rings.  http://www.blogcdn.com/hotsearch.aol.co.uk/media/2009/07/wedding-ring.jpg
silver spoons.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/ex38-silver-spoons.jpg
ancient Egyptian bronze statue of a cat with a kitten.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Ancient_Egyptian_bronze_statue_of_a_reclining_cat_and_kitten.jpg

1518.) Exodus 37

February 25, 2015

Ex37 ark

Exodus 37   (NRSV)

Making the Ark of the Covenant

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood; it was two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 2He overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold around it. 3He cast for it four rings of gold for its four feet, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side. 4He made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold, 5and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark.

The ark was a chest made of wood and overlaid with pure gold.  It pointed to the humanity and deity of our Lord.  It contained the tablets of the law, the golden jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.  If applied to Christ, these things speak of Him as the One who said, “Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8); as the bread of God come down from heaven (John 6:33); and as the Priest of God’s choosing, risen from the dead (Hebrews 7:24-26).  If applied to the people of Israel, they were all memorials of failure and rebellion.

–all comments in red are by William MacDonald

6He made a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its width. 7He made two cherubim of hammered gold; at the two ends of the mercy seat he made them, 8one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim at its two ends. 9The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings. They faced one another; the faces of the cherubim were turned toward the mercy seat.

The mercy seat was the lid of the ark.  It was also God’s throne, the place of His dwelling on earth.  When the cherubim looked down upon it, they did not see the Law or the jar of manna or the rod, all of which were reminders of Israel’s rebellions.  Rather, they saw the sprinkled blood, which enabled God to be merciful to rebellious sinners.

Ex37 crucifix-

Romans 3:21-26 (New Living Translation)

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,  for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Making the Table for the Bread of the Presence

10He also made the table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11He overlaid it with pure gold, and made a molding of gold around it. 12He made around it a rim a handbreadth wide, and made a molding of gold around the rim. 13He cast for it four rings of gold, and fastened the rings to the four corners at its four legs. 14The rings that held the poles used for carrying the table were close to the rim. 15He made the poles of acacia wood to carry the table, and overlaid them with gold. 16And he made the vessels of pure gold that were to be on the table, its plates and dishes for incense, and its bowls and flagons with which to pour drink offerings.

37.  bread

John 6:35 (New International Version)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.”

Making the Lampstand

17He also made the lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand were made of hammered work; its cups, its calyxes, and its petals were of one piece with it. 18There were six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 19three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. 20On the lampstand itself there were four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its calyxes and petals. 21There was a calyx of one piece with it under the first pair of branches, a calyx of one piece with it under the next pair of branches, and a calyx of one piece with it under the last pair of branches. 22Their calyxes and their branches were of one piece with it, the whole of it one hammered piece of pure gold.

23He made its seven lamps and its snuffers and its trays of pure gold. 24He made it and all its utensils of a talent of pure gold.

37. light bulb

John 8:12 (New International Version)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Making the Altar of Incense

25He made the altar of incense of acacia wood, one cubit long, and one cubit wide; it was square, and was two cubits high; its horns were of one piece with it. 26He overlaid it with pure gold, its top, and its sides all around, and its horns; and he made for it a molding of gold all around, 27and made two golden rings for it under its molding, on two opposite sides of it, to hold the poles with which to carry it. 28And he made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold.

The altar of incense speaks of Christ being a perpetual sweet aroma of God.  It also suggests the present ministry of the Lord Jesus, interceding for us in heaven.

29He made the holy anointing oil also, and the pure fragrant incense, blended as by the perfumer.

37. Jesus-praying

Hebrews 7:23-25 (New International Version)

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

_________________________

Music:

All this careful preparation for the tabernacle — first in God’s mind, then told to Moses, and now being executed in physical form — so that people could be forgiven and be able to say, “I am Yours.” Such love for us from God Almighty!   HERE   we join with Casting Crowns singing “Who Am I.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
ark of the covenant.    http://biblestudyoutlines.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Arca_de_la_Alianza_1.jpg
Jesus on the cross.   http://bustedhalo.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/crucifix-2-flash.jpg
bread.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/files/2008/09/img_7844.JPG
light.    http://www.webdesign.org/img_articles/16839/final.jpg
Jesus praying.  http://lovehopefaith.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/jesus-praying.jpg

1517.) Exodus 36

February 24, 2015

37. Tabernacle schematic

Exodus 36   (NRSV)

“God created the whole world in six days, but he used forty to instruct Moses about the tabernacle. Little over one chapter was needed to describe the structure of the world, but six were used for the tabernacle.”

–Dutch theologian Herman Witsius (1636 – 1708)

Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful one to whom the Lord has given skill and understanding to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.

Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful one to whom the Lord had given skill, everyone whose heart was stirred to come to do the work; and they received from Moses all the freewill offerings that the Israelites had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed, and said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing; for what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work.

This follows the pattern of God’s giving to us. God gives us much more than we ever need, and our giving is simply a response to His.

Compare the story of the anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:7), and the generosity of the Philippian church (Philippians 4:14-19).

–David Guzik

Construction of the Tabernacle

8All those with skill among the workers made the tabernacle with ten curtains; they were made of fine twisted linen, and blue, purple, and crimson yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked into them.

36. blue-purple-red

9The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains were of the same size. 10He joined five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he joined to one another. 11He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain of the first set; likewise he made them on the edge of the outermost curtain of the second set; 12he made fifty loops on the one curtain, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set; the loops were opposite one another. 13And he made fifty clasps of gold, and joined the curtains one to the other with clasps; so the tabernacle was one whole.

14He also made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; he made eleven curtains. 15The length of each curtain was thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; the eleven curtains were of the same size. 16He joined five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. 17He made fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain of the one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the other connecting curtain. 18He made fifty clasps of bronze to join the tent together so that it might be one whole. 19And he made for the tent a covering of tanned rams’ skins and an outer covering of fine leather.

20Then he made the upright frames for the tabernacle of acacia wood.

chest made of acacia wood

chest made of acacia wood

21Ten cubits was the length of a frame, and a cubit and a half the width of each frame. 22Each frame had two pegs for fitting together; he did this for all the frames of the tabernacle. 23The frames for the tabernacle he made in this way: twenty frames for the south side; 24and he made forty bases of silver under the twenty frames, two bases under the first frame for its two pegs, and two bases under the next frame for its two pegs. 25For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty frames 26and their forty bases of silver, two bases under the first frame and two bases under the next frame. 27For the rear of the tabernacle westward he made six frames. 28He made two frames for corners of the tabernacle in the rear. 29They were separate beneath, but joined at the top, at the first ring; he made two of them in this way, for the two corners. 30There were eight frames with their bases of silver: sixteen bases, under every frame two bases.

31He made bars of acacia wood, five for the frames of the one side of the tabernacle, 32and five bars for the frames of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames of the tabernacle at the rear westward. 33He made the middle bar to pass through from end to end halfway up the frames. 34And he overlaid the frames with gold, and made rings of gold for them to hold the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.

35He made the curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it. 36For it he made four pillars of acacia, and overlaid them with gold; their hooks were of gold, and he cast for them four bases of silver. 37He also made a screen for the entrance to the tent, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen, embroidered with needlework; 38and its five pillars with their hooks. He overlaid their capitals and their bases with gold, but their five bases were of bronze.

The repetition of so much detail reminds us that God never tires of those things which speak to Him about His beloved Son.

–William MacDonald

–for just as the tabernacle dwelt in the midst of the people, so Christ came and dwelt among us.

_________________________

Music:

For all you choir members out there — and all you choir listeners!  HERE  is “Behold I Build You a House”  composed by David Reznick. Sacred/SATB. Text from II Chronicles 2:4, 5; 6:10.

This piece is sung by East/West Symphonic Choir software.  What is that? you ask.  According to a Keyboard review:  “Symphonic Choirs is an ambitious and powerful instrument capable of recreating the sound of a real choir with an incredible degree of realism. Nothing else quite delivers the control, sonic quality, and flexibility that SC offers. If you absolutely, positively must have the most natural and realistic choir (and you can’t afford to hire one), Symphonic Choirs is really the only choice, a clear Key Buy.”

So this is a choir number sung by a computer program!  Enjoy!

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
diagram of tabernacle.  http://www.preceptaustin.org/Tabernacle%20schematic2.GIF
blue, purple, and red yarns.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/36-blue-purple-red.jpg?w=450
acacia wood chest.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/36-acacia-wood.jpg

1516.) Exodus 35

February 23, 2015

Ex35 Renoir
Not in a silver casket cool with pearls
Or rich with red corundum or with blue,
Locked, and the key withheld, as other girls
Have given their loves, I give my love to you;
Not in a lovers’-knot, not in a ring
Worked in such fashion, and the legend plain—
Semper fidelis, where a secret spring
Kennels a drop of mischief for the brain:
Love in the open hand, no thing but that,
Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt,
As one should bring you cowslips in a hat
Swung from the hand, or apples in her skirt,
I bring you, calling out as children do:
“Look what I have!—And these are all for you.”

–Edna St. Vincent Millay

Exodus 35:1 – 36:7   (NRSV)

Sabbath Regulations

Moses assembled all the congregation of the Israelites and said to them: These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do: 2Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3You shall kindle no fire in all your dwellings on the sabbath day.

Preparations for Making the Tabernacle

This entire section (Exodus 35:4-39:43) is based on chs. 25-31 but follows a different order.  Whereas the earlier chapters gave the instructions for the tabernacle, this section describes its construction.  Beginning with the reiteration of the instructions for the gathering of offerings and artisans (35:4-19), the narrative then moves logically to the gathering of materials and the recognition of artisans (35:20-36:7), the construction of the tabernacle parts and contents (36:8-38:31), the preparation of sacred vestments (39:1-31), the erection of the tabernacle (39:32-40:33), and finally to the climactic arrival of the glory of the Lord in the tabernacle (40:34-38).  (The Reformation Bible)

4Moses said to all the congregation of the Israelites: This is the thing that the Lord has commanded: 5Take from among you an offering to the Lord;

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Offering”  by Paul Balouche.

_________________________

let whoever is of a generous heart

Love in the open hand . . .

Exodus 35:5 (New American Standard Bible)

. . . whoever is of a willing heart . . .

Exodus 35:5 (Contemporary English Version)

. . . anyone who wants to give something . . .

35. hard-boiled-egg-with-yellow-yolk

“Don’t forget that people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.  You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.”

bring the Lord’s offering: gold, silver, and bronze; 6blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine linen; goats’ hair, 7tanned rams’ skins, and fine leather; acacia wood, 8oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 9and onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece.

10All who are skillful among you shall come and make all that the Lord has commanded: the tabernacle, 11its tent and its covering, its clasps and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 12the ark with its poles, the mercy seat, and the curtain for the screen; 13the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance, the entrance of the tabernacle; 16the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin with its stand; 17the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the holy vestments for the priest Aaron, and the vestments of his sons, for their service as priests.

Offerings for the Tabernacle

20Then all the congregation of the Israelites withdrew from the presence of Moses. 21And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the sacred vestments. 22So they came, both men and women;

Women are mentioned for the first time.  Their involvement includes both the donation and the preparation of the materials.

all who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and pendants, all sorts of gold objects, everyone bringing an offering of gold to the Lord. 23And everyone who possessed blue or purple or crimson yarn or fine linen or goats’ hair or tanned rams’ skins or fine leather, brought them. 24Everyone who could make an offering of silver or bronze brought it as the Lord’s offering; and everyone who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work, brought it.

35. silver and gold

Where did these former slaves get all this gold, silver, jewelry, linen, and skins?  Remember — from the Egyptians!

Exodus 12:35-36 (Contemporary English Version)

The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and silver and for clothes. The LORD had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt.

25All the skillful women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun in blue and purple and crimson yarns and fine linen; 26all the women whose hearts moved them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair. 27And the leaders brought onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece, 28and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense. 29All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.

35. giving heart

2 Corinthians 9:7 (New Living Translation)

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

Bezalel and Oholiab

30Then Moses said to the Israelites: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31he has filled him with divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, 32to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 33in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. 34And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35He has filled them with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of artisan or skilled designer.

36)  Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful one to whom the Lord has given skill and understanding to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded. 2Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful one to whom the the Lord had given skill, everyone whose heart was stirred to come to do the work; 3and they received from Moses all the freewill offerings that the Israelites had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, 4so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed, 5and said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.”

6So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing; 7for what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work.

Ex35 Generosity

“Look what I have!–And these are all for You!”

2 Corinthians 8:1-3 (New Living Translation)

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.  They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Renoir.  http://www.augusterenoir.com/images/art/mcglf8.jpg
hard-boiled egg.   http://www.blogcdn.com/www.slashfood.com/media/2006/01/050114_rfoster_mp_dt_food_eggs5.jpg
silver and gold bracelet by David Yurman.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/35-silver-and-gold1.jpg?w=450
giving heart.    http://pinkbiz.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/aa-es305uplifted-heart-posters.jpg
2 Corinthians 9:6.   http://heyletsmakestuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Cultivate-Verse-Generosity.jpg

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