GOD OF THE DETAILS
Lord, I long to rest in you and hope in you. Teach me today what it means to live in you.
Read Exodus 30:1–21
The Altar of Incense
30 “Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense. 2 It is to be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high[a]—its horns of one piece with it. 3 Overlay the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it. 4 Make two gold rings for the altar below the molding—two on each of the opposite sides—to hold the poles used to carry it. 5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 6 Put the altar in front of the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law—before the atonement cover that is over the tablets of the covenant law—where I will meet with you.
7 “Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. 8 He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come. 9 Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. 10 Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering[b] for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord.”
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. 13 Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel,[c] according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord. 14 All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord. 15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16 Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.”
Basin for Washing
17 Then the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. 20 Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the Lord, 21 they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAsk God to speak to you through his Word today.
What are you noticing about the passages we’ve read so far in Exodus? Again and again, I’m struck by the detail, care and attention with which God instructs his people – from the washing of hands and feet in a bronze (even the metal is specified) basin (vs 17–21), to every 20-year-old and upwards paying half a shekel to ransom their life (v 14), to the maker’s manual for an altar (vs 1–6). God isn’t an absent-minded deity, nor is he like a FTSE 100 CEO focused only on the global, significant and strategic. God is good with the details of life; the little things matter to him.
Do you wonder if God has forgotten you? He’s been quiet for a while, and you question if he’s paying attention to what’s going on in your life. Do you secretly think you’re too small or that you don’t matter to him quite as much as others? Don’t. The God who remembers recipes (vs 22–25) also knows the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:29,30). Not a single sparrow falls to the ground without him noticing, and you are worth more than many sparrows to him. Who says so? Jesus… and he proved it.
Are you afraid or anxious at the moment? Write down each reason why. On the same page, draw a circle and write ‘God’ in the middle. Now draw an arrow from each of your reasons to God. Leave them with him.
Gracious Father, you are my refuge when I am distressed, you are my hope when I am depressed. Remind me that, in the struggles of life, you’ll always be working for my good.