God With Us
Lord, I’m grateful for the good work You’ve already begun in me. Continue it today, I pray.
Read EXODUS 40:1-16,34-38
 Then the LORD said to Moses:  “Set up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the first month.  Place the ark of the Testimony in it and shield the ark with the curtain.  Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps.  Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the Testimony and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.  “Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting;  place the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it.  Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.  “Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy.  Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy.  Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.  “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water.  Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest.  Bring his sons and dress them in tunics.  Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come.”  Moses did everything just as the LORD commanded him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy do you think there was such meticulous instructions?
It’s nearly two years since the Israelites’ miraculous escape from Egypt. They have been through tough times. They have learned of the awfulness of sin, the terror of God’s judgment, the awesomeness of his holiness. They’ve begun to understand that the Lord is compassionate, gracious and forgiving (34:6).
Moses obediently and faithfully sets up the tabernacle. Both this and the priests are consecrated—set apart for service to a holy God. And then, the amazing, unspeakable conclusion to all this: God himself comes to live among them (34,35).
In spite of the people’s past sin and rebellion, the tabernacle becomes the visible symbol of God at the center of their lives—and he is the one who will direct their onward journey (36,37). So at the end of the Exodus story there is a sense of optimism as the people prepare themselves for the next chapter. God had promised to lead his covenant people to the Promised Land. They could be confident—as can we—that God would complete the good work he had begun.
Dedicate yourself again to the Lord’s service as you set out on the next part of your journey with him.
Lord, I thank You for Your consistent, faithful presence with me. May I trust that at all times.
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