GOD’S WORK, GOD’S WAY
Almighty God, to you the past, present, and future are as one. How great you are, Lord of time.
Read Exodus 39:22–43
Other Priestly Garments
22 They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth—the work of a weaver— 23 with an opening in the center of the robe like the opening of a collar,[a] and a band around this opening, so that it would not tear. 24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen around the hem of the robe. 25 And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. 26 The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses.
27 For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen—the work of a weaver— 28 and the turban of fine linen, the linen caps and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. 29 The sash was made of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn—the work of an embroiderer—as the Lord commanded Moses.
30 They made the plate, the sacred emblem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: holy to the Lord. 31 Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Moses Inspects the Tabernacle
32 So all the work on the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses. 33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses: the tent and all its furnishings, its clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 34 the covering of ram skins dyed red and the covering of another durable leather[b] and the shielding curtain; 35 the ark of the covenant law with its poles and the atonement cover; 36 the table with all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 37 the pure gold lampstand with its row of lamps and all its accessories, and the olive oil for the light; 38 the gold altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, and the curtain for the entrance to the tent; 39 the bronze altar with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; 40 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; the ropes and tent pegs for the courtyard; all the furnishings for the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; 41 and the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when serving as priests.
42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 43 Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.
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.
ReflectEvaluate your discipleship against Job’s criteria: ‘I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way’ (Job 23:11, MSG).
As work on the tabernacle is completed, the narrator notes that ‘the Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses’ (v 32). Moses holds an inspection. The components of the tabernacle are brought to him (vs 33–41) – not just important objects like the ark, table, lampstand and altars, but also seemingly insignificant items like clasps, poles, ropes and tent pegs. Every piece plays a part. The details really do matter.
Moses performs no safety checks or endurance tests. His inspection is not for quality control purposes but as a test of obedience, to ensure that each component has been made just as God directed (v 43a). Doing things God’s way may sometimes feel inefficient or ineffectual, especially where our way seems to produce instant, even phenomenal, success. But God’s work done God’s way yields God’s blessing: ‘So Moses blessed them’ (v 43b).
Before launching into Operation Tabernacle, the Israelites were urged to uphold the Sabbath rest (35:1–3). The blessing that accompanies their finished work echoes the ancient Sabbath blessing: ‘God had finished the work … God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…’ (Genesis 2:1–3). Genesis opens with humankind receiving God’s blessing (1:28); as Exodus draws to a close, God’s people are blessed.
Examine your own life to see if there are areas where you need to trust God more deeply, where your obedience needs to spring forth more readily, unreservedly, and joyfully.
Merciful One: holiness and obedience, they are a constant challenge for me. Lord, I look to you to enable me in my daily walk with you.