Everyone is unclean at some point in their lives. Some of us just more so than others. So what do you do when you have an unclean people and a holy God who can not stand uncleanness in His presence? You don’t want their uncleanness to cause their destruction. So how do you separate their uncleanness from YHWH’s tabernacle?
Well, the simplest and easiest way would be to set down some ground rules. Set up some basic rules and expectations of ways to keep the uncleanness away from the presence of the one whose holiness would consume the one with the uncleanness. Once that uncleanness is dealt with and accounted for, that should allow life to go on as needed.
Do we recognize our need to separate our sin from His holiness? Do we attempt to pursue Him while still being consumed by our sins, or do we come to Him with a repentant heart? Do we acknowledge our uncleanness emitted through our actions as sins, and do we come to Him for forgiveness; or do we just excuse them as “flaws” that give us character and personality? What is our attitude about our uncleanness and the “emissions” in our lives?
The seven days of anointing are over. Aaron, his sons, and the tabernacle have all been purified, anointed, and set apart for the work of service. So now the eighth day has come and Moses gathers the people. It is time to come before the LORD and for YHWH to reveal His presence upon that place.
Aaron and his sons offer the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offering, and the grain offering. All that needs to be done to prepare for this moment has been done. It’s so much hard work to do all of this. It requires so much dedication and effort to see the work to it’s end. In the end though, when YHWH shows up, nothing else matters. Nothing! “Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the LORD (YHWH) appeared to all the people. Then fire came out from before the LORD (YHWH) and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”
Do we pursue YHWH? I mean really pursue Him? Do we seek Him, and look for Him, and desire Him? Are we willing to put our whole heart into that pursuit, or do we just kind of look for him and hope that He shows up? We need to be willing to put the work and effort into pursuing God. If we are not willing to anoint, purify, and set ourselves and our situation apart for YHWH, we will find that we do not find God’s presence. And, we NEED to find His presence… His glory!
The time has come for all the work to find completion. The design and construction work have been completed and inspected, and now is the time for the assembly and final work to be done. This appears to be a work that Moses, himself does, or in the very least that Moses directs. He anoints it all with oil and puts everything together. Piece by piece and part by part, the work gets done and the tabernacle is erected, “just as the LORD commanded him.”
There is something fascinating to me about the process of anointing oil and anointing with oil. I know that anointing oil and anointing with oil (among other things) are used to represent YHWH’s spirit being poured out as well as being anointed or consecrated for a work. This is what is being represented here. It is a preparation of these materials for the work that YHWH has for them. They are set apart for a holy purpose, and somehow anointing them with oil helps to do this.
Anointing with oil is something that some churches and denominations do, and some do not. It serves the same purposes, it is anointing in preparation of materials for the work of service. It is also to set something / someone apart as holy for God’s use and purpose. The third primary purpose of oil / anointing oil is for healing. Oil used to be used to cleanse wounds to prevent infection and other problems. As such, it is also used to represent the supernatural healing work of God’s Holy Spirit. This can be physical healing as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. It’s a beautiful image of some of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Overall though, the real beauty of this chapter comes in the last verses of the chapter; “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” The work is completed. The tabernacle has been anointed and erected, and now the reason and purpose of not only the work and the tabernacle but the very book of Exodus and the Bible is here. The LORD… YHWH, and His glory (weight / presence) fill this place. His is the true anointing presence.
Thus ends the book of Exodus.
What do you do when God does a miracle in your presence? How do you respond when He sends a message with power? What does it take to convince you to change your mind and to do the right thing when you are set on the wrong thing?
Pharaoh comes face to face with Moses, and YHWH makes a move. Pharaoh has a choice to make. Obey this “God” of the Israelites, and lose all of the cheap labor that has helped to grow cities and his empire? Or, not? Moses and Aaron can do these amazing wonders, but so can his magicians. Now granted, Moses & Aaron’s staff / snake devours his magician’s staff / snakes, but that’s their problems not his. Why should he be concerned?
Then Moses & Aaron turn the Nile into blood. That’s a little bit more of an inconvenience, after all, the kingdom relies on the Nile river. Then again, the magicians can do the same thing. So what does Pharaoh do next? He goes back to his house with no real concern for the situation. However, seven days later, the magicians have not yet figured out how to change the Nile back to water. I’m sure that that may have become a little disconcerting.
What about us? Is God / YHWH trying to speak to us? Does He give us signs day after day that He is real and we need to look to Him? Do we ignore Him, considering His miracles no more than coincidences and conveniences or inconveniences? Do we ignore the little things, because they are little, and don’t take seriously where those signs are pointing?
Pharaoh ignored the little things. As a result, he takes that mentality with him when YHWH begins to do much bigger things. What will it take for us to come to the point where we cease ignoring the signs pointing at God. The more we ignore the little things, the more likely it is we will ignore and reject the big things. We need to open our eyes and see the truth of who God / YHWH is in the little things as well as the big.
LORD, open my eyes and the eyes of the readers. Help us to see the signs and understand where they are pointing. Help us to do more than that. Help us to pursue the God that is pursuing us. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.