So construction has finally begun on the tabernacle. The people continue to bring their offerings and Bezalel and Oholiah and every skilled person are at work doing the work of construction. The curtains and the tent with its covering and the wooden structure that holds it all together are all being constructed and completed.
There is a great deal of work to be done, and Bezalel seems to be in charge of the work. However, there appears to be one serious flaw to the whole plan. That flaw is the people. They keep bringing more and more and more to give to the construction work, and the workers just don’t know what to do with it all. It is way too much for the work, and the people just keep giving. So Moses has to send out a message to the people to stop giving! Wow, imagine that! You have a church building project and the people are giving so much to the construction fund that early on you have to tell them to stop giving. What kind of people are these, and how do we get them into our church…
Is this the mentality we have? Do YOU and I give to the church and ministry of the church body so much that WE have to be told to stop giving? No? But we want others to do that? Maybe WE need to change how we spend our time and money.
I’m beginning to understand more and more the qualities of a good pen. I have gone through probably 5 different pens already. Each of them has had a different work and feel to them. I started out with a three pack of Pilot’s Varsities. I had wanted to try out fountain pens for a while, but had never gotten around to it. They ran out of ink way too quickly, and the ink was so liquid that it would seep through the paper. On the other hand, writing with them was scratchy yet smooth, and the writing was bold and vibrant. That was a very good thing. Next i went on to an older gel pen that i had lying around. It was not nearly as bold or vibrant, but overall the flow was smooth and not at all scratchy. It was easy to write with, but the color definitely wasn’t strong enough. When that ran out, i moved on to a decent quality ball point. It was a bit more scratchy, the color was weaker, and writing with it was just a little bit more difficult, but overall it wasn’t overly uncomfortable to write with.
Now, I’m using what i can only describe as a cheap ball point pen that i picked up a while back. The pen stock seems to be decent quality (it advertises a small college), but the ink and writing process is horrible. At 32 i have hand and wrist problems that i suspect is from carpel tunnel ( i actually started noticing it at around 25). Ultimately, the rough working of this pen is definitely irritating it. The pen is not smooth at all. It requires heavy pressure to get a good line, and it is not really comfortable at all. I never really noticed just HOW different each pen is until i started on this project.
The Israelites had a different kind of body problem. While mine has to do with pain while writing or typing, the Israelites problem stems from much more important bodily factors. They were travelling through the wilderness and had no (or very little) food to eat. How does a man like Moses go about feeding a million plus people? The answer is that he can’t; so God has to do it. So what does God do? He provides them with bread from heaven. The instructions are simple. It shows up on the ground in the morning. Each person gathers what he needs for himself and their family for the day, and at the end of the day it needs to be eaten up. On the sixth day, gather enough for two days. Such a simple concept, yet the people just can’t seem to get a grip of it. Some try to hoard it. Others leave leftovers for the next day. Others don’t gather two days worth on the sixth day, and still others continue to complain.
It’s almost like this people have two things that they truly love; 1) complaining and 2) not listening. God is providing for their physical needs, yet it still just doesn’t seem to be enough. How about us? How do we react when God doesn’t supply what we are looking for?
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.
Well, it was bound to happen. It’s what happens when you get up really early, are too tired, and attempt to do a project of this detail and magnitude. I went through, finished my chapter itself. I went back to fill in the spaces with the names of God, and i realized that somehow i completely missed verses seven and eight. This is where Isaac questioned Abraham about the offering and Abraham told him that God would provide.
So tomorrow i’m going to have to go back through and either redo the section, redo the entire chapter, or redo the entire page. That’s one of the problems with handwriting something. If you make a mistake, you can’t just undo and redo. You have to fix it, adjust to it, or start the page over from scratch. It kind of forces you to re-think how you do things. It requires that you think through what you want to say before you start saying it, lest you make a mistake and have to deal with the consequences of it. That part of the process is definitely a positive and a negative.
O.K. Tomorrow we start this chapter over again, and possibly do chapter 23 as well. We’ll see.
John Camiolo Jr.