Sorry it has taken me so long to update everyone. I found out that i have a fracture in my left (writing) hand and i’m wearing a cast that makes writing very difficult. As a result, i probably won’t be getting back to my project until at least around June 24th, maybe later. Please keep praying for me and the situation.
Thank you and God bless.
Unfortunately, due to a job injury it will be at least a few days before i will be able to do any serious writing. So please keep me in your prayers.
Either i’ve become a faster writer, the verses are shorter or easier in this chapter some how, or both. It took me less than an hour and a half to copy over the 40 verses in this chapter. When i started this project it took me an hour and a half to do ~30 verses. If i was to gander a guess, i would say that it is probably a combination of things. Either way, its good to see this, as i will be starting an earlier class schedule today and i have less time to get prepped each day to teach.
Here we see God prepping Moses and Israel to build Him a sanctuary. He calls for the people to raise a contribution by asking for specific materials, and He gives Moses the plans for how to make the ark with the mercy seat, the table, the lamp stand, and other necessary tools and utensils. It’s funny, when i think of the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat, what i visualize is the Ark of the Covenant from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and that’s very different from what is described here.
What i thought was interesting about this chapter is that YHWH initiates the first fund raiser for a church building project. He also doesn’t just ask for gold or money to purchase the right equipment to do the job, but He asks for the material itself. It’s an interesting and intriguing way of getting things done. It’s not just… “Write a check for this much money.” It’s about investing in the actual building and development. Then the people can turn around and say to their kids, “look, see the fine linen that is used in the ephod and breastpiece? We donated that.” Or, “See the red rams skins used in the curtains of the tabernacle, that’s from us and our family! See, we are a part of this place.” It gives the people some semblance of connection and identity with the project. The very building itself becomes a legacy. It’s much more personal than just writing a check.
Are we investing OURSELVES into the kingdom of God, or are we just writing a tithe check? Is the kingdom work about us doing the work, or us funding the work? Maybe that’s a key to helping people embrace the mission and work of the church and ministry?
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?
Well it’s official, my first pen (black) has bitten the dust. Long live the pen (purple)! At this rate, i will be all out of my Pilot Varsitys after about Genesis 36. I may have to make an investment into a good quality pen with lots of refills. What kinds of pens do you guys like?
Genesis 13 brings Abram back to the bigger picture. I was writing this out, and i love that after sojourning in Egypt for a short time (due to famine), Abram returns back to where he started in Canaan. Not just the same area, but the same place. He returned to the land between Bethel, meaning “house (beth) of God (el)”, and Ai. One is a tribute to God, and the other is to become a city of mighty warriors that are strong and brave enough to rout the people of Israel (Joshua 7) even with the terror of Israel is covering the land and Israel’s God had just destroyed the great city of Jericho by having Israel march circles around it.
So while there was a time of temporarily being off course, Abram (and God) pick up where they left off. Abram, being blessed by God while in Egypt, has grown bigger. No longer can he and his nephew Lot be in the same place. It’s just not big enough for the two of them. So Lot goes to the lush Jordan valley while Abram stays in the plains of Canaan (i always want to spell it Cannan).
It is there that God expounds on His promise:
“Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” (NASB)
Wow, things just keep getting better and better! The promise defogs a little more, Abram sees more of the bigger picture, and it becomes even more amazing. However, more than the promise is a command. Abram is given instruction; “Go and walk the land.” How many of us attempt to claim and embrace the promises of God, yet we never walk the land. We want the blessing that God has promised us, but we never lay claim to it by following His instructions. We never fully understand what it is that He is promising to us because we never take the time to discover what it is that He is giving to us. Laying claim to something before even knowing what it is often results in disappointment and disillusionment when it does not result in what we expect of it. Also, how can we really appreciate or find value in anything if we don’t have to work for it. In order to understand what it is, what it means, and what it is worth. We must DO so… (it’s an action)