Today we are reading from Exodus 34. In this chapter we are reading about the second set of stone tablets that Moses cut. “The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34‬:‭1‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ As you read through these verses notice the impact of obedience on future generations. How have you been blessed by the obedience of your ancestors? What can you do that will bless the generations to come? May God inspire you to leave a legacy of obedience.  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 33. In this chapter we read about God commanding the Israelites to leave Sinai/Horeb. “The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you.’” Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.” Exodus‬ ‭33‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ It seems such an appropriate description to say they were “stiff-knecked”. We might say stubborn or rebellious. We have all had moments where we insist on our way instead of God’s way. Where does that get us? For the Israelites it meant that God would not abide with them. Do you ever feel like God has given up on you? May God make your heart soft toward Him. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 32. In this chapter we read about the Golden Calf incident. “And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”” Exodus‬ ‭32‬:‭7‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ As we read this account, it seems so ridiculous that God’s people would behave so foolishly. We are no different. Among the people there are at least three groups: 1) first, there is the group that led the rebellion, 2) second, there is the group that saw the immorality and joined in, and 3) Finally, there is the group that remained faithful. We live in a world which has corrupted itself. Which of the three groups are you in? May you always remain faithful! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 31. In this chapter we read about God filling Bezalel and Oholiab with all kinds of gifts to make the Tabernacle.“The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭31‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ I have always been fascinated with this passage! God filled Bezalel and Oholiab with the Holy Spirit and other gifts. What gifts has He filled you with? If you are too humble to claim your giftedness, ask God to show you your gifts! Then, ask God to show you what He wants you to do with your gifts. May God bless you with joy as you feel Him work in and through you! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 30. In this chapter we read about the census offering. “The Lord said to Moses, “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them. Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the Lord. Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the Lord’s offering. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord’s offering to make atonement for your lives. You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the Lord, so as to make atonement for your lives.”” Exodus‬ ‭30‬:‭11‬-‭16‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This offering was to be given as a ransom for their lives for everyone twenty years old and older. It was to be used for the service in the Tabernacle. It is interesting that every person was assessed this amount simply to bring them to remembrance of God’s deliverance from Egypt. What do we do in remembrance of Jesus? What causes you to reflect on all that Jesus has done for you? Do you think of your offering as a way to remember Jesus’ gifts to you? May you always remember Jesus in all you say and do. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 29. In this chapter we read about the consecration and ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests. ““Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. Take one bull of the herd and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil. You shall make them of fine wheat flour. You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, and bring the bull and the two rams. You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the coat and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastpiece, and gird him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod. And you shall set the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons and put coats on them, and you shall gird Aaron and his sons with sashes and bind caps on them. And the priesthood shall be theirs by a statute forever. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.” Exodus‬ ‭29‬:‭1‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬ In this ceremony, it seems the emphasis is made on the sacrifices of bulls, rams and lambs. In comparison, when we ordain or install a pastor, the emphasis is on training, certification, vows and duties as described in God’s word. Why do you think there is such a difference? What do these emphases indicate? The Israelites’ covenant with God was based on the sacrificial system which points ultimately to the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah. Today, we have no need to sacrifice animals because Jesus has come and His sacrifice has taken the place of the old system. We are made Holy through Jesus. May God inspire you to live Holy lives! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 28. In this chapter we read about the priestly garments Aaron and his sons were to wear. ““Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭28‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God is very specific about the beautiful garments the priests must wear. Gemstones, gold, vivid colors, inscriptions and fine linen—everything is symbolic. In a similar way, our tradition includes robes and stoles that have symbolic meanings. If the priests are dressed this way, how should the people dress when they come to worship? How much thought do you put into what you will wear at church? Of course it’s not a fashion show and the outward things are not as important as the heart…but God is worthy of our best! Give God the glory as you dress your best for Him! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 27. In this chapter we continue to read about furnishings of the Tabernacle. ““You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and forks and fire pans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze. You shall also make for it a grating, a network of bronze, and on the net you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners. And you shall set it under the ledge of the altar so that the net extends halfway down the altar. And you shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. And the poles shall be put through the rings, so that the poles are on the two sides of the altar when it is carried. You shall make it hollow, with boards. As it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall it be made.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭27‬:‭1‬-‭8‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When people plan to build a house of worship the attention to detail can be very minimal or to the extreme. When God designs His Tabernacle, every detail is made clear. Everything is carefully planned and with purpose. I think we need to follow God’s lead. When we think about our faith life and anything we do for the Lord, it must be planned carefully and with a purpose. True, God can do something wonderful in a messy situation. However, God is worthy of our best. How is this concept evident in your faith-life? May you be inspired to give your best to the one who gave us His best—Jesus! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Exodus 26. In this chapter we read about the directions for the construction of the Tabernacle. ““Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns; you shall make them with cherubim skillfully worked into them. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall be the same size. Five curtains shall be coupled to one another, and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another. And you shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set. Likewise you shall make loops on the edge of the outermost curtain in the second set. Fifty loops you shall make on the one curtain, and fifty loops you shall make on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite one another. And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to the other with the clasps, so that the tabernacle may be a single whole.” Exodus‬ ‭26‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Again, the fine details of construction are impressive. Remember, this is a temporary and portable structure. It was intended to be moved every time the Israelites moved their camp. A dominant impression is that everything was made of the very best materials and construction. This is what God deserves—our very best. How is this true for you? Do you give God your best? How is this evident to those around you? May God bless you as you give Him honor, praise and glory. Pastor Tim

Today we read Exodus 25. In this chapter we read about the construction of the items for the tabernacle. “The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” Exodus‬ ‭25‬:‭1‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬ God gave very specific directions for all the details of the Tabernacle. What stands out to you as you read through the directions? I am impressed with the skill and craftsmanship required for this construction. I am also amazed at the variety of precious things requested. God has blessed us in a similar way. What would it look like if everyone in our church brought in all their precious things? What could we do with all the material wealth our members possess? Our congregation is very generous. May God inspire us to build a wonderful oasis of His truth and love and mercy in our community. Pastor Tim