Exodus 36-39

As the Lord commanded.

Twelve times, these chapters testify that the Israelites did everything “as the Lord commanded Moses.”  At first read, these chapters seem somewhat redundant. Yep. Got it. But when I really think about them, it’s remarkable.

How many times do I feel led to do something. Really led…by God. But it fizzles away because I get too lazy…or too busy…or begin to question whether I was really led by God, or just by selfish ambition. (Trust me. I’ve faced all these obstacles on this brief chronological journey through scripture. Ugh. But I feel no less called to do it, so I’ll embrace God’s grace and thank him for this motivation found in Exodus.)

Dreams and ambitions are the easy part. My dad always told me that ideas are a dime a dozen. He’s right. Pinterest has dominated an entire industry based on that little saying. Ideas? I’ve got ’em. We all do. Tons of ’em!

The tricky part is following through. I think we usually know the difference between a DIY idea from Pinterest and a mission from God. My prayer is that I will be as ambitious, organized and dedicated to these God-missions as the Israelites were – seeing them through diligently and with excellence.

Not only was the tabernacle completed, but it was completed exactly as the Lord commanded. They didn’t cut corners, make excuses, or look for better ways to do it. They simply did it as it was supposed to be done. Now, maybe you’re like me, and you’re saying to yourself, “Okay, but God gave audible directions and wrote them on tablets of stone. If he did that for me…..”

But hasn’t he? We have his living Word (discerning the thoughts and intentions of our hearts) and his Holy Spirit (teaching us what to do and reminding us to do it).

It is obvious that the Israelites where imperfect, just like me. They complained. The sinned. They were impatient. But still God used them to accomplish something incredible…something that would point millions of people, through thousands of years, toward ultimate redemption through Jesus. And they didn’t even realize the magnitude of what they were doing. They simply did it because God said “do it.”

God, use me. Give me ears to hear your voice through scripture and through the presence of your Holy Spirit living in me. Then, give me the resolve to do everything you command me to do, without getting weary or distracted or insecure. Thank you for the example of the Israelites. And thank you for grace.