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SO THAT’S WHY WE DID THAT

 Exodus 38:21 “This is the number of the things for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were numbered according to the command of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”

PLANNING AHEAD

Where did all this stuff come from?  These people were slaves in Egypt just a short while ago.  Where would they have gotten gold, silver, fine fabric and gems?  Well, God had a plan.

Do you remember this?  Exodus 12:35-36 reads, “35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 36 and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”

TEACHING MOMENT

What a great lesson for our kids.  God tells us to do things for a purpose.  We may not understand why, but we need to just follow His instructions.  Do you think the Hebrews knew why God asked them to get all that stuff from the Egyptians?  No!  But now they have all that to give to build the tabernacle.

Just like your kids don’t understand sometimes why you ask them to do things, God does the same. Teaching our kids that lesson will take them far.  Later in life, when they have obeyed the Lord in the small things, God may just show them why He asked them to do that certain thing.  How cool is that?

How about you?  Are you still wondering why God has asked you to do something?  Hang on!  He just may! And if He does, you are going to see the big picture.  I bet those Hebrews were so excited to be able to give.  Now it all made sense.

Father, thank You for giving me direction even when I don’t understand why.  Help me obey.  Help me be the example for others.

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WHAT A GREAT PROBLEM

 Exodus 36:6b-7 “6…Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.  7 For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.”

AN ABUNDANCE

How often is that the case?  You need supplies for a project, and you receive more than you need.  Most of the time we are trying to figure out how to stretch what we have to get the job done.  Not this time. Moses issued the call for donations for the Tabernacle and then had to say, “Stop!  We’ve got enough.”

How does this happen?  Why doesn’t this happen all the time?  Well, there is only one answer, which we see earlier in chapter 35 verse 21, “Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.”  Who do you think stirred their hearts?

TEACHING MOMENT

 How do you teach this to your kids?  How do you explain the Lord stirring your heart?  Once again, we see it is better caught than taught.  As the Lord stirs your heart to do something, make sure your kids understand that.  Talk to them about your prayers regarding this and how the Lord directed you.  Explain how you responded to His leading.

There are some things in the faith walk that words can’t explain.  But your kids can watch and learn.  They can hear your prayers for direction from the Lord and then watch as you respond to His leading.  Let them be right there in the middle of it.  And then they can share in the blessing.  They can learn to rejoice in a stirred heart.

What are you wrestling with right now?  Are there things the Lord is “stirring” you to do?  Don’t wait.  Do as He leads.  I promise the blessing will follow.

Stirrer of hearts, move in me.  Stir my heart to respond to Your call.  Help me stir others through my obedience to You.

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HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

 Exodus 32:24 “‘I said to them, “Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”’”

FEIGNED IGNORANCE

My first thought is, “Come on, Aaron.  Really?”  Why would Aaron say that to Moses?  Do you think Moses believed him?  I bet not.  People make up some pretty silly excuses when they are caught red handed, don’t they?  And Aaron had been caught.  He had just lied to Moses who had just come down from the mountain with the ten commandments. Wow!

I bet you have NEVER done something like that, have you?  My guess is you have.  Most of us have.  We don’t want to face the consequences for our sins, so we try to justify them.  Just like Aaron we make up a story to explain our actions.  The trouble is there is no excuse for disobeying God’s instructions.

TEACHING MOMENT

Your children will do the same thing.  Now listen closely.  Don’t let them get by with this.  Sometimes they can make up some pretty funny excuses like “I accidentally ate the cookie” or “My hand just slipped and punched my brother.”  They can really crack you up with their imagination.

But remember, there are no excuses.  Sin has consequences.  Mercy can be shown, but recognition of sin is so important.  Aaron could have been killed by God for this, but mercy was shown.  Moses begged God to forgive the people and not wipe them out.  And God listened to him.  Grace was given.

What sin are you justifying right now?  How good are you at rationalizing your disobedience?  We get good at it, don’t we?  Stop!  Confess!  Rid yourself of the lies and seek to follow Him.

Grace Giver, thank You for forgiving me of those times when I have lied about my sin. Thank You for convicting me of my disobedience.  Help me point others to You.

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GOD’S FINGER

 Exodus 31:28 “When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.”

HIS TOUCH

 I was going to name this blog “God Gave Moses The Finger,” but I figured that might offend some people.  Lol.  But He did. God used His finger to write the ten commandments on the tablets.  He didn’t have to do that. He could have chiseled them with fire from heaven.  He could have just spoke them into existence.  But He touched them with His finger.

Can you imagine how Moses felt when he picked them up?  These two stone tablets had just been touched by God Himself.  He knew the holiness of these commandments, not because of the words written, but because of the One they were written by.  Touched by God Himself.

TEACHING MOMENT

Your children have been touched by God also.  The Word says we are knit together in our mother’s womb.  Who do you think does the knitting?  God does.  He creates new life Himself.  He creates us in His image.  That includes little Elrod and Gertrude, no matter what they may act like.

Remind them that God touched them.  Remind them that He has made them in His image.  Remind them He has created them to be holy as He is holy.  They have been fashioned and formed by God to be used by Him to draw others to Him.  Their purpose is to glorify the Father.

Do you feel God’s finger on you?  Can you see His fingerprint in your life?  As a believer, we should see God’s prints all over us.  Others should see them too.  The next time you are trying to get all those fingerprints off your windows or doors remember God has His prints on you.  Don’t wipe those off.

Your prints, O Lord, are all over me.  Forgive me for wiping them off.  Forgive me for not showing those prints to others.  Help me to teach my children this truth of Your touch on their lives.

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SPECIAL RECIPE

 Exodus 30:34 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each.’” 

KEEP IT SPECIAL

How many of you remember the TV show “The Waltons”?  Do you remember the Baldwin sisters?  They were two older unmarried sisters who had a “special recipe.”  It was their own special recipe from their father who was famous for his moonshine.  They didn’t make much, and they didn’t sell it, but everyone knew about it.  That recipe was a guarded secret.

God had his own “special recipe.”  The incense used by Aaron and the priests was not to be made for any other purpose.  They were not to share the exact recipe with anyone.  This was a holy recipe, unlike the Baldwin sisters’ recipe.  This recipe was to be used daily in the worship of a holy God.  It had a specific purpose.

TEACHING MOMENT

Our children should be told often that they are a “special recipe” prepared by God.  They have a specific purpose which can only be discovered as they surrender their hearts and life to Jesus.  Your role as parent is to point them in His direction.  You are to prepare their hearts to receive Him by praying with them, by reading them His Word and by listening when they ask questions about Him.

Some recipes take longer to prepare and cook.  Your child may respond at an early age to God’s calling.  Others may come to Him later. Don’t stop preparing them.  Don’t give up. Keep doing your part in God’s plan for them.

Are you frustrated with your “recipe” right now?  Maybe you need to let it simmer for a while.  Let the Great Chef cook you to perfection. He knows when you are “done.”  Trust Him.

Heavenly Father, I want to be the sweet incense in Your nostrils.  I want my life to smell like You, not me.  Help me spread Your fragrance all around, especially to my children and family.

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THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

 Exodus 27:20 “‘You shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.’”

UNEXTINGUISHABLE

These chapters in Exodus in today’s daily reading are all about setting up the tabernacle.  God is a God of details.  Just read these three chapters.  But what struck me today was verse 20 of chapter 26.  God is a God of light also, and His light will “burn continually”.

Can you imagine the nation of Israel in the desert seeing the glow of the light all night, every night?  A constant reminder of God’s presence.  A reassuring “night light” for all to see.  It’s the same today.  His light burns in and through us.  We are His light in a dark world.  Our light needs to be tended to daily to make sure all can see it.

TEACHING MOMENT

Kids love fire and matches, don’t they?  What kid doesn’t love to build a fire outside and watch it glow?  Of course, they want to play in the fire and roast marshmallows.  I do too.  But take this opportunity to talk about the light of your fire compared to God’s.  Your fire and its light will go out. God’s light is eternal.  Your firelight has to have wood or something else to burn.  God’s light comes from God Himself.

Our children need to know that they can ALWAYS depend on the light of God.  When their world seems dark, His light can brighten their way.  When they allow His light to shine in and through them, they can draw others to Him.  Isn’t that the purpose of “our little light”?

I pray you will allow your light to shine brightly.  I pray you will let His light to be your light.  Shine for Him and Him only.

Father of light, there is no variation or shifting shadow in You.  Your light draws out all my darkness.  Praise You for lighting my path.

 

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BZZZZZZZ

 Exodus 23:28 “‘I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you.’”

OUCH

This verse just proves that God will use anything to accomplish His Will. He has used frogs and gnats, hailstones and bloody water. He even used a donkey.  And here He tells Moses He will use hornets to drive the heathen nations out.

Have you ever been chased and stung by bees or yellow jackets or hornets?  It’s pretty terrifying and painful.  For some it can be downright deadly if they are allergic.  Don’t be surprised what God might use to get your attention, as He shows you His plan for your life.

TEACHING MOMENT

I bet you and your children have watched bees gather pollen or you’ve seen a wasp nest or a hornet’s nest.  Refer them to this verse the next time.  Talk about how God can use the smallest thing to accomplish His Will and bless His children.  I bet your kids will find it kind of funny to think about throngs of people being driven out of their homes and off their lands to make room for God’s people.  Why not let them draw a picture of that?

The humor of the scene isn’t the main thing, though.  It’s the fact that God will work ahead of us to prepare the way.  Your children need to learn that.  They need to trust that God will do amazing things for us, if we just trust Him.

Are you trusting?  Are you allowing Him to drive out your enemies or are you taking them on yourself?  Let Him work and enjoy the show.  He will tell you when He wants you to step in, I promise.

Father of all creation, thank You that You will use all of Your creation to show me who You are.  Use me, Lord, to show others Your way.  And help me trust You to take care of my “enemies.”

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