30:20-21 "They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord ...They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be observed from generation to generation." When I read this, all I could think of was the night Jesus washed the disciples' feet. I believe He did this for the last time before He died to show that this was another part of the Torah that was fulfilled by His death. Because of Him, we are fully washed and able to come into His presence.
31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah (no mistaking which one He means!). I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. ...He is a master at every craft! Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make..." God has specifically and specially skilled you and me for the work He has appointed for us to do on this earth. He will give each of us everything we need to fulfill His purposes if we are willing. That gives me great comfort!
31:18 When the Lord finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God. God handed off the written Torah to Moses to bring down to the people. This is beautiful symbolism of God sending Jesus down from the "mountain of God" (see Exodus 24:13) to His people as both the visible Word (Moses as representative) and the written Word on the tablets. "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us..." John 1:14. Interestingly, you will find that Moses goes up and down the mountain twice, staying the second time, just as Jesus came to earth once and will come again for good.
26:53-54 "Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?" Jesus teaches us a heavenly perspective here. We need to get to the place where we are willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of God's will, that greater good might be accomplished. I know this-God will never waste suffering. If He leads you into a difficult season, there is a holy appointment in the middle somewhere, to bring greater good. That is all part of giving up our lives, and taking our cross, being willing to endure trials if necessary to accomplish eternal good instead of always focusing on the temporal (not lasting) desires.
26:55-56 "Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures." Jesus declared to all that even the timing of His death was appointed by God and under His control, not man's.
56 At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. I never realized until a few years ago that every one of His disciples abandoned Him. He had no one to count on, except His Father. Good lesson for us today! We cannot ever count on people to "be there" for us, be we can always count on Jesus. He knows exactly what it feels like to walk alone.
This is actually a HUGE principle in the Bible for helping people, including many a hardened atheist, believe in the resurrection of Christ. Every disciple fled on the night of His crucifixion out of FEAR. They did not want to be killed and they did not yet fully know who Jesus was, even after all that. But after His resurrection, every one of His disciples was willingly martyred for his belief in Christ. How could that be? How did the same pansies who ran away this night, end up boldly facing death for Jesus, some in the most grizzly deaths (sawed in two)? There is only ONE explanation. They saw their Yeshua resurrected to life! That was the proof in the pudding that made them willing to die for Him later.
26:61 "This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'" Actually, what Jesus really said was this: "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days (John 2:19)." Jesus never told them He was going to destroy the Temple; He said if they did, He would raise it. Either they twisted it to get Him killed, or they misunderstood what He said in the heat of the moment. Jesus is the Temple He was referring to, and interestingly, it appears that He raised Himself from the dead. I guess I always just thought His Father raised Him. But I think I missed an important part of the resurrection!
32:3-5 I don't know why people hide their sin for so long when they can rid themselves of the weight of guilt just by getting honest. But then again, Satan lies to people, scaring them into believing if they are honest about their sins, they will pay a huge price. What could be a bigger price than living in hidden guilt, condemnation, and fear of being found out? In my experience, admitting even my darkest sins was such a freeing experience!
32:8 The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. Wow! Love it, love it, love it!
Questions for reflection:
Are you afraid of trials coming into your life? Unfortunately, as fallen humans, we don't grow or become beautiful through the easy times. I challenge you to begin a process of asking God to be a "refining fire" in your life to fill you with godly character. Why? You will enjoy your life so much more, you will have purpose, peace, a more tangible fellowship with His presence, and you will truly be an example to others. I have never known God to let me go through a divinely appointed trial feeling alone or abandoned, and truly, He has always been so gentle with me. I've found His trials (as opposed to consequences of my own sin) are practically easy to bear because I feel His love and strength so completely! You don't necessarily have to ask for trials, but begin the process of being willing for His appointed trials for your benefit!
Do you carry any hidden "skeletons" of sin in your closet? Let 2009 be the year you do some housecleaning so you can get free of shame and guilt! I do like the step in the AA (Alcoholics Anon) that says to make amends wherever possible so long as it doesn't cause injury. I think that is a great way to live, and biblical too!
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