So for the past 5 chapters in Exodus we have been seeing some strange preparations being made by the Israelites – by direct order from God through Moses. They are told (in minute detail) to construct a Tent – equipped with an inner room, curtains, two tables, lamps, and other various furnishings. Every tiny detail is spelled out in specifics for the Israelites to follow during the construction process.

After that we see more detailed instructions for how to construct some rather strange garments – equipped with precious stones and undergarments and a crown of sorts. Again (as before) intimate details are provided on exactly how to construct the items – with God telling them to follow the directions very carefully.

As if that wasn’t weird enough – then Moses is told to separate Aaron and his sons to be made priests. A ceremony is described – where Aaron and his sons are washed, dressed, and then consecrated to God. In this ceremony there is burning incense – blood from bulls – burning entrails and other guts. (Can you understand why Judaism has been described as a messy religion?)

So the question is – what is really going on here? Why all the fuss? Why all the details? Why all of the specifics? Well – the final verse verse in chapter 29 clues us in:

And they shall know (from personal experience) that I am the Lord their God, Who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.” – Ex 29:46

By this verse we are told that the entire purpose for the detailed explanations – for the ceremony – for the blood and the fire is to create a way for God to dwell among His people. This is a monumental statement! Never in the history of the world had a god of any sort want to live in the midst of His servants. (Usually the deity is untouchable to the worshiper). But this God is giving details on how His people can meet with Him personally and how He can dwell among them.

The part that strikes me the most is everything it took to get to verse 46. The painstaking details that went into constructing the Tabernacle – the furniture – the altar; as well as preparing Aaron and his sons to minister before the Lord. Obviously the presence of the Lord (Heb. Shekinah – or “heaviness) is not something to be trifled with. (Notice on the ends of the clothing which Aaron will wear there are bells – just in case he dies when in the inner sanctuary of the Lord – the bells would stop ringing and they would be able to get his body out!).

If I take this further into my own walk with the Lord – there is an obligation to entering His presence. The same God in Exodus is the same God we sing to and worship and pray to today. If great care was taken prior to entering His presence back then – it seems logical that great care should be taken today as well. When I get up on Sunday mornings – I begin to prepare myself. obviously not with blood and fire – but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I treat the time as precious.

Sundays are special – the time when my family stops what they have been doing throughout the week and shifts their focus to the Lord alone.

To treat the presence of the Lord as a trivial thing is to grossly miss Him.

Now – because of Jesus we no longer are required to slit the throats of bulls and sprinkle their blood and burn their guts – all of that “messy” stuff! But, perhaps now the “messy” stuff is within me? Perhaps the consecrating is done in my heart? Perhaps the fire on the altar is now the Holy Spirit in my belly?

Maybe a great way to begin my Sundays (and every day for that matter!) is not just to rush in – but step back – get a few minutes at my day’s start to gather my thoughts before my God. Pray in tongues – read my chapter a day (with PK) – thank the Lord for my day and ask Him to guide me through it. Clear the “messy” part of me and be purified by the Word of God.

Sure is better for the bull!  🙂

Be Fruitful & Multiply,