Moses was called on to inspect the work of the craftsmen. God had provided very exact standards in terms of measurement, materials, forms, function and structure. Moses was uniquely qualified to inspect the work. First, because he had heard the specifications first hand. Second, because he, and he alone, had been given a glimpse at the glory of God. While you and I may be enamored with the beauty of the craftsmanship, any handiwork would pale in comparison to the glory of God.
But, what if the craftsmanship was a little off? What if something was a quarter of a cubit short? What if the bronze was just a bit tarnished? What if one of the rods was a little too long? How big of a deal would it be, really? What level of tolerance to the standards was there?
What we see over and over and over again is the work was done “just as the Lord commanded.”
Do we apply this standard in the work we do for the Lord? There is a difference between being perfect and being exact. We are not perfect, no human but Jesus has been. But we can be exact. We can exactly honor the commitments we make to God. If we commit to give a certain amount, we should give exactly that amount (or more). If we commit to spend time in the bible every day, then that should be every day. Once we make that commitment will we immediately face trial and tribulation – Yes – but there are no new trials, just the same old ones that God has helped people overcome since the beginning of mankind.
The people of the church are the building blocks of the church. Each time we give ourselves an extra level of tolerance for inexactness, we cut a corner, slant an edge, or round an end. When others use our work or example to build upon (either with our intent or not), the structure of the church is weakened.
What should we do instead?
- Pray and be patient before making commitments. Sometimes we do what we think and then pray for support.
- Seek training. The craftsmen were skilled, but they still received training.
- Execute exactness – not perfection, but exactness. Why would you give God less than your best work?
- Ask God and fellow Christians to hold you accountable and to help your contribution to the church be square and level. When you seek this feedback and accountability it is not a criticism of you, it is a recognition that you want to delivery the best work you can.
Finally, our group got into a discussion about the tent of meeting. The term has 2 different meanings. First, there was the tent of meeting that Moses built outside of the camp where he would go and meet with God. In this regard, you and I may have a “tent of meeting”, a special place where we spend time with God in prayer or praise or study. This may be a place in your home or work, inside or outside. It’s purpose is not to constrain God, but to remove outside distractions. The second is the Tent of Meeting. I’ll call this Big-T Tent. This is the tent inside the tabernacle that contained the table, the lampstand, etc. and had the curtain separating a space in it as the Holy of Holies, the place where the Ark of the Covenant Law was placed. The priests were required to properly wash and prepare before entering this Big-T Tent.
Just as the Lord commanded
Attention to detail – a loving heart for God
Obedience and boldness
14 days before the passover – God announced that He would soon deliver the people from Egypt. This commitment by God was so important that He set it to be the date of the 1st day of their calendar.
They had seen God’s faithfulness and that 1 year to the day He would pick to renew His covenant and live with them
The ark of the covenant law
God’s presence is what made the tabernacle more than a tent
God’s guidance and love