The word normal is defined as conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
So what happens to normal when God moves in?
That is what we see in our lesson today. The Hebrews are at the foot of Mount Horeb. God has given them the 10 commandments (twice) and God has consented to dwell among them and to go with them. He has given them instructions for the construction of the tabernacle, it has been built and He has filled the tent with His glory. And, with that, normal is no longer the same.
For 430 years normal was defined by the Egyptians. For a couple of months now, normal has been in transition. What are going to be the standards for this new nation? What is expected?
In love, God spoke. The new normal isn’t going to be just about how the Hebrews live with each other and neighboring tribes and nations. Much more importantly it is going to be about how they live with God. The new normal starts with offerings. Everything the Hebrews have came from God. Without Him, they are slaves. Without Him, they have no food or water. Without Him, they do not have life or freedom. In the new normal, they remember this and give an offering back to God, not out of obligation or fear, but out of honor and respect and gratitude for Him.
God doesn’t want to be a god in a box that they pull out when they need something. God wants to be in a complete relationship with them – He desires and commands that they consecrate themselves and their entire lives to Him. Dedicated fully, wholly, to be His people and He will be their God.
While the sacrifices have discontinued through the one, everlasting sacrifice that Christ made for us, we must not lose sight of this new normal. We live in times were sinners strongly desire for their sin to not be seen as sin, but to be seen as normal. Sinning is normal, right? Lying, cheating, sexual immorality… all just normal, right? And sadly, without God, that is exactly what normal is. But, when God is in the house, when God is in the neighborhood, community, tribe and nation, there are higher standards. Why? Because He is the Lord.
The tabernacle construction was complete, it had been fully constructed for the first time and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
For consecration – God would live among them and they were to dedicate their lives and what they had been given to Him.
Male animal without defect, bull, sheep, goat. Or, a dove or young pigeon.
Presented whole, alive, laying hands upon it. Presented to the priest at the tabernacle. Sacrifices were never left-overs – they were first-overs.
killed, prepared according to specific instructions (internal organs removed and washed, birds defeathered), burned all of it on the altar – a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD
Our body and the church is the dwelling place of God on earth with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone – Christ was sacrifice once to take away the sins of the many
God, as your glory filled the tabernacle, please fill me with your spirit. Shine your light even in the shadow areas of my heart that I have kept from you, the sins and guilt I have not confessed, and reveal it. Make me holy in you.