13.5 Moses 13, Day 5

Moses’ Prayer – Waiting in Faith and Refusing to go with out God

In Exodus 33:15, Moses prayed to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.

In today’s scripture we see the people of Israel as faithful followers.  When the cloud lifts, they follow.  When the cloud does not lift, they stay put.

What a great lesson for us!  How often do we race forward in front of God?  God is my co-pilot.  God’s got my back.  But should the best pilot be at the controls?  If God has my back, then doesn’t that mean I’m leading and He is following me?

While God may (and in my life, has) bailed us out when we get heading down the wrong path, wouldn’t it be smarter, easier, better and more fulfilling to simply go down the right path to begin with?  But we grow impatient.  There is so much to do, shouldn’t we be doing something?

But, the example God sets with the Israelites is a simple no.  There are times to follow and there are times to wait.  When we wait, it is not that nothing is happening – just the opposite.  If we truly trust in God, then part of the waiting is the acknowledgement that He is at work, clearing out the enemies, building the bridges, synchronizing all the green lights along the path.

Waiting is not easy, but it is an amazing witness of faith.  Waiting is an act of trust.  Waiting is a time of preparation.  Waiting is a time for Sabbath Rest to God.

We live in a go, go, go world.  What would happen if, instead, we lived in a God, God, God world?

Over and over again, the bible is filled with stories of men and women who followed God and amazing things occur.  It is also filled with stories of men and women who raced ahead of God and found themselves in horrible situations.  Even the Lord’s prayer says, “lead us not into temptation.”  That request assumes we are following, not racing ahead.

Try it.  I challenge you.  When you wake in the morning, pray that God make His presence known to you this day, whether it is a day to move or a day to stay put.  Lamentation 3:25, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.” Galations 5:22,23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

As I thought about God filling the tent of meeting and the Israelites waiting on the cloud, the lyrics to a Hillsong tune kept running through my mind:

“As I wait, you make me strong.  As I long, draw me to your arms.  As I stand and sing your praise, You come and fill this place.”

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
When the cloud lifted, they would set out.  When it did not lift, they stayed put

b.
It went before them and protected them – it drew their enemies into a state of confusion

c.
He has kept me and my family safe.  He has given me renewed opportunities to serve and teach

12.
a.
through Jesus, the light of the world, the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of His being

b.
Ezek 36:26 for me and Matt 7:11 for my family – God is so much better equipped than i am.

c.
God guides everything – it isn’t a question of whether He is guiding, it is whether we are participating and/or observing

13.4 Moses 13, Day 4

Cloud v. Cow

God is always intentional.  Everything He does is done for a reason.

God appearing to the Israelites as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night was not random or inconsequential.  God could have taken any form He wanted.  He could have appeared as a man, as a mist, as a dove, as a small voice, as a trumpet blast.  But God chose a cloud.

I don’t understand exactly why God chose a cloud, but I think it is interesting to compare/contrast the image God chose to reveal Himself and the image the Hebrews chose when they crafted a god.

A golden calf if tangible.  It is shiny (if polished).  It can be physically carried from place to place.  It is visible.  It can be located (there it is).  It is an image

A cloud is tangible, but it cannot be contained.  When you walk through a thick fog, you can feel it, see it, but you can’t hold it.  When you inhale while standing in a fog, you can smell and taste it and feel the mist fill your lungs.  You can see it.  It moves.  It is real.

A pillar of fire also is visible and tangible, but also cannot be held or contained.  It emits light and heat and power.  It permeates and it is reflected and absorbed.  It moves. It is real.

I think this helps teach us about the attributes of God.  God is not imaginary or figurative, He is real.  He is visible.  He is tangible, but He cannot be contained or controlled by man.  He is not limited to a specific place or time, but He moves.  He is all around us and inside us as well.  He protects us, shields us, shelters us and lights our path.  God is a God of Wonders that still have never been seen by any nation or people on this earth!

 

My Answers:

9.
a.
the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle

b.
He dwelt among them

c.
Pentecost

d.
1 Cor 3:16 – Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (note: see also 16 Bible Verses about the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit)

10.
a.
Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle

b.
Some days I am to be in a leadership role and some days I am to be a servant in the church, one, like others, bowing down to God

 

13.3 Moses 13, Day 3

Within Tolerance

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?

  1. Pray and be patient before making commitments.  Sometimes we do what we think and then pray for support.
  2. Seek training.  The craftsmen were skilled, but they still received training.
  3. Execute exactness – not perfection, but exactness.  Why would you give God less than your best work?
  4. 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.

My Answers:

6.
a.
Just as the Lord commanded

b.
Attention to detail – a loving heart for God

c.
Obedience and boldness

7.
a.
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.

b.
They had seen God’s faithfulness and that 1 year to the day He would pick to renew His covenant and live with them

8.
a.
The ark of the covenant law

b.
God’s presence is what made the tabernacle more than a tent

c.
God’s guidance and love