For the week of March 11, 2000 / 4 Adar II, 5760
Torah: Shemot / Exodus 38:21 - 40:38
Haftarah: I Kings 7:51 - 8:21; replaced by: I Kings 7:40 - 50

When God Shows Up

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle (Shemot / Exodus 40:34,35).

For several chapters in the book of Shemot (English: Exodus), God gave Moses detailed instructions for the building of the Mishkan (English: Tabernacle) and for the priestly service. The Mishkan and later the Temple were to have central place in the spiritual life of Israel.

It was clear that Israel was to take their religious service very seriously. They were to meticulously fulfill the great many requirements that God gave them.

But what happened when the the Mishkan was completed is quite interesting. It was filled with the glory of the LORD, and Moses couldn’t go inside. This was how God made his presence known in a very tangible way. When God showed up, the priests couldn’t fulfill their God-given duties.

God is greater than his religion. And yet when we get serious about following God, we tend to think that religious deeds are more important than he is. But when God shows up, he preempts everything else.

We can get so busy trying to serve God that we have no room for God himself. This is exactly what happened when Yeshua came. The religious leaders were so busy fulfilling what they thought was their God-given calling that when God himself showed up as promised, they weren’t willing to adjust their agendas.

Are we any different? God continually invades our lives and disrupts our schedules. He may not do so in the form of a cloud, but he makes his presence known in many other ways nevertheless. When that happens are we going to keep on pursuing our own goals, claiming that we are serving God, or are we going to give him the place he deserves?

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