For the week of February 24, 2007 / 6 Adar 5767
Torah: Shemot / Exodus 25:1 - 27:19
Haftarah: 1 Melachim / 1 Kings 5:26 - 6:13
Mind the Detail
Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain. (Shemot / Exodus 28:30)
One of the features of the instructions God gave Moses concerning the building of the Mishkan (English: Tabernacle) is the amount of details. Details of what was to be made, the materials to be used for the items, precise measurements, quantities, the purpose of each item, and on and on. In the midst of these instructions God reminds Moses, "Set up the Mishkan according to the plan shown you on the mountain" (Shemot / Exodus 28:30). This seems to suggest that God not only gave him the directions which he recorded, but also showed him additional details to ensure that everything would be done exactly the way God intended.
Later on when we read about the actual building of the Mishkan and everything associated with it, we encounter these words several times: "...as the Lord commanded Moses." Clearly Moses and those assisting him were very careful to follow God's directions. I don't think we would expect anything but their attention to every detail. After all, if God is giving the instructions, they should be followed precisely.
Just as the Mishkan was designed to be God's dwelling, so under the New Covenant, it is we, his people, who are his dwelling (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5). Do you think we can assume that just as God was concerned for precise detail regarding the Mishkan - a literal dwelling, so he is just as concerned for detail regarding his spiritual dwelling, which is us, both individually and corporately?
We don't need to assume anything, since the Bible is very clear on this. God is very particular as to the details of his spiritual dwelling. Every aspect of life that we can imagine is covered somehow by his Word. I am aware that it is not always easy to apply what God says to us in the Bible, but that should not stop us from being just as diligent as Moses was to make sure that we design our lives according to God's revealed plan.
We should therefore be careful to compare our own ideas of how to do life with what God has actually said in the Bible. Many teachers today are imposing their own ideas, that sometimes refer to Scripture, but contain elements that are nowhere to be found within its pages. Some people take certain aspects of biblical teaching, such as God's forgiveness, and create extreme notions very different from what God intended. Verses are often taken out of context in order to prove a teacher's own ideas, while few, it seems dare to compare these conclusions with what God actually says. Some people are experts at stringing verses together in a most impressive way, but only cloud God's truth.
The Bible is God's written Word to us. Through it we encounter God's intended design for us, his dwelling place. It is only as we are careful to mind every detail that we truly become the house he desires.
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