I’ve been working through Beth Moore’s A Woman’s Heart workbook with my Bible study group at church. Gotta say, it’s challenging in places.
Right now we’re looking at the detailed instructions from God—to be followed to the letter—for preparing and consecrating the Tabernacle and its contents and the priests and their garments.
Repeatedly we see reminders that Moses and his workers did exactly what they’d been told by God to do in regard to the Tabernacle. Leviticus 9:6 (NIV*) says: “Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.’”
God, in all His holiness and majesty, wants so badly to be with His chosen people. But the gap between His holiness and human wilfulness is so great that Exodus 33 begins with God saying He won’t travel with them anymore “because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” (Exodus 33:3b, NIV*) (This is right after the golden calf debacle.)
Moses pleads for God to stay with them, and God agrees. He gives Moses a new set of the Ten Commandments, along with instructions on how to build the Tabernacle.
The people of Israel have a lot to do to prepare for God’s coming. And when He comes, it is terrifying as well as exciting.
Here in 2010 we’re working through the Advent season, preparing to celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world as a baby.
There’s something about reading the Scriptures detailing the preparations for God’s coming into the Tabernacle, with the people freshly under his Law, that makes me wonder about the preparations for Jesus’ coming as the Son of Man to fulfill the Law and to inaugurate the rule of Grace.
On the surface, we see the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary, and before that to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist. But God has been planning since the beginning for this moment.
We’ve heard about the birth of Baby Jesus so many times that we can get kind of blasé about it—especially when we’re overwhelmed by the non-faith aspects of preparing for the holidays.
The Old Testament is a good cure for blasé-ness about God. Perhaps it’s a reminder of the mystery of this Unknowable One who reveals Himself to us.
Let’s pause this Advent season to remember just Who it is that we’re preparing to welcome. We don’t have to fall down in fear at the manger, may the Spirit nudge us to our knees in awe and worship.
Praise God, and “let every heart prepare Him room”.
© Janet Sketchley, 2010
*New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
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