Scripture: Exodus 30 – 31.
(What is God saying here?)
7 “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. 8 And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Ex 30:7-8 (NLT)
10 “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the Lord’s most holy altar.” Ex 30:10 (NLT)
30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons also, consecrating them to serve me as priests. 31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation. 32 It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. Ex 30:30-32 (NLT)
13 “Tell the people of Israel: Ex 31:13 (NLT) ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. Ex 31:13 (NLT)
16 The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. This is a covenant obligation for all time. 17 It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed. Ex 31:16-17 (NLT)
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
I was truly amazed and touched by the number of times in these two chapters that God told Moses how important His instructions were at the time, and how important it was that these instructions be carried on from generation to generation. While we hear from a lot of scholars, that claim to know a whole lot more than I do, that we are living under the New Testament, I can’t help but believe that these commands were placed appropriately in God’s Word for even us. Here are some things that I feel God said to me through these verses, and each bullet will represent each of the above sections:
- It seems to me that God wants us to be a disciplined people. To follow His commands, without looking for excuses or trying to justify ourselves about how different we are today. In a movie I watched Saturday night it showed where the first steps in teaching karate is discipline, and even though the young man saw no reason in taking his jacket off about 1,000 times and doing various disciplined things each time he took it off, he later found that it was all for a good purpose. Likewise, we must believe that God has excellent reasoning in mind when He demands that we follow his commands. In this particular instance, we are to make His meeting place very special and give of our very best in respect to the presence of the universe.
- At least once a year purify the temple and God’s people – I saw where this was done recently at revival services in a neighboring county and God worked in miraculous ways. There is nothing ‘ordinary’, or ‘traditional’ about coming into the presence of the Almighty. It is for a prepared people in a prepared place.
- Anoint the leaders and helpers of the church – wow, if this was done at least annually, what an impact and encouragement this would have on our workers! To know that we have the prayers and support of the people we serve would be overwhelming encouragement and blessing.
- Our Sabbath day has become anything but ‘holy’, and where is it getting us? I believe that we each can tell from the local, national and international news how chaotic life has gotten and how out of control crime and unrest has become. I see the opposite of this being a peaceful, loving, serving, giving, servant-led people, and only through God’s grace and us calling on Him daily, and finding ourselves in the right place at the right time, will we ever see such achievement.
- God not only gave his commands, He went on to explain why He gave them. The Sabbath, a day to stop and reflect on the holiness of our Father, and to refresh ourselves. Two things so very critical in our lives and so badly needed to help our state of mind, and our relationship with our heavenly Father.
So with the above explanations, I believe that I can see where much of this is still very applicable to us today. Additionally, I believe that God’s Word is still true and deserves my undivided attention, not just certain parts of it. Praise be to God for His Holy Word!
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father I thank You for providing Your Word as a lamp unto my feet. A Guide for me, and commands to direct my path each and every day. You know that my heart’s desire is to be more like You every day, and I thank You for providing me the insight and Guide book to do just that. Please give me the boldness and wisdom to follow these steps even in the sinful, evil world in which I live. May I always be a true example of You each and every day.