Notes on reading Exodus 25

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

taken from google images

taken from google images

It appears that God appreciates art; the details on the menorah highlight this.  I see this in the following verses:

[Exodus 25:31-40 RSV] 31 “And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its capitals, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it; 32 and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 33 three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on the other branch–so for the six branches going out of the lampstand; 34 and on the lampstand itself four cups made like almonds, with their capitals and flowers, 35 and a capital of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. 36 Their capitals and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one piece of hammered work of pure gold. 37 And you shall make the seven lamps for it; and the lamps shall be set up so as to give light upon the space in front of it. 38 Its snuffers and their trays shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these utensils. 40 And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

 

It appears that God appreciates gold. Note the use of gold in the lampstand. How this contrasts with those equating a plain life with holiness!  The plain, shaker-style in contrast with the ornate work of the lamp provides a picture of the soil versus the shine of metal.  We are dust and to dust we will return.  God is holy and eternal.  This clearly shines a light on the command; “walk humbly with your God.”

It would seem there are conclusions to draw from this.  So often we hear and see those among us taking something simply stated and making it into something more than what was said.  The contrast between plain and ornate might be one.  There are groups who take the ornate to the extreme in their religious furnishings and then there are those who prefer the opposite, the plain; they are those who forbid all expression of intricate design.  Is this even important? It must be in some sense because the last verse cautions the builders of the lampstand:

see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

If we apply even these seemingly small details to our lives, how careful must we be to follow the directions given by God for our benefit, directions to live according to His will and not our own?  The principle then might be to be sure we follow God’s directions as given not our ideas of what he meant.  Think on that…

The pictures posted above are examples of an artist’s interpretation of the instructions given, maybe…  They are not the original. They are different from each other.  They do have similarities.  How do we know which is accurate?  We go to the Word of God and read the instructions given. How closely are the instructions followed?   We do the same with the instructions given to us to live according to his will.  How closely are those followed?

“walk humbly with your God.”

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Correct in humility…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Reading from Zechariah 2:

Then I looked up and saw four horns.  I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered J’hudah, Isra’el and Yerushalayim.”

Next Adonai showed me four artisans.  I asked, “What are these coming to do?”  He said, “Those horns that scattered Y’hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head–well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y’hudah to scatter it.”

Related image

Image from google images

There’s more to this chapter, but this portion spoke to me and I wish to share those thoughts.  The explanation in the study Bible states the horns are the nations who came against the Hebrews and defeated them, scattered them as judgment from God because the Hebrews turned from God to other gods.  The artisans are agents sent by God to defeat those nations and therefore allow God to rebuild his city, Yerushalayim. Other writers see the craftsmen as agents who also assist in the rebuilding of the Hebrew nation.

Reflections on this passage noted that those used by God to punish his people who have turned away from him are in turn destroyed for coming against his people in such a way.  It is fearful to be used by God to discipline another.  That same discipline may come back around on the one who was used.  Beware of pride which can falsely elevate one’s sense of being more than one actually is.  A key phrase in scripture is to “walk humbly with your God.”* It is tempting to become smug at another’s correction.  No arrogance will go unpunished.

[Proverbs 17:5 NKJV] 5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.  (emphasis mine)

Note also, those used here in this passage were not ‘believers’ but outside the family of Hebrews.  Judgment against God’s people, his ‘church’ may come from outside the family of believers; it will still carry the curse of God, ‘anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.’  Whether or not the judgment comes is not based upon belief.  God’s word does not return void, or empty, it does accomplish what it sets out to do.

When one is used by God to correct another it would be wise to remember to do so humbly; not in weakness but with the knowledge that the correction comes through them not from them; it comes from God…this might help those who often say to ‘correct with love,’ since our definitions of love have been corrupted.

*[Micah 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (emphasis mine)

Correction has an objective and that is to change direction or purpose; it also has an end goal and that is one of rebuilding something anew.  When one is going in the wrong direction, it is good to be redirected. It may protect from future harm; it may enable one to have an increase in purpose.  In this portion, the horns destroyed the old ways and paved the way for the craftsmen to rebuild.  Those giving correction and those receiving correction can more easily move through the process if they keep in mind the purposes of correction.

Any thoughts on this?

 

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Be guilty of a poor and humble spirit…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 66:1-6

Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?

 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

 “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;

 I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.”

 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’; but it is they who shall be put to shame.

 “The sound of an uproar from the city! A sound from the temple! The sound of the LORD, rendering recompense to his enemies!

 

 

Let us have a poor and humble spirit. Let us tremble at his word. A poor and humble spirit has an accurate sense of who God is and who they are. A person of poor and humble spirit can be led by His Spirit for theirs does not get in the way. Their pride, will and spirit is not seen as greater in their own eyes. Their conversation gives the truth to this. Those with a poor and humble spirit have few spoken ‘I’s, ‘me’s, and ‘mine’s. The name God identified himself by is the only “I am”. Those with a poor and humble spirit have submitted their will to the knowledge of the greatness of God–who He is and what He does. Are we little gods, running about with our own plans? Reread what God says; these are brothers and sisters, they are in the church.

 

“…Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’; but it is they who shall be put to shame. …”

 

Be aware, be alert, know God and follow Him only.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

No joy in punishment…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 16:6-14

 We have heard of the pride of Moab—

 how proud he is!—

 of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;

 in his idle boasting he is not right.

 Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,

 let everyone wail.

 Mourn, utterly stricken,

for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.

 For the fields of Heshbon languish,

and the vine of Sibmah;

the lords of the nations

 have struck down its branches,

which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert;

 its shoots spread abroad

 and passed over the sea.

  Therefore I weep

with the weeping of Jazer

 for the vine of Sibmah;

 I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh;

for over your summer fruit and your harvest

 the shout has ceased.

  And joy and gladness are taken away

 from the fruitful field,

 and in the vineyards no songs are sung,

 no cheers are raised;

 no treader treads out wine in the presses;

 I have put an end to the shouting.

Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,

 and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past.  But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

There is no joy in punishment.  There is sorrow at the wrong doing and pride of those who practice evil or turn from God to themselves.  We are given many detailed visuals of how much pride and arrogance displeases our God.  Create in us a right heart and a right spirit, O God…

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It is time to pray…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 13:9-18

“Behold the day of the Lord comes,

    cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
To make the land a desolation
    and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
    Will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
    and the moon will not shed its light.
I will punish the world for its evil,
   and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
  and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
I will make people more rare than fine gold,
   and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
   and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
   in the day of his fierce anger.
And like a hunted gazelle
   or like sheep with none to gather them
Each will turn to his own people, 
   and each will flee to his own land.
Whoever is found will be thrust through,
   and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
   and their wives ravished.
Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
   who have no regard for silver
   and do not delight in gold.
Their bows will slaughter the young man;
   they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
Their eyes will not pity children.

When the Spirit of God leaves men become savages.  Total destruction and evil follow the absence of God.  Can we take note of this as we see growing opposition to even a mention of God in our society?  It is worth looking at the effects of atheism upon other nations to understand the direction we are headed in our effort to be tolerant of all.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousnesss…  It is time to pray without ceasing.

 

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No good from pride…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 13:1-8

  The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

  On a bare hill raise a signal;

cry aloud to them;

wave the hand for them to enter

 the gates of the nobles.

  I myself have commanded

my consecrated ones,

and have summoned my mighty men

to execute my anger,

my proudly exulting ones.

 The sound of a tumult is on the mountains

as of a great multitude!

The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,

of nations gathering together!

The LORD of hosts is mustering

a host for battle.

  They come from a distant land,

 from the end of the heavens,

the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,

to destroy the whole land.

  Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;

as destruction from the Almighty

it will come!

 Therefore all hands will be feeble,

and every human heart will melt.

 They will be dismayed:

pangs and agony will seize them;

they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.

They will look aghast at one another;

their faces will be aflame.

This day of the Lord is not pleasant for it comes with judgment.  We should take note that the judging is done by God not any man, woman or child.  Can we get to a place where we no longer take offense at one another, but like Jesus with Peter, recognize we each are tools in the hands of the Almighty God and we serve His purpose?  Better to search and see what He is teaching us through others.  When we are the ones being used, better to just walk away and let the Spirit of the Lord complete the work than to try to become like God and understand the whys and wherefores.  Simply be willing workers for Him, obedient in all ways.  Those who will learn and grow will; those who choose to take offense have allowed pride to get in the way of the Spirit in their lives.  All the judgment we read of in scripture can be traced back to a prideful heart.  O may we learn humility, true humility that allows us to be taught and grow more like Jesus each day.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Walk humbly before our God…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 9:8-15

 But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.  For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem. 

“And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments,  which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.  Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’  And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this,  shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?  O LORD, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.”

It is a fearful thing to break the commands of God…  It is good to know that when we humble ourselves and beg forgiveness, praying for salvation from the penalties that are just, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  What a God we serve!

 

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