January 31, 2010

Exodus 36-38: When Close Enough, Isn’t

Posted in Historical, Integrity, Miscellaneous tagged , , , , at 11:16 pm by Steve

Why all the details recorded in the Scriptures? Can’t we just skip over this part? I know it was probably important for

“Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything the LORD commanded Moses; 23 with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan—a craftsman and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen” [38:22-23],

But is it really important for us to know these lengths, weights and measures? Only if you believe there’s something more important here than just architect drawings. What does the Master Architect want us to know?

In our culture we often hear people say, “close enough” or “good enough for government work.” What they really mean is “we don’t really care.” Who’s going to know anyway.

I believe the Bible records all these facts and figures precisely because it does matter, it matters a great deal. This will be where God’s Spirit will reside, no detail is too small to be notices by God and no detail is too small that we should not give our best in all that we do.

When it comes to you relationship with God have  you ever caught yourself saying “Close enough.” Then read again Exodus 36-38 and know that for those who are gifted by God, called by God and inspired by God, no detail is ever “close enough.”



  1. Prince's mom said,

    “When close enough, isn’t” is a two-way street.

    Close enough is not only not good enough from us to God but also from God to us.

    “What’s good for the goose, is and should be good for the gander.” If we are not willing to accept and/or want “close enough” from God, why should we believe that He would be willing to accept and/or want “close enough” from us?

    “Oh, but God, I am so tired….”
    “Oh, God, I had such a bad day at work; those people….”
    “Oh, Lord, I need to concentrate on where my next dollar is coming from….”
    “Oh, God, the kids are just brats….”
    “Oh, God, You just don’t understand….”

    Excuse after excuse!

    What if, God said…

    “Oh, Fran, I am so tired….”
    “Oh, Steve, I had such a bad day today, the earthquake in Haiti….”
    “Oh, Harriet, I need to concentrate on where I can find enough water to quench the drought in Africa….”
    “Oh, Michael, I just can’t do anything with these errant angels….”
    “Oh, Clarice, you just don’t understand how tough it is to be God….”

    So…one day we pray with all our hearts and every ounce of our being…

    “Father, my brother has colorectal cancer; and it is a Stage 4; pretty bad, God; but he’s going to have surgery today; and the doctor believes he can get it all; and so, please help all the doctors and nurses so that my brother can live many, many more years. Thanks, God, for listening; I know You will see to it that they get all the cancer.”

    “Well, you know, Sophia,” God thinks when He hears her prayer, “I’ll see what I can do. Gonna be tough though, because I am so tired, that having to be alert at 5:45 tomorrow morning will ‘be a stretch’ for Me.”

    Next day the surgery has ended. “The doctor’s stitches will cause some infection, but they’re ‘close enough,’ says God. “And, I see a smidgen of cancer cells left in the rectum, but it’s ‘close enough.’ I’ll do better tomorrow and with the next patient,” God assumes as He listens to the next prayer.

    Sure not what we have come to expect from God, is it?

    A mother says to her son, “Tomorrow is your birthday, Carl; and you know how I always like to bake and decorate a cake for you. What kind of cake would you like this year?”

    “Well, Mom,” Carl responds, “I’d like to have a five-tier cake; each tier a different color of ‘blue, purple, crimson, gold, and bronze and two bases under each tier for two pegs’ and a working race track and cars able to travel in a circle from top to bottom.”

    “Are you sure you wouldn’t just like a chocolate sheet-cake with chocolate icing?” the already tired and exhausted mother asks almost pleadingly.

    So, for the next thirty-six hours, she builds the cake in time for the birthday celebration.

    Why? Out of obedience to her son? No, out of love. And every time the son remembers the beauty of the cake, he remembers how much her love for him motivated her to do as he asked.

    Does God’s tabernacle symbolize obedience? Sure, but, to me, I see a choice to build as requested born more out of love than obedience. If you love someone, you choose to do what they ask of you and that which will gladden their heart and make them happy.

    So, the mother, out of love, built the cake; and in return, the son, out of love, for the mother painted her portrait for her.

    Love is a two-way street. God knows that and expects nothing less from us — He gives; we must return, realizing, of course, that our love, small and meager as it is like that of the widow’s mite, is all that we have to give; but we must give it all to Him.

    Return to Chapter 31:1-5 — “The LORD spoke to Moses: See, I have called by name Bezalel…of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting , and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.”

    God gave Bezalel gifts. He asked Bezalel to use those gifts for His sake and for the sake of others because Bezalel was thankful for those gifts and because Bezalel loved the Giver, loved God. I can hear the LORD saying, “I will give to you gifts; they are not yours; I give them to you; and in stewardship, you will share those gifts with Me and with others and use them for Me on my behalf.”

    The Giver’s giving is a two-way street.

    God gave Carl’s mother the gift of cake-making and expects her to use it blessing others for Him.

    God gave Carl the gift of painting and expects him to use it blessing others for Him.

    God gave Bezalel numerous gifts and expected him to use them blessing others for Him and honoring and loving Him.

    God has given each of us gifts. Are we using them? Are we blessing others with them for Him, and are we thanking Him and honoring and loving Him for those gifts?

    My pastor tells us that it is not the building in which we worship but the worship in the building that is important. For me, Chapters 36-38 are more about choosing to build because of love; choosing to follow instructions because of obedience and respect; and choosing, in and because of stewardship, to share yourself and the gifts God has given you with and for others.

    My pastor often uses the term “Meland” and how we should never want to live there but choose rather to live in “Heland.” Chapters 36-38 reiterate that fact that it is and should always be about God and never about me.

    Where do you live? Meland or Heland?

  2. Prince's mom said,

    Thank you for sharing the diagram of what the Tabernacle included and looked like. I have not seen such pictures before and find them helpful in both understanding the wording in the Scripture as well as visualizing the scope of the project and what God expected.

    If I had been Bezalel and Oholiab and realized what lay ahead of me, I could not have kept from wondering, “How can I do this?” Such a story about the building of the Tabernacle gives us hope when we face daunting tasks and realize that “with God, all things are possible.”

  3. Prince's mom said,

    “When it comes to your relationship with God have you ever caught yourself saying ‘Close enough.’ Then read again Exodus 36-38 and know that for those who are gifted by God, called by God, and inspired by God, no detail is ever ‘close enough.'”

    I wonder if this is why some pastors make sure that every detail of the weekly bulletin is precisely thought-out and placed.

    I wonder if this is why some pastors wearing dress slacks, shirt, and tie will scrub a dirty floor, forgotten by the janitor, before anyone enters the church for Sunday worship.

    And I wonder if this is why some pastors plan the “begeebers” out of every church service.

    How blessed we, as parishioners of such pastors, are; and how often, I must believe, God says to such pastors, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  4. Can you tell me please about the artist and for whom this chart was made?

    The reason I ask is the two pieces of information that seem to be extra biblical. One is the “sacred ox” symbol on the side of the ark of the covenant, and the other is the golden chain inside the ark that supplies the positive side of the electricity that runs the wings of the cherbim on the mercy seat.

    I do not remember reading about those things in the OT.

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