We’ve challenged those with us on The Journey to read through the Bible with two questions in mind. The two questions Paul asked Jesus when he encountered Him on the road to Damascus:
Who are You, Lord?
What shall I do, Lord?
We two sisters are asking the same questions and seeking insights from His Word.
Week 24: Exodus 40 and Leviticus 1-7
God is central in everything.
Exodus 40 wrapped up the book with the setting up of the tabernacle beginning in the center and moving outward. First came the ark and the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s presence dwelt among the people.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.
“You shall place the ark of the testimony there, and you shall screen the ark with the veil. …”
Exodus 40:1-3 NASB
He comes first. We see it in the creation story: In the beginning God…
Outward from Him everything was made so we might have a home: day & night… heaven & earth… land & sea… vegetation & fruit… sun & moon… stars & seasons… sea life & birds of the air… cattle & beasts & creeping things… then… man…
Not until the earth was ready for people to enter into it, the whole ecosystem in place, did man become a part. But at the center. At the beginning. God.
The same was true for His presence to dwell among the Israelites. The ark in the Holy of Holies. Next, the table, the lampstand, the altar of incense, all in the Holy Place. Then in the courtyard, the altar of burnt offering, the laver, and finally… Aaron and his sons, the priests.
God makes the way for all things to be ordered with Himself at the center. Everything begins with Him.
Just like the creation and the tabernacle, the first step in preparing for His presence in our lives is for Him to bless us with the gift of faith. When we receive the gift, the Spirit enters our hearts and then things begin to change outwardly, little by little.
As His New Testament tabernacle, we make Him central in our lives. Serve Him with every part of our being. Make Him first in all things.
It begins with Him. Everything. Every choice. Every use of our time. Every breath we take.
When the tabernacle was set up, just as God had commanded, His glory filled the place. Moses couldn’t even enter the tent of meeting because of His glorious presence.
That’s what the whole exercise of life is about. We were created by Him to glorify Him. And in our broken state, it takes an exodus from the worldly to make the way for Him to enter our lives.
I hear the call to continue to let Him expand outwardly in my life. Changing. Transforming. Preparing. That I may glorify Him in all I do.
Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
Salt… why salt? Every offering had to have salt. Carol pointed it out in the gathering this morning. Salt was a symbol of the covenant between God and His children. The covenant made long ago to Abraham. And now, 400 years later, God is still faithful to His covenant. Salt is the reminder.
Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.
An everlasting covenant made to Aaron and the Levitical generations that followed.
Now, under the new covenant all who believe are priests.
…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5
Jesus had something to say about salt, too.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
We are a covenant people, set apart to be holy. It’s easy to forget during the day. When you’ve left the sacred quiet place and headed out into the world. I’m prone to lay the covenant aside in the midst of my living, home and work. Maybe this is what Jesus meant. If we forget the covenant, forget we are set apart for holiness, then we are no longer much good when it comes to building His kingdom.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Everything we do must be salty. Forgetting the covenant is to forget who we are… whose we are… Holiness is not some “holier than thou” attitude we use to set ourselves apart from others. No, holiness is the work of God in our lives that might just make us salt shakers… shaking His love all over our world.
Readings for Week 25: June 23-29, 2017