Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘Tabernacle’

Mary Had a Little Lamb

In Commitment, Direction, Faithfulness, Numbers on March 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

My children are still young and they love to follow me around. One of the things they love to do is grab my leg and sit on my foot.  They expect me to walk.  In their eyes this is quite funny.  After two back surgeries I find it quite difficult, not to mention painful!  On several occasions I will find them following me and copying me.  One night it was dark and the armadillos had dug up a few holes.  I told my kids to get in behind me and follow me closely so that they would be safe.

The snow had just fallen in Northern Kentucky with a slow, steady fall overnight that blanketed the entire landscape with several inches of snow.  I was new to the area and to snow.  Having grown up in California to that point I was not real familiar with snow, woods, and the country.  Dad had taken a job in Louisville and we now lived in the outskirts of  the suburbs down a long country road.  My friend, Troy, came over and we went to play.  We imagined we were on a long hunt and went out into the woods behind our homes. After a little bit he stopped and made me stop.  In a firm, not-to-question, voice he told me to slowly take steps backward.  He knew something I did not.  There was a steep drop-off and I was on the edge.  I had not noticed this because of the snowfall and my inexperience.  Later, after the melt, I went back and he showed me.  From that point on I followed in every step he took.

The Israelites had been at Mt. Sinai for a year and now God had lifted from the Tent of Meeting and formed a pillar of clouds.  This was the signal for them all to pack up and get ready to go.  Where?  They would go wherever God would lead.  If the pillar stopped, they stopped.  If the pillar moved, they moved.

11 During the second year, in the second month on the twentieth [day] of the month, the cloud was lifted up above the tabernacle of the testimony. 12 The Israelites traveled on from the Wilderness of Sinai, moving from one place to the next until the cloud stopped in the Wilderness of Paran.  13 They set out for the first time according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

Numbers 10

The interesting moment in this transition from Sinai to Paran is who follows first.  All of the tribes had a certain position in line.  The assumption would be that it was oldest to youngest.  However that is not what we find in this passage.

14 The military divisions of the camp of Judah with their banner set out first, and Nahshon son of Amminadab was over Judah’s divisions.

Number 10

Judah was not the oldest, or the second.  Judah was the fourth born son of Jacob.  Why does Judah receive this important spot?  Why does this tribe receive what appears to be special treatment and get to be first in line, closest to God?  As you trace the lineage through the ages forward, we find that Jesus Christ is of the tribe of Judah.  It is natural that Judah, who would birth the Son of God, would already be in line to follow God.

Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go.

Each one that places faith in Jesus Christ become a child of God and joint-heir with Jesus.  May we follow as closely as Judah; as closely as the lamb.  May we step in His steps.  May we go and stop as God leads.

GPS

In Direction, Faithfulness, Journey, Numbers, Trust on March 3, 2011 at 7:00 am

Bossy Bertha. 

That’s the name we gave to the voice on the GPS application we have on our phones. The first time we used her was on a trip to Kansas City.  The phones were new and we were on vacation for a week.  I plugged in the destination and waited.  The map pulled up and the voice came alive telling me everything turn-by-turn.

“In 1/4 of a mile take a right and head North.”  How wonderful, right?

Five turns later I muted her and she was given the name Bossy Bertha.  While completely accurate, she is also completely annoying.  If I want to get where I need to be in an unfamiliar place, then I had better follow every word and turn provided.   I had never been to the location we were going and I made it there without a single problem.  There were those moments I was not sure if she knew where we were going, but I did what I was told.  We rounded the last turn and there it was: Great Wolf Lodge!  Kids are screaming, parents are laughing, and Bertha was still telling me I had arrived at my location!

The Israelites were on a journey.  Not one of them had been to where they were going.  After leaving Egypt they had set up camp at Mt. Sinai.  It was there they received the law and built the tabernacle.  Everyone had been ordained.  They Levites were prepped.  Everyone had sufficient practice in the customs and manners that would be equated with this nation of people forever.  God then led them by a pillar of clouds in the day and fire by night.

15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and it appeared like fire above the tabernacle from evening until morning. 16 It remained that way continuously: the cloud would cover it, appearing like fire at night. 17 Whenever the cloud was lifted up above the tent, the Israelites would set out; at the place where the cloud stopped, there the Israelites camped.

18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at the Lord’s command they camped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they camped.

Numbers 9

We do not know what will happen next year or next month.  Not one of us knows what even tomorrow brings.  All we know is what is in the past and what is right now.  We worry and stress over what tomorrow brings.  God knows all the answers to all the questions we have.  God knows where the path leads.  God knows where the journey will take us.  God knows.  We don’t.

Who will you follow?  I suggest we follow God.  While He may not use a pillar of cloud or fire anymore, there are still valid ways He chooses to guide.  The most common way is through His Word and the Holy Spirit.  Like an internal guidance system, the Spirit of God will lead us through our lives on our journey with Jesus.  We read.  We pray.  We listen.  As our hearts get in tune with His, we begin to hear the faint sounds in the distance and we move.  As our lives begin to align with his Word, the siren song increases its volume and we find it easier to follow.  With faithfulness to God through communication and conviction, the fog lifts and we see clearly the path we are to take in the forks along the way.  The stress is removed from the choice.  Anxiety lessens over temporal issues such as money, possessions, and desires.  We find the soothing waves of the Spirit guiding us and it feels effortless.

Those are the best days, the glory days, of life.

I Don’t Need Church

In Church, Commitment, Family, Leviticus on February 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that statement.  “I don’t have to go to church, I can worship God anywhere”.

They are right!  You can bask in the glory of God wherever you stand.  You can praise God wherever you go.  You can read your Bible anywhere.  I have friends that seem to find themselves in the Church of the Great Outdoors during hunting and fishing season.  When the air temperature is just right and the deer, duck, pheasant, or fish are ripe for the taking.  Usually, I hear people say they worship God in the blind, stand, or boat.  Other people suggest that church is completely unnecessary, while other says it is irrelevant.  Sadly, those accusations are sometimes true.  However, we do not usually take advantage of those moments.  People are focused on the hunt not bowing to worship God.  People get too busy throwing back a cold one that they forget to throw back their lives to The One in submission and worship.

But church is different.  It is to be a place a refuge and focus.  We don’t call it a sanctuary without reason.  The place where we gather is just a big room, but the reason we gather is bigger than the universe!  A large gathering of people for one purpose meets.  Our focus is on the One True God.  Our hearts come into alignment.  Our minds clear of all other thoughts except for God.

At least, that what we are supposed to do.  Meeting God in this way is important.  We find an early example in Leviticus:

3 “If any native Israelite sacrifices a bull or a lamb or a goat anywhere inside or outside the camp 4 instead of bringing it to the entrance of the Tabernacle to present it as an offering to the Lord, that person will be as guilty as a murderer.t Such a person has shed blood and will be cut off from the community. 5 The purpose of this rule is to stop the Israelites from sacrificing animals in the open fields. It will ensure that they bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle, so he can present them to the Lord as peace offerings. 6 Then the priest will be able to splatter the blood against the Lord’s altar at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he will burn the fat as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 7 The people must no longer be unfaithful to the Lord by offering sacrifices to the goat idols.t This is a permanent law for them, to be observed from generation to generation.

Leviticus 17.3

God instructs the people that it is unlawful to try to shortcut worship.  In God’s eyes it is not enough to just have some service at the rodeo, home show, golf course, or duck blind.  It is not enough to rationalize that we are too busy to leave what we are doing in order to go to church.  It is not enough to say that the family altar will do. God is serious about church and so should we.  Going to church reveals honor and obedience to God.  Going to church reveals a submission to God more than self.

Do as God prescribed for the priests.  Be cleansed.  Be prepared.  Be in attendance. Be blessed.

What are your thoughts?  Do you need church?

One Time Only

In Cleansing, Exodus, Jesus on February 11, 2011 at 7:20 am

In reading through the beginnings of the wanderings of the Israelites, there is a beautiful concept that rises up in the instructions concerning Aaron, the priest. God instructed that a wash basin be built and placed between the altar of sacrifice and the entrance to the holy place where only the priests could go. Before Aaron became the high priest he was to be consecrated. His whole body had to be washed from the water in the basin.

17 Then the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. 19 Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there. 20 They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to the Lord—or they will die! 21 They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be observed from generation to generation.”

Once that was accomplished he was ready for service to God on behalf of the people. However, every time after he only had to wash his hands and feet. His hands represented the things he had done and his feet for the places he had gone. Before he could approach God he needed to offer a sacrifice for sin and then wash his hands and feet.
Jesus Christ is the once-for-all sacrifice for all of humanity. When we come to realize our need for God and the overwhelming barrier of our sin we see Jesus. We accept Jesus’ death as the required sacrifice for our sin. We only need to do this once. Whenever we wish to approach God thereafter we must confess (wash) our hands (things we’ve done and said) and feet (places we have gone).

I Love My Church

In Church, Exodus, love on February 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Do you love your church? In this context, I do mean the building. While I know that the church is the people, God is not overlooking the building in which we worship, serve, learn, and teach. The Israelites were not far from Egypt when God expresses that there should be a facility built in which the people can sacrifice and serve God.

He gave specific instructions. Don’t you think that it is important to God? If so, let us make sure the church building is outfitted with what is needed not what is cheap. Many churches have taken a lot of heat over the exquisite nature of the furnishings and finishes. While I don’t think a church need be the Waldorf. I think this passage of scripture teaches us to put our best together for the Lord.

I love my church. Do you? Get involved and make sure it is presentable to the Creator and Sustainer.

8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. 9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.   Exodus 25:8-9

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