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November 16, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Acts 9-10
Audio: Acts 9-10

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”
(Exodus 34:6 ESV)

Exodus 38 (ESV)

He made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. Five cubits was its length, and five cubits its breadth. It was square, and three cubits was its height. He made horns for it on its four corners. Its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. And he made all the utensils of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the fire pans. He made all its utensils of bronze.And he made for the altar a grating, a network of bronze, under its ledge, extending halfway down. He cast four rings on the four corners of the bronze grating as holders for the poles. He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. And he put the poles through the rings on the sides of the altar to carry it with them. He made it hollow, with boards.

He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

And he made the court. For the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, a hundred cubits; 10 their twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. 11 And for the north side there were hangings of a hundred cubits; their twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. 12 And for the west side were hangings of fifty cubits, their ten pillars, and their ten bases; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. 13 And for the front to the east, fifty cubits. 14 The hangings for one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases. 15 And so for the other side. On both sides of the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three bases. 16 All the hangings around the court were of fine twined linen. 17 And the bases for the pillars were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. The overlaying of their capitals was also of silver, and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver. 18 And the screen for the gate of the court was embroidered with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It was twenty cubits long and five cubits high in its breadth, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 19 And their pillars were four in number. Their four bases were of bronze, their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals and their fillets of silver. 20 And all the pegs for the tabernacle and for the court all around were of bronze.

21 These are the records of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were recorded at the commandment of Moses, the responsibility of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. 22 Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses;23 and with him was Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver and designer and embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen.

24 All the gold that was used for the work, in all the construction of the sanctuary, the gold from the offering, was twenty-nine talents and 730 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 The silver from those of the congregation who were recorded was a hundred talents and 1,775 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary: 26 a bekaa head (that is, half a shekel, by the shekel of the sanctuary), for everyone who was listed in the records, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men.27 The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the veil; a hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent a base. 28 And of the 1,775 shekels he made hooks for the pillars and overlaid their capitals and made fillets for them. 29 The bronze that was offered was seventy talents and 2,400 shekels; 30 with it he made the bases for the entrance of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar and the bronze grating for it and all the utensils of the altar, 31 the bases around the court, and the bases of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court.

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Next: Exodus 39

Back: Exodus 37

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Sacrifice, Dedication, Commitment and Effort

    Over the last few chapters of Exodus, we've witnessed an outpouring of giving to the building of the tabernacle both in time and treasure. The sacrifice, dedication, commitment and effort was all for God's glory and out of worship of Him. 

    Today, people often look at glorious church buildings as a waste of money. They are seen by some as an inappropriate use of funds when so many hurting people in the world are desperate for help. I've heard people say, "Think of how many starving children could have been fed with the money this church spent on the building."

    Does the building of the tabernacle in Exodus give churches today the green light on building luxurious buildings as a place of worship? It is wrong for churches to build nice buildings? Who gets to define "nice" and how "nice" is too extravagant?

    These are complex questions that can trigger a lot of passionate responses. While the New Testament does not forbid churches from building, it doesn't say we should or what they should look like. While there were no megachurches in the New Testament, does that mean our churches should stay small? If so, how small? How big is too big?

    Unlike the details given in the building of the tabernacle, we do not have clear instructions on these things. Because of this, I believe we need to use great caution when proceeding with building a place for us to gather as the body of Christ. If God would lead us to build someday, how much money should we spend? How much of our monthly budget should go towards the building (and expenses related to it)?

    Right now for us, this is not an issue as we rent from West Bay Christian Academy. The only other expenses we have as a church is our insurance, my monthly Logos Bible Software payment and the monthly cost of our church app. That pretty much sums up our expenses as a church. We have also helped people in our church and outside of our church as needs came to our attention.

    Someone could make the argument that paying rent, having Bible software and a church app is not essential. I would agree they are not essential. Christ is essential. But does that mean we shouldn't have these expenses or that God is not honored with our use of money?

    I think it's important that as a church, we help people in our community. That's why we've given to the NK Food Pantry and helped people in need when we've learned of their situation. We also just had a very successful "Coats of Care" coat drive where people donated 116 coats for people in our community who need them. I've gone through each coat, made sure the zippers worked and they weren't ripped or torn and as soon as I'm done posting this, I'm taking pictures of each one and putting them on our website so people can see what we have. We're even delivering them as some people do not have transportation. 

    While this is a church initiative, we need to remember that helping people should also be done individually. 

    There were a lot of needy people in the Bible and Jesus ministered to them and love them. He cared about them and had compassion for them. He helped them. He also told them of their spiritual needs and challenged their assumptions and misguided views about God. He taught people, preached about the Kingdom, warned people and told people the truth about who He was and what His ministry was. 

    As individuals and as a church we need to minister to people in need and love them. We need to care about them and have compassion for them. We need to help them with their physical needs and like Christ, help them with their spiritual needs. 

    As for the extravagant work performed for the tabernacle? God is the one who detailed exactly what was to be built and how it was to be built. This should not be a blueprint for churches to follow today. They were building a place for God to dwell with them and God wanted it down according to His specifications. 

    Our churches today are not where God "dwells with us" as He did back in the times of Exodus. Our buildings are a place where we gather for worship, instructions, prayer and fellowship. 

    God dwells in believers. We are His temple. Just as God doesn't need us all "blinged up" with gold, silver, bronze and fine twined linen to dwell in us, He doesn't need (or desire) our meeting places to be extravagant. That doesn't mean we should meet in cardboard boxes duct taped together as a way to honor God, but we should be good stewards of God's money and spend it in a way that honors Him – and that always includes caring for the needs of those in the body of Christ and those who are not part of the church. 
     

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