Today’s Reading: Exodus 40
Today’s Reflection: Exodus 40:34-35
34) Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35) And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
After the work of building the tabernacle and preparing the priests was complete, the time for serving God had arrived. The time had come to worship the Lord. As Israel prepared to do this, the cloud that represented God’s presence descended over the tent of meeting. The Word says Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle because it was filled with the glory of the Lord. Before hymns (or psalms) were sung, or before prayers were lifted, God’s glory filled the tabernacle.
When we are serving God, the first thing we have to do is put self aside and make room in the tabernacle for His Glory.
When we’re serving God it’s easy to get caught up planning, preparing, programming, trying to get every detail perfect as man sees perfection. Often we end up leaving God out of the picture entirely. Martha was so busy trying to prepare the perfect meal for Jesus she missed the eternal daily bread He was serving, and that her sister Mary was eagerly partaking in (Luke 10:38-42). The Pharisees were so concerned with proper keeping of God’s Word they missed the Word made flesh when it came in the form of Jesus. So caught up in their own understanding of Messianic prophesies, they missed the fulfillment of their hopes coming to pass right before their own eyes (John 5:18, 39-47).
The tabernacle example makes clear what must come first in order to avoid becoming focused on the wrong things and missing the point: God’s point. Before debates about music, dance, dress and jewelry in church; before fundraising to build a church (or a bigger church); before trying to figure out which candidate Jesus would vote for in an election; and before just repeating what your church has been doing for years (whether it works or not); before we try to call any of our own ideas ‘God’s will’; we need to be open to God’s presence. Allow His glory to enter and be our guide. Most important, we must let His leading determine our next step, just as the cloud over the tabernacle guided Israel step by step through their wilderness journeys.
John 3:30-31 – 30) He must increase, but I must decrease.” 31) He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.