February 11: God’s Will: It’s Confusing
Exodus 26–27; John 5:1–15; Song of Solomon 3:6–11
It’s sometimes difficult to understand why God does what He does, or why He asks us to do certain things. God goes so far as to list precise materials and calculations in Exod 26 for the tabernacle—the portable temple the Hebrew people built for God in the wilderness. You can imagine the conversation:
Nadab says, “Aaron, is it okay if I use leather for this curtain?”
Aaron responds, “No, you know the rules. If God commands it, you have to do it. I don’t want another golden calf incident. I made that mistake once; I won’t make it twice.”
“But there is more leather,” says Nadab.
“I’m not having this discussion any longer,” Aaron says sternly. “Let’s just get the job done.” (“For an elder, you think he would know better,” Aaron says under his breath.)
Aaron, in this fictional scene, is rightfully frustrated because God does know better. Most of us know the answer before we ask God, “Why?” But we ask Him anyway. God’s will can be confusing, and it’s for this reason that discerning it requires great prayer and a dedication to an ongoing relationship with Him. Trying to understand God’s will without that close relationship cannot only be detrimental to us, but also to others. We see this in the golden calf incident later in the exodus narrative (Exod 32).
And isn’t this often the case? God knows what we need before we do; we just don’t always realize that He has already given instructions.
Has God already given instructions for your current situation that you may not have realized yet?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Afterward thou shalt make the Tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue silk, and purple, and scarlet: and in them thou shalt make Cherubims of broidered work. The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, adn the breadth of one curtain four cubits: every one of the curtains shall have one measure. Five curtains shall be coupled one to another: adn the other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. And thou shalt make strings of blue silk upon the edge of the one curtain, which is in the selvedge of the coupling: and likewise shall thou make in the edge of the other curtain in the selvedge, in the second coupling. Fifty strings shalt thou make in one curtain, and fifty strings shalt thou make inthe edge of the curtain, which is in the second coupling: the strings shall be one right against another. Thou shalt make also fifty taches of gold, adn couple the curtains one to another with the taches, and it shall be one Tabernacle. Also thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair, to be a covering upon the Tabernacle, thou shalt make them to the number of eleven curtains. The length of a curtain shall bei thirty cubits, and the breadth of a curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall be of one emeausre. And thou shalt coupld five curtains by themselves, and the six curtais by themeselves: but thou shalt cdouble the sixth curtain upon the forefront of the evening. And thou shlat make fifty strings in the edge of one curtain in the selvedge of t he coupling, and fifty strings in the edge of the other curtain in the second coupling. Likewise thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and fasten them on the strings, and shalt couple the covering together tha tit may be one. And the remnant that resteth in the curtains of the covering, even the half curtain that resteth, shall be left at the backside of the Tabernacle. That the cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side of that which is left in the length of the curtains of the covering may remain on either side of the Tabernacle to cover it. Moreover, for that covering thou shalt make a covering of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above. Also thou shalt make boards for the Tabernacle of Shittim wood to stand up. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and an half cubit the breadth of one board. Two tenons shall be in one board set in order as the feet of a Ladder, one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the Tabernacle. And thou shalt make boards for the Tabernacle, even twenty boards on the South side, even full South. And thou shlat make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards, two sockets under one board for his two tenons, andn two sockets under another board for this two tenons. In like manner on the other side of the Tabernacle toward the North side shall be twenty boards, And their forty sockets of silver, two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And on the side of the Tabernacle, toward the West, shalt thou make six boards. Also two boards shalt thou make in the corners of the Tabernacle in the two sides. Also they shall be joined beneath, and likewise they shall be joined above a ring: thus shall it be for them two: they shall be for the two corners. So they shall be eight boards having sockets of silver, even sixteen sockets, that is, two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. Then thou shalt make five bars of Shittim wood for the boards of one side of the Tabernacle. And five bars for the boards of the other side of the Tabernacle: also five bars for the boards of the side of the Tabernacle toward the West side. And the middle bar shall go through the idst of the boards, from end to end. And thou shalt cover the boards with gold,a nd make their rings of gold, for places for the bars, and thou shalt cover the bars with gold. So thou shlat rear up the Tabernacle, according to the fashion thereof, which was showed thee in the Mount. Moreover, thou shalt make a veil of blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, thou shalt make it of broidered work with Cherubims. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of Shittim wood covered with gold, (whose hooks shall be of gold) standing upon four sockets of silver. Afterward thou shalt hang the veil on the hooks, that thou mayest bring in thither, that is, within the veil, the Ark of the Testimony: and the veil shall make you a separation between the Holy place and the most holy place. Also thou shalt put the Table without the veil, and the Candlestick over against the Table on the South side of the Tabernacle, and thou shalt set the Table on the North side. Also thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the Tabernacle of blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen wrought with needle. And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of Shittim, and cover them with gold: their heads shall be of gold, and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them. Moreover thou shalt make the Altar of Shittim wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad (the altar shalll be four square) and the height thereof three cubits. And thou shalt make it horns in the four corners thereof: the horns shall be of itself, and thou shalt cover it with brass. Also thou shalt make his ash pans for his ashes, and his besoms, and his basins, and his blesh-hooks and his censers: thou shalt make all the instruments thereof of brass. And thou shalt make unto it a grate, like network of brass: also upon tha tgrate shalt thou make four brazen rings upon the four corners thereof. And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the grate may be in the midst of the altar. Also thou shalt make bars for the altar, bars, I say, of Shittim wood, and shalt cover them with brass. And the bars thereof shall be put in the rings, the which bars shall be upon the two sides of the altar to bear it. Thou shalt make the altar hollow between the boards: as God showeth thee in the mount, so shall they make it. Also thou shalt make the court of the Tabernacle in the South side, even full South: the court shall have curtains of fine twined linen, of an hundred cubits long, for one side., And it shall have twenty pillars, with their twenty sockets of brass: the heads of the pillars, and their fillets shall besilver. Likewise on the North side in length there shall behangings of an hundred cubits long, and the twenty pillar thereof with their twenty sockets of brass: the heads of hte pillars and the fillets shall be silver. And the breadth of the court, on the Sest side shall have curtains of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars, adn their ten sockets. And the breadth of the court, Eastward full East, shall have curtains of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars, and their ten sockets. And the breadth of the court, Eastward fulll East, shall have fifty cbits. Also hangings of fifteen cubits shall beon the one side with their three pllars and their three sockets. Likewise on the other side shalll be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. And in th egate of the court shall be a veil of twnety cubits of blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen wrought with needle, with the four pillars thereof and their four sockets. All the pillars of the court shall have fillers of silver rounda bout, with their heads of silver, and their sockets of brass. The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits and the breadth fifty at either end, and the height five cubits, and the hangings of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. All the vessels of the Tabernacle for all manner service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court shall be brass. And thou shalt command the children of Israel, tha they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, tha the lamps may always burn. In the Tabernacle of the Congregation without the veil, which is befor the Testimony, shall Aaron and his sons dress them from evening to morning before the Lord, for a statute forever unto their generaitons, to be observed by the children of Israel. Exodus 26–27
- . John 5:1–15
- . Song of Solomon 3:6–11