December 13 I Monday
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
When God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites on Mount Sinai, the Israelites were afraid as God’s voice was like thunder. They told Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not let God speak to us or we will die” (Exodus 20:19). Hence, Moses went alone to approach God, and received His instructions. Afterwards, Moses told the Israelites all the Lord’s words and laws, and they responded with one voice, “Everything the LORD has said we will do” (Exodus 24:3).
God invited Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel to dine with Him. Then, God told Moses to go up higher on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone with the Law and Commandments He had written for their instruction. While Moses was there, the Israelite camp descended into chaos. Within 40 days, they created a golden calf and worshipped it. The Israelites did not take long before they virtually broke every command that God gave them previously. Yet, what was amazing, as all this was happening below the mountain, was God giving instructions to Moses about the Tabernacle and the sacrificial system. God was paving a way for the Israelites to be restored to a relationship with Him while they were being unfaithful.
When a person entered the Tabernacle, the first thing they would encounter was the altar. God gave it as a place of worship, where there was reconciliation through the sin offering and the guilt offering, and rejoicing through the fellowship offering, the grain offering and the burnt offering. The sacrificial system gave the people a pathway back to a relationship with God when they had sinned.
God said, “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God” (Exodus 29:45-46). God was going to dwell with His people. In fact, He arranged the camp in a specific way, as to which tribes were to camp to the north, east, south and west, but at the very center of the camp was the Tabernacle. God brought order to the chaos of their camp. The lives of His people were to be ordered around Him, dwelling at the center of their lives.
Behind the Law and Commandments, we see God’s desire to be in relationship with His people. This remains His desire in our present day, through Jesus—is He the center of our lives?
Prayer: Dear God, thank You, even when I have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, that You made a way for me to be reconciled to You through the ultimate sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I want my life to be centered upon You.