Bible Discussion — Exodus 23-26

July 18, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, David, Steve  | 1 Comment

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next four chapters of the Bible, Exodus 23-26.

Previously in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 | 19-22

The book of Genesis:
1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18-2 | 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-29
30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
What may seem like a dry section of Scripture actually gives us some wonderful images and types of the Christian faith. Here the Mercy Seat is established, the place where God promised to “meet” and “commune” with his creation. I don’t think we comprehend what an amazing privilege we have in our fellowship with God.

Steve:
I think this passage has scared off some Bweinh!tributors this week. But we brave three shall soldier on!

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
Moses took 73 Israelite elders partway up the mountain, where they “saw God.” Clearly, from what Moses asks God later, they didn’t see God’s face, so I wonder what they did see. And who cleaned up after the meal.

David:
One of the shelves in my library is uneven and needs to be fixed.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Steve: Paved With Sapphire, Onyx in the Ephod
David: Six Branches
Chloe: Acacia, Young Goat

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Chloe:
Moses’ reading from the book of the Covenant reminds me of an Evensong I went to at St. Paul’s in London. It was the night before the end of Lent, and on the program it said there would be two teachings from the Word. I thought there would be two sermons, but instead the bishop read one passage from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. That was the whole teaching.

David:
It reminded me of the time Tom Bushey stood up to preach on Mother’s Day, read 23:17 and said, “In the Old Testament, all men were required to attend church three times a year: Passover, Pentecost and the Harvest Festival.” Then, looking out over the congregation he said, “I guess not much has changed; only now, it’s Easter, Christmas and Mother’s Day.”

Steve:
In some ways, it’s like The Wizard of Oz, with one guy delivering pronouncements from an all-powerful being who refuses to be seen by everyone. But of course that analogy falls apart as soon as you remember the cloud around the mountain or the consuming fire or the sapphire stone as clear as heaven. This wasn’t Mo’s show.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
“The word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept… line upon line… here a little and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:13)

Redemption is a long, painful process, beginning here with the law Peter called “a burden…which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear.” (Acts 15:10)

Chloe:
God told the Israelites how to build the temple of God down to the very last inch. It was, after all, God’s house. Now His temple is our bodies, and we are the body of Christ. We are taught that we should treat our bodies as temples, but do we take that instruction seriously? Eating food that we know may eventually kill us, not going to the doctor or dentist, smoking, even not brushing our teeth isn’t treating our bodies as temples. Doing anything that isn’t healthy for us is defiling the temple of God, and in the Old Testament, the penalty for that is death. Funny, that doesn’t seem to have changed.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Steve:
God didn’t lay His hand on the nobles. So does that mean He did lay His hand on Moses? What was that about?

Chloe:
I wish I could have seen the temple — talk about luxurious!

David:
I would have loved to have stood in the desert at sundown looking at the outer walls of The Tabernacle in blue, purple and scarlet flapping in the breeze.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
David:
23:9 — “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Steve:
24:8 — “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.'”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
David:
What happened to the Ark?

Chloe:
24:11 says the elders saw God, and ate and drank. What I want to know is how on earth they managed to keep their food down! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could manage eating in the presence of God.

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Steve:
All these seemingly endless chapters, filled with rules both practical and esoteric, were summed up so beautifully by their author. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

David:
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1) I can’t fathom the patience of God to take thousands of years to work out this great plan of salvation. I just have to trust all this (the Law & Prophets) was necessary.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
David:
Freeman’s Manners & Customs of the OT notes that of the 613 distinct commandments in The Law, a prophet (Micah 6:8) brought it down to three, saying, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee but to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God?” But in Romans Paul sums it up in one, saying, “The just shall live by faith.”

Steve:
Although the beauty of the tabernacle appears to require a large amount of resources, the law is just as focused on the treatment of the poor of the nation. Special attention is given to their treatment in court and how they will feed themselves. Some of us need to remember that although Christ did say we would always have the poor with us, He called it a blessing to lavish riches on Him — not on ourselves.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
God’s way of working out his plan of redemption can appear slow and tedious at times, but it is all completely necessary.


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