I was soooo tired last night...I fell asleep rocking JJ in the chair at 8:45! Dusty had to wake me up and tell me to go to bed, but yet...I hadn't done my Bible reading yet! But I woke up just enough to read the chapters with Dusty. But them I was back fast asleep. So, bear with me on this one! :)
(I started this 30 minutes ago....this is as far as I've gotten so far. Note to self: get up earlier!)
Chapter 30 Now the Lord is commanding that Moses and the Israelites build an altar of incense. It's to be "this high, this long and this wide." All in "cubits" of course. We do know that it is to be square. It's to have horns and gold....rings for the altar moldings, and poles to carry it. Aaron is to burn the fragrance on it every morning as he is tending to the gi-normous lampstand they built back in chapter 27. He has to burn incense again at twilight when we lights the lamps and once a year he is to make an offering on the horns with blood....for the sin offering of the generations to come.
Everyone is to make a money offering to the Lord....whether you are rich or whether you are poor, you are to give the same amount....half a shekel....this was a tax to support the upkeep of the sanctuary. They also had to take a census every year and collected this money at the same time. The wash basin was simply used for ritual cleansing. The anointing oil is made up of some fancy-shmancy stuff, I'd say! Myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia (??), and olive oil. All of these are to be made into a perfume to be used to anointing. This formula is a holy oil, and even a secret! It is a recipe to be used ONLY for this purpose...not for pleasure or else you'll "be cut off from your people!" (v. 38) This is a holy practice...being holy must smell good? But it does symbolize that the prayers of the people are going up to God.
(It is now 8:40am...must set my alarm to get this done I guess!)
Chapter 31 Here we have to people appointed to the details! Shew! It wasn't me called to that! Bezalel and Oholiab (Oh holy Abe?!) :) These two men have been the craftsmen appointed to make off the kinds of crafts need: the Tent of Meeting (to be called the tabernacle later I think), the ark of the Testimony, and all of the furnishings -- the tables, the lampstand, the accessories, the altar of incense the basin, the utensils, the woven garments--everything!!! NOW that was a biblical Wal-mart!!! Those two men right there. They are to make them.....just as the Lord commanded. It's not about the details I finally realized last night. It's about following the commands of the Lord. Get it?! Ah-ha! It's' about the commands, about the Lord's will, about us obeying....not so much about getting caught up in the details, but about following God! Ahhhh.....that'll teach! :)
The Sabbath -- keep it holy. This is God's 7th speech to Moses from the mountain. Really! It is! And a nice holy number at that!!! The whole conversation began in Exodus 25:1 and is now finally complete. And what does Moses come down the mountain with?? Two stone tablets. That's it...only two tablets to be place in the ark. All of the other "stuff" is important, about the tabernacle, but of upmost concern are the commandments. That is what Moses comes down with in actual writing. Interesting huh?
Chapter 32 Moses was taking so long up there that the people were getting concerned!He was gone more or less 40 days and 40 nights. So in their desperation, they already broke the covenant. During Moses' absence the rebellious people took it upon themselves to chose Aaron as their leader and they worshiped a golden bull!!! They threw some golden earrings into the fire and out came a calf, a symbol of fertility. Glad I don't have gold earrings! :) Two children have filled our quiver! :) So, the Lord finally sends Moses back down the mountain and was mad!!! HE was out to get this own people but Moses begged him to still find favor in them. In verse 14 God actually changed his mind! God is not bound to being inflexible because of our actions. He is free to keep His will on course and still make His divine plan happen!!!
Moses gets back home, sees the partying and dancing to the false gods and throws down the tablets!!! Just like that and they are broken into pieces at the foot of the mountain!! Hum....way to Moses! :) Aaron got in trouble for leading the people astray but he doesn't take responsibility for the partying. Moses was even willing to take the blame for the people and be blotted out from God's "book of life" if you will! But God said now. Aaron said the golden calf just emerged from the fire by itself!!! In the end, God sends a plague "because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made" (v. 35).
Lessons learned: don't get too caught up in the details....just do what God commands!
Thy will be done......