August 26, 2023

August 26, 2023

To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.

If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.

Daily Devotion

Pattern Our Lives After Christ

The content below is from the Purpose Institute course material on ‘The Tabernacle’.

 A deeper study of the tabernacle and its design reveals a divine timelessness that transcends both testaments. The Old Testament is full of revelatory information about the promised Messiah. The tabernacle in the wilderness served as an Old Testament visual aid that illuminated spiritual truths. The physical structure was “an example and shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5). Through the tabernacle’s design, the One true God illustrates His holiness and humanity’s sinfulness and need for redemption.

The LORD commands Moses, “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” There is no room for any improvisation on Moses’ part. There is no room for Moses to insert his own ideas. In fact, the LORD repeats this command no less than six times (Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; 31:6, 11). Under no circumstance was the pattern to be altered! The Bible uses the words ‘pattern’, ‘shadow’, and ‘figure’ to describe the designs God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai regarding the tabernacle and its associated furnishings and priests. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.” Any deviation from God’s blueprint would mar heaven’s reality. God intended for the tabernacle to illustrate heavenly truths.

 There is an instance in the Bible, where God demonstrates His seriousness towards maintaining the pattern, symbolism, or typology. This was explained by Bro. Ryan Scott in one of the Purpose institute classes. In Exodus 17 we see God giving direction to Moses to quench the thirst of the Israelites during the wilderness journey. He tells Moses to take the same rod that demonstrated God’s power turning the Nile River to blood and parting the Red Sea. (Exodus 17:6) “I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So, Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out.

Nearing the end of their forty years of wandering, when they were camped at Kadesh, there was no water and the community turned against Moses and Aaron. The Lord’s instruction to Moses, to bring forth water was different this time. (Numbers 20:7) “And the Lord said to Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”” Moses took the staff and gathered the men. Instead of speaking to the rock, seemingly in anger, Moses strikes it (as he did in Exodus 17). Not only does Moses do something other than what God told him to do, he suggests that he and Aaron are responsible for producing the water. (Numbers 20:7) Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. 

Water came from the rock as God had promised. But there was consequence for Moses’s action and intention. (Numbers 20:12) But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”. This punishment may seem harsh to us. There are two obvious reasons from the scripture above – First, God wanted Moses to trust Him, especially after they had been in such close relationship for so many years. Moses didn’t have to use force. He simply needed to obey God and trust that He would be true to His promise. Second, Moses took credit for bringing forth the water. He seems to take credit for the miracle instead of attributing it to God. 

But there is a third and important reason. Paul later explains the significance of that rock in the New Testament. (1 Corinthians 10:4) “For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.” The water-giving rock is used as a symbol of Christ. The rock was struck in Exodus 17:6 as a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. The instruction given to Moses to speak to the rock means a picture of prayer. It is a typology or symbolism that Jesus was “struck” once as a sacrifice. He continues to provide living water to those who pray in faith to Him. When Moses angrily struck the rock, he destroyed the biblical typology and crucified Christ again. After this incident, we do not see Moses complain about his punishment. He continues to faithfully lead the people and honor God. God continues to demonstrate His compassion and shows Moses the Promised Land before his death. 

Concluding with content from the Purpose Institute course book “The Grace Blueprint – The Story of the Tabernacle.”

Jesus fulfilled the grace blueprint. He became our High Priest and atoning sacrifice. By His blood, Jesus destroyed sin’s dominion. By His resurrection, Jesus lives forevermore to make intersession for us. Because Jesus lives, death no longer reigns. He poured out His Spirit and founded His church. Through His church, Jesus’s ministry of reconciliation continues. As born-again believers, we are called to pattern our lives after Christ, to live grace blueprint every day.

~Yoga Raj