The Bible is filled with promises of God’s blessing for us. God desires to give us many good things. The beginning of Exodus tells us that God desired to deliver His people from slavery and to give them a land that is filled with milk and honey. What an amazing gift coming from an amazing God!
However, what happens when the gift seems to take longer than usual to come to us, or when we find out that we might not be receiving that gift after all? Do we still desire to wait on God in trust? Do we still desire a relationship with Him? What do we really cherish – is it the gift, or the Giver?
The final chapters of Exodus led us to witness another episode of idolatry. Israel, once again, sinned against God, amidst the backdrop of God’s instructions for the Tabernacle – His dwelling place among His people. The rebellion created a crisis that called into question not only the covenant and God’s presence with His people but also their continued existence. How could the presence of God’s glory dwell amidst the stiff-necked people? Would He leave? Would He destroy them? The surprising dimensions of God’s grace can be seen, to an extent, within the dialogues.
Read Exodus 32-40.
The lengthy description of the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle closed the climactic narrative of the rebellion and the revelation in Exodus 32-40. Although Israel was sinful and stubborn, God forgave them and came down from Heaven to dwell among them.
The book of Exodus is a story of redemption from bondage, and stepping into a new life as God’s people. It is a story of Israel, and as we study it we find that it is also a story of our journey with God. We can be saved, but the rest of the journey involves obedience, trust, and abiding by His principles and laws.
We have also learned that while it is great to be saved, we can continue to walk at a distance from Him like Israel did, or walk in His favour and friendship like Moses did. As we examine our relationship with God today, are we more like Israel or Moses?
If it is your desire to cultivate a strong friendship with God that gives us the standing to change history through impactful prayer, why not start with a simple and humble one? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any adjustments you can make to your current lifestyle so that you might be able to make room to cultivate this friendship. Take heart and believe that God sees the hearts of those who desire to abide closely with Him, and is willing to give anything to those who ask (John 15:7).