I kind of hate it when people ask that question. First of all, I have no idea. Second of all, why does it matter whether or not I can answer that question? After all, your answer is always judged. Have you set your sights too high or too low? Do you have purpose in this life or are you shamefully, aimlessly wandering about? I know I’m not alone in this. It will always be nerve-wracking trying to predict your own outcome, attempting to judge your life before it is even lived. We want to live our best life – so what do we do first?
Given today’s standards, the Israelites were probably not living their best life – they were traveling on foot through a wilderness, eating the plainest food imaginable, and working very hard on the tabernacle for God for no pay! In this chapter they sewed and crafted the priests’ clothes, from the ephod and the breastpiece even down to the robes and the priests’ underwear. Then, all of a sudden, someone knotted the last thread, someone polished the last golden article, and the work on God’s tabernacle was finished. Moses came to take a look at what had been done, carefully checking each piece of furniture against the thorough instructions God had given him. I imagine the Israelites holding their breath, double checking every detail in their mind. Finally, Moses straightened, made the last checkmark on his list, and turned to his people. They had done it. And they had done it well.
The Treasures Within:
The Meaning Of Life
What is the ideal life to live? A life of luxury? Never having to work too hard or worry too much? A life of excitement and adventure? Traveling to every continent? Attending parties with the rich and famous? If you answered yes to any of those options, congratulations, you are like most people. As humans, we love leisure. We love fun. We love pleasing ourselves. But God asks us to be different from most people. To sacrifice ourselves and our time and our money, much like the Israelites have done for the last five chapters.
We were put on this earth to bring glory to God. We’re here to work for Him. We’re here to make food for people who are homeless. We’re here to be a friend to people who are sick, alone, and dying. We’re here to tell our coworkers, our friends, and strangers we pass by in the store about our Jesus. We’re here to sing for special music at church. We’re here to speak during week of prayer. We’re here to pass out books in our neighborhood. We’re here to be a friendly face and a helping hand to a refugee. We’re here to mentor a young person. We’re here to work. This may mean struggle. This may mean a lot of sacrifice. And on the surface, this kind of life looks barren, tough, and dim compared to the lives we see on Instagram and TV. But would God do that to you? Truly, would He? He asks us to serve Him for our own good! Yet we still wonder, what’s so good about it? Allow Exodus 39 to explain.
When we work for God, we work with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are never alone. Do you remember when you were a teenager and you had to do chores or were bored at school? Yet even in the midst of suffering, if you were with your sibling or your friends, the glum and mundane somehow became fun? When we struggle with someone, we get close to them. Our bonds tighten and our relationship grows and it’s a beautiful thing.
When we work for God, we receive a reward. After the Israelites finished their work on the tabernacle, and Moses looked over their work, he blessed them (verse 43). God had seen how hard His people had worked, how much love and heart they had poured into their service. He smiled on it. He loved it. He blessed it.
When we work for God, we learn about Him. We learn about God’s character, what He likes and what He dislikes. We learn about his overwhelming love for every individual person. We learn about His persistence and how He woos all of us to Him. We learn about God’s power and how He accomplishes His purpose and His plan through us. The Israelites were able to see, from beginning to end, God’s vision for the tabernacle become a reality. God’s vision always becomes a reality and when we spend our lives working for Him, we get to be a part of that. What can be more rewarding, more fulfilling than that?
God’s Message To Us:
“Marry Me.” What are we supposed to do with our lives? What will we be doing with our lives in twenty years? What is the right path to take? What can we do now so that in the end, we look back over our life with almost no regrets? We give our life to God. We surrender everything to God. That’s a big ask. If it were easy, a lot more of us would be doing it. Instead, we hold back. We feel like there are better options out there. But the bottom line is this: do we believe this Man? Do we believe that He knows what’s best for us? Do we believe that He has prepared a place for us? Do we believe that He loves us? What’s the answer? What are you going to do with your life?
What do you think? What do you think the Israelites learned from their experience building the tabernacle? What did God say to you through this chapter of the Bible?