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Building the Mishkan


Exodus 35:1–38:20

If anyone could or if anyone should play God, it would be Moses. He after all is the closest of any of the prophets has a personal relationship with God. They talk all the time, he gets commandments he argues, he complains. And we rely on the relationship he has with God. We tried to hear it straight from God, but it was too much, the Children of Israel made it clear they wanted to hear it from Moses. So, who better to play God than Moses?

This week we read about building the mishkan. The holiest of holy places. This is where we keep the tablets of the 10 commandments. And the Torah goes into excruciating detail about what God wants built. Gold and silver is used to make the roof tiles, the wall panels, the tables. Copper is used to make mirrors.

Given these exact directions it would be easy for Moses to micro-manage the whole project. He could try and control each and every piece of the puzzle. But he doesn't need to play God. Instead he enlists his best artisans and builders to create something truly miraculous.

In step 3 we are asked to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a "God of my understanding". God seems to know in great detail what it take to make of my life. All the tools are there, the materials it takes to make it work. The copper, the silver, the gold is given to me.

That is the critical lesson this week. It isn't necessary to do everything by myself. It is possible to rely on the help of others. My addiction had me trying to control everything. And when things didn't work out the only choice is more control or more control and more control. Never asking for help because that would make me weak. That's what I thought, anyway.

But Moses isn't weak. He is the best example of what it is like to have God in charge.

Step 3 says 'God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in what we could contribute to life.

Less interested in what we could control and more interested in what we can contribute. Now that is a way of life.

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