Daily Devotion for July 22, 2021
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for Holiness
All provident Lord, place Your holy fear as a guard before my eyes so they may not look lustfully; before my ears so that they may not delight in hearing evil words; before my mouth so that it may not speak any falsehoods; before my heart so that it may not think evil; before my hands so that they may not do injustice; before my feet, that they may not walk in the paths of injustice; but so direct them, that they may always be according to all Your commandments. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
The things, great Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the grace and blessings, both spiritual and temporal, you have bestowed upon me, my loved ones, and this community of prayer: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends.
Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved me from death.
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”
~ Martin Luther
Finally, may I go forth filled with the joy and confidence of your Spirit; and may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Proverbs 24:1-2 (NKJV)
Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
Exodus 26 (New Living Translation)
ake the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen. Decorate the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. These ten curtains must all be exactly the same size—42 feet long and 6 feet wide. . . .
For the framework of the Tabernacle, construct frames of acacia wood. Each frame must be 15 feet high and 27 inches wide . . . .
Set up this Tabernacle according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain. . . .
For the inside of the Tabernacle, make a special curtain of finely woven linen. Decorate it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim . . . .
Then put the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place. . . .
[Excerpts are given here. If you want to read all of Exodus 26, click the link or go to your own Bible.]
Notes on the Scripture
By way of introduction, most Christians do not know what “tabernacle” actually means. A tabernacle is a framed tent used for worship. The word, however, was borrowed by Christians looking for a term to describe more generic places or items of worship. The Jews retained the original meaning, and the Jewish “Festival of Tabernacles” involved going to Jerusalem and living in a framed tent for a week.
The original tabernacle is described in Exodus 26. The Israelites, who will wander in the desert for the next forty years, are going to need a place to worship this great God, “I AM”, with whom they have made a covenant; for their relationship with God has become the center of their lives. They can hardly have a permanent structure; and so, their cathedral is a tent . . . but what a tent!
It was surrounded by a fabric fence roughly one-half to one-third the size of a football field. The tabernacle proper was about 45 feet long and 15 feet wide and was divided into one large room and, at the back, a smaller room for the Ark and the Holy of Holies, separated by embroidered curtains.
The framework was made of wood covered in gold, with silver supports, and the coverings were embroidered and made of the finest materials available. The covering was in three layers: an outer layer of a special waterproof animal hide; a second layer of goat hair for insulation; and a finely decorated interior layer.
The chapter tells us that there were plans for the tabernacle which were not included in Exodus; in other words, as long and detailed as the description in Exodus 26 might be, they had even more detailed plans, given to them by God on Mount Sinai.
The tabernacle would always be oriented east to west and would become the literal as well as spiritual center of Hebrew life, as the people’s dwelling tents would form concentric circles around it. God, whether literally or symbolically, was present in the inner room.
We must remember, though, that the Israelites lived by faith as much as we do, for they never saw the Ark. Only one priest, one time a year, would enter the room to sprinkle the blood of atonement on the cover of the Ark; at all other times it was hidden from view, for it was wrapped securely for travel. And even the high priest would never see the contents of the Ark: the tablets of stone, Aaron’s rod, and the sample of manna.
So the Hebrews were in the same position as we are today, even though the Ark was physically present. They were expected to live by faith, based on words of eyewitnesses passed from generation to generation and, eventually, written down.