Bezalel and Aholiab now make the garments for the priests who would be ministering in the Holy Place as commanded by the LORD to Moses back in:
Exodus 28:2 (NKJV) “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.”
Imagine having gold in your clothing – talk about special threads (Exodus 39:3).
14 times in chapters 39-40 we read those words, “…as the LORD had commanded Moses.” Moses had received the instructions on the mountain from the LORD, and then he relayed those instructions to the others. They paid careful attention to all the details and did everything according to God’s Word – no cutting corners, no sloppy agape.
It’s all significantly special, but I especially appreciate the Ephod and the Breastplate with the names of the children of Israel over the shoulders and heart of the High Priest (Exodus 39:7, 14). Jesus carries us on His shoulders and has us on His heart.
For those of you/us who have problems finishing things we start, it is inspiring to read that they finished all the work of the Tabernacle of the tent of meeting (Exodus 39:32).
After they finished, Moses inspected and looked over all the work to make sure they did it all according to God’s design (Exodus 39:43). Leaders are ultimately responsible for all that goes on, even if they delegate responsibilities to others.
The time had come for Moses to set everything up, to put it all together, to place it all in order according to God’s word, starting with the washing of Aaron and his sons in water (Ephesians 5:26). This time we read in:
Exodus 40:16 (NKJV) “Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.”
And in the second year on the first day of the first month the Tabernacle was raised up. God was pleased and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exodus 40:35 (NKJV) “And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
Moses was definitely a special man in the history of Israel and the world, he was the mediator of the Old Covenant, the Law of God, but we must always be reminded that, “The best of men, are men at best.” There is an infinite difference between man and God.
The Lord so graciously manifested Himself, His special presence to the children of Israel in the Tabernacle. He would personally lead them in the pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, to give them light on the road they would travel (Exodus 40:36-38; Nehemiah 9:12).
Warren Wiersbe offers a brief but excellent introduction to the Gospel of Mark, “John Mark was the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10; Acts 4:36–37; 11:19–30) and the son of Mary, a leading woman in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:12). He helped Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 12:25–13:5) but for some reason did not remain with them (Acts 13:13). That failure caused Paul and Barnabas to separate, but Barnabas gave Mark another chance (Acts 15:36–41). In later years, Mark became one of Paul’s associates (Philem. 24); and Paul commended him for his work (2 Tim. 4:11). It all ended well. First Peter 5:13 suggests that John Mark was converted through Peter’s ministry. Many Bible scholars believe that Mark’s gospel is a record of Peter’s reports of the ministry of Christ, presenting Jesus Christ as the Servant of God (Mark 10:45). Mark often used the word immediately, for he describes the work of a Servant who was busy obeying His Father and meeting the needs of people (1:10, 12, 20–21, etc.). Mark wrote with the Romans in mind, an active people who admired accomplishment.”
Mark doesn’t mince words. He dives right into it with the prophecies of Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 – prophecies that point to the forerunner, John the Baptist who came preaching a baptism of repentance. Virtually “all the land of Judea” went out to him and were baptized by him, including Jesus Himself.
John the Baptist does his job in pointing to and lifting up the coming Messiah, that in comparison to himself, there’s no comparison:
Mark 1:7–8 (NKJV) “And he preached, saying, ‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’”
People had begun to look to John – he immediately corrected them, “I’m not the Christ, look to Him.” As Christians we are all merely “point-men” pointing others to Jesus.
After Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him for empowerment as His public ministry would now begin. He then heard those wonderful words from His Father, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” or to put it another way, “I love You Son, and I’m proud of You.” (in a good sense) We see all three members of the Trinity at work.
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where He fasted for 40 days and was tempted by Satan. Jesus defeated the devil and went forward in ministry, preaching the Kingdom, declaring His time as the fulfillment of prophecy, and calling on the people to repent and believe (Mark 1:15).
Jesus personally called His Apostles to be fishers of men, rather than fishers of fish. Peter, Andrew, James, and John all left their nets and followed Him.
Jesus proceeded to teach and preach with authority, to cast out demons, and bring healing to the people. They were astonished (Mark 1:22) and amazed (Mark 1:27) at the way He did all things with such “authority” (see also Matthew 28:18-20).
David once again is praying for God’s protection.
Psalm 35:1 (NKJV) “Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me.”
David the soldier gives God the details on how to fight for him, suggesting shield, buckler, and spear; chase them away Lord, let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
More than likely this was a Psalm written when David was on the run from Saul. David had done nothing wrong – he was innocent.
Psalm 35:7 (NKJV) “For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit, which they have dug without cause for my life.”
David had only done good for Saul – even praying for him and this was how he thanked him?
Psalm 35:12–14 (NKJV) “They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart. 14 I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.”
O, the heart wrenching lessons in life. It doesn’t seem fair, or right, or make any sense at times – but keep praying, keep trusting, God will indeed work it all out for good.
If God is for us – who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
The promise of a long life in Proverbs 9:11 is a general principal, not an absolute precept. Usually, typically if we live lives of obedience, we will avoid certain dangers that often bring violent or premature death.
Proverbs 9:12 (NKJV) “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
“This is perhaps the strongest expression of individualism in the Bible. Such statements (cf. Ezekiel 18; Galatians 6:4-5) are not meant to deny that people benefit or suffer from each other’s characters (cf. Proverbs 10:1), but to emphasize that the ultimate gainer or loser is the man himself.” – Derek Kidner
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.