Exodus 30:11 - 34:35
One of my first thoughts when I began reading this portion (something that also relates to the web address of this blog) was that Israel was being prepared, as a bride for her husband. When God used the language "I will take her to myself" as He led them out of Egypt, He was using language that would have been known to be from a marriage contract (ketubah) of that day.
Can you imagine showing up at your wedding without taking a shower?
One of the first things that He tells Moses is that when the priests would go before Him in the Tent of Meeting, they would need to wash their hands and feet. This reminds me of something my mother taught me, that is actually a part of Jewish tradition as well. My mother taught me that before reading the Bible you should wash your hands. I remember her quoting the verse from Psalm 24 that says, "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart..." Another thing that reminds me of this is how my parents always made me "dress up" to go to congregation. Sometimes when all my friends would be wearing jeans, I would feel silly wearing a dress. But, again, it was a physical act of something that was meant for my heart.
Now I know some of you may be thinking, "Wow, how legalistic!" But here's the thing - First of all, I am not saying that the act of washing your hands before you meet with the Lord is going to save you or make you any more precious in His eyes. But (and look at the end of the Psalm 24 verse), it really is the heart behind it. We as humans are spiritual beings. However, we live in a physical world. When I do something physically, it also strikes a chord with me on the inside. In other words, as I wash my hands before I have my quiet time in the morning or I wear special clothes to congregation, it reminds me about the awesomeness and the holiness of the One that I am going to be with. No, I don't always remember to do it, but when I do it, it is a helpful reminder. The fear (as in honor, respect) of the Lord is something that I can continually strive for.
Our Spiritual Wedding Ring
In the next chapter of this portion, the Lord gives Israel her wedding ring, the Sabbath. He says, "This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy." How is the Sabbath a reminder of the Groom's holiness? First of all, it reminds us that He is the Creator, and that all creation is subject to Him. Secondly, to me, it's kind of like "date night" with my husband. Yeah, we live with each other and see each other every day. However, date night (or day) is special. It's a reminder of who we are and what we mean to each other. If I need that with my earthly husband, how much more do I need that with my unseen Heavenly Groom! Now some of you may be thinking, "Well, that's all well and good for Israel, but what about me?" Remember into whom you are GRAFTED in (Romans 11:13 -21). It's in the Ten Commandments, and it includes those who are not born of Israel, but who are joined with Israel (Exodus 20:10).
Application for Today
Today is the day of preparation for the Shabbat (in more ways than one!). We are preparing for the weekly Shabbat (it's Friday!), but we are also preparing for the Yom Shekulo Shabbat, the eternal Shabbat, in which Messiah will rule and reign (Revelation 21). I encourage you today to begin to add a little more of Shabbat into your life. Do something different in preparation for time with your Heavenly Groom. Put on a special dress or cook (or order) something different. Get some fresh flowers or put on a fresh tablecloth. Light some candles or listen to peaceful music. This is a physical reminder of who you are to Him (the Sabbath was made for man). You are His bride. You are special. He loves you with an everlasting love!
Messiah is coming soon, and we are preparing for the marriage feast. Let's all have our wedding clothes on when He comes! Even so, come Lord Yeshua!
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was giver her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)"
Friday, February 22, 2008
Exodus 30:11 - 34:35