Exodus Devotional | Day 2: More Valuable Than Gold
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
God Stays With Us and Goes With Us, Day 2
“24 All the gold that was used for the work, in all the construction of the sanctuary, the gold from the offering, was twenty-nine talents and 730 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 The silver from those of the congregation who were recorded was a hundred talents and 1,775 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary: 26 a beka a head (that is, half a shekel, by the shekel of the sanctuary), for everyone who was listed in the records, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men. 27 The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the veil; a hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent a base. 28 And of the 1,775 shekels he made hooks for the pillars and overlaid their capitals and made fillets for them. 29 The bronze that was offered was seventy talents and 2,400 shekels; 30 with it he made the bases for the entrance of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar and the bronze grating for it and all the utensils of the altar, 31 the bases around the court, and the bases of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court.” - (Exodus 38:24-31)
I don’t know about you, but when I see Bible passages consisting mainly of numbers and lists, I tend to skim over (or skip!) them quickly. I want to get to the story, see the sermon, experience the miracle--I don’t really care about the inventory list…
Yet here, there’s something very special and important to reflect on, in Exodus 38. If you’ve been paying even a little attention to chapters 37-40, you’ll see the mention of gold and other expensive materials dozens and dozens of times. Everything in the tabernacle is covered in gold, bronze, silver, gems, and fine cloths. Everything.
No, God’s not materialistic (he can make all the gold and silver he might want with a simple flick of his mind’s will). God’s specific instructions and requirements are meant to teach his people something about him and them.
God wants his people to know:
When you see all the valuable gold and silver it took--which you had to give--in order to build my place of worship, I want you to remember just how valuable and precious I am...or ought to be...in your hearts. As much as you love and need material wealth, I outweigh all your gold in its value by infinity.
When you and your priests have to engage in so much ritual washing and cleansing, and when you have to kill an animal and sacrifice its life to me, I want you to know the difference between you and me--you are sinful and I am holy; you need to see the cost and effort that has to be collected in order to stand in my presence.
From the beginning to the end of Exodus, the Israelite’s had been taking God for granted. They kept on wanting his stuff, rather than him. They kept on wanting to love that stuff more than him. They’d begun to think they were wise enough and holy enough to start questioning God. And now, God says, “No. If you want to worship me--if you want to say that you’re my people, you need to know and feel the truth. I am more valuable and worthy than all the riches of the world. You are in need of cleansing for your sin and forgiveness of it, for I am sinless and holy--perfect.”
For us today, Jesus’ life and death is our sacrifice, once and for all. His blood washes us clean. His spiritual robes, placed upon us, clothe us in righteousness before God. Let’s not forget that, as we enter into his presence every day.
What do you think God really wants to do with the money and valuables he calls you to give back to him for worship? What is it he really wants to do with your mind, heart, and soul?
I want you to take some time to remember and meditate on the gospel truth of Jesus’ death in your place--though you are still a sinner, God treats you as a saint; you can speak directly to him and he’s happy about it...and that’s only because of the sacrifice of his Son’s blood, covering and washing your sins. Pray over that and spend time with that today.