Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Visions of the glory of God ..."

Day #156:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - June 2nd

Scripture Reading:  Exodus 37 - 40 ...

God was with Israel in Egypt.  I'm sure it didn't seem like it to the people who were being treated as slaves for four hundred years.  Perhaps they felt abandoned, betrayed, forgotten ... but God was with those who trusted in Him, even if it didn't FEEL like it.  That was His promise and in spite of the circumstances of their lives there were still some, at least a few, who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who had promised that He would take them out of this land of slavery and bring them into the land of Canaan - the promised land.

It seems like ... feels like God isn't with you and me sometimes.  If it were always easy to believe God's promises it wouldn't require faith.  I read portions of Hebrews 11 this morning and was struck again at what it says:  "All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance" (11:13).  "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised" (11:39).  Why?  Because "God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect" (11:40).

God had planned something better for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, too.  Slavery in Egypt was not their final destination.  But like so many today, they thought once they left Egypt everything should be easy.  God showed them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, and in the building of the tabernacle, that what they really needed was HIM.  The same is true for us ... the same is true for you and me - TODAY!!!

The design of the tabernacle was, as we have seen previously, a copy of that which is seen in heaven (Hebrews 9:23-24).  And when the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  So it will be in eternity!  "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp" (Revelation 21:22-23).  What a sight that will be!  We didn't see the tabernacle, but it was only a type, a copy of what lies ahead.  Through the tabernacle God made His presence known to the Israelites.  Through all their travels God was with them.

As we move into the book of Leviticus, we will find God revealing details about approaching Him through sacrifices and offerings and the Feast Days.  In all of this you will need to grasp that what Paul wrote to the Corinthians explains so much:  "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come" (I Corinthians 10:11).  We have been living in what GOD calls the time of the fulfillment of all things for nearly 2,000 years.  The time of fulfillment points to the promise of God to establish His kingdom on the earth.  That was the theme of Jesus' preaching and is the theme of the entire Bible.  You and I are here for this purpose - and you are either part of it or you will, in the end, not be part of His kingdom.

These were real people and these were real events and they all pointed to TODAY.  THIS is the time when God is going to fulfill His promises to those who trust in Him through faith in Jesus, the Christ.  In His Word God gives us glimpses of His glory ... visions of the glory of our God, the Creator of all things ... OUR Creator, your Creator and mine.  Can you SEE Him?  When you read these things, can you hear His voice?  Does God speak to you when read His Word?  Do you pray for His Spirit to open your eyes?

Some people want some extra-biblical revelation, believing that some "experience" may make them feel closer to God, but such experiences often cause people to want more "mountaintop experiences" rather than drawing near to God and seeking Him through His Word.  In His Word you will find ALL you need to know God, to love God and to serve God.  Your life will be found in Him.  And in knowing Him, you will find joy unspeakable!!!

"O Lord, my God, Your glory is beyond my comprehension and in You there is satisfaction beyond anything this world offers.  Move me, Father, to seek You daily and to find in You my greatest joy.  You ARE my light and my salvation!  Give me grace to follow You as You lead me to the promised land.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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