Last Sunday, my Sunday school class was discussing Exodus 24, the building of the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle. It’s easy to get lost in the Old Testament sometimes, when we read things like specific directions that seem to drone on and on, about how to build something, using measurements that we aren’t familiar with, we want to just skip over it.
We tend to zone out when the language, or even the culture, or situation, is foreign to us, but in doing so, we can really miss out on some very interesting and inspiring information.
When we were reading the chapter aloud in class and it got to the part of what materials God wanted used to build the ark and the tabernacle, my mind snapped to attention. He wanted things like silver, gold, bronze, fine linen and dyed yarn.
Where would they have put their hands on that stuff? Didn’t they leave in the middle of the night, pursued across the Red Sea by the Egyptians? Wasn’t the story that their bread hadn’t even had time to rise, so they took it on the run? Did they have the time to pack this kind of stuff?
But, another verse popped into my head and I couldn’t wait to look it up. In Exodus 12:35, Moses instructed the Israelites to go to their Egyptian neighbors and ask for those things and they complied.
I wonder if they thought Moses was out of his mind. They had just lived through all of those plagues unscathed and Moses wanted them to go ask the ruined Egyptians, for their riches. But, they did.
The text says, “The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed towards the people, and they gave them what they asked for, so they plundered the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:36
Soon after, the plague that killed the firstborn sons of all of the Egyptians came and Pharaoh told them to go. So they went quickly, but they carried all of those riches.
It’s kind of a strange little story until you get to Chapter 25. God wanted those riches to build His ark and His tabernacle. He knew all along what was needed and how He would get it. All the Israelites were required to do was have faith and obedience.
And that’s all that’s required of us today. We worship the same God who knew exactly what He would use those riches for. He was at work then. He’s at work now. It sometimes may seem like He’s not and that we are required to do things that make no sense to us at the time.
The story of the building of the ark and tabernacle, reminds us that we don’t have to understand; we just have to trust and obey. Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you do too.
Have an awesome day!