Exodus, Chapter 29

Sunday, July 5

Read

Exodus, Chapter 29

Reflect

These are the kinds of passages we often skip over in personal devotions, Bible studies, and sermon series.  Modern Christians assume these ancient practices of animal sacrifice are dated and no longer bear any relevance.  However, we know that there is a reason that the author of Exodus includes these details.  As the law around the tabernacle, worship and the priesthood are given to God’s people, we see that the emphasis is not so much on the people’s ability to follow every jot and tittle, but rather the willingness of God to come and dwell with his people.

There is a portion of this chapter that I had never really noticed before, but it seemed strangely specific and somewhat out of place.  What is all of this instruction around blood being smeared on the tips of Aaron and his sons’ ears, and the thumb of their right hands and the big toe of their foot?  That is especially odd and specific.  As we know by now, blood is a very important symbol of life as it is offered to God in total surrender.  To consecrate the priests with blood on these specific body parts was intentional.  As the blood touched their ear they were to hear differently; as it touched their thumb they should work differently; as it touched their toe they should walk differently.

To be one of God’s chosen is to have every part dedicated to him.

Respond

Though the way we set apart holy things today looks much different from this passage in Exodus, we still have means by which we notice the holy around us.  What could you do today as a way of re-dedicating your work, your time, your day to God?  Perhaps it’s a special prayer over the hands that cook dinner or hold children, maybe it’s a word of gratitude over the glasses that help you see and interact with the world. You could speak a blessing over your shoes as you slip them on in the morning – mindful of the places they will take you and the people you might encounter.

The Israelites had a unique understanding of God’s presence being bound up in the tabernacle; but we as Christians know that in Christ, God has come to us and is present everywhere through his Holy Spirit.  As you make your way through this week, take time to be intentional about naming and noticing the ways God is at work all around.

Pray

Gracious God, thank you for sending your Son among us to “tabernacle” here on earth and reveal your goodness and grace.  Make us eager students each day as we respond to your devotion to us with renewed joy and attentiveness.  We ask it in the name of Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh. Amen.

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