9 June, 2023

Exodus 40

Exodus 40 Devotional

NIALL LEWIS

Exodus chapter 40 has a lot to say about the details of the tabernacle that Moses was instructed to build. Our focus today lifts us up, out of the detail, to a broader view and the beautiful reality of the fulfillment of God’s promise of Ex 29:45 - to be present among His children.

Throughout the story of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, we see a God whose desire it is to be present with His people. From the Garden of Eden to the tabernacle, from tabernacle to temple, from temple to Jesus and from Jesus to the Eden restored in Revelation 22, we see God with His people. What we see is beyond omnipresence; it is the manifest, tangible presence of the Lord. Whilst it is true to say God is everywhere, it is perhaps more important to say ‘He is here’. Wherever we find ourselves, regardless of circumstance, we can say that the Lord is here, present with me in the midst of this moment just as the tabernacle was in the midst of the people in today’s chapter. The Lord is here, right now. Throughout each day He is present with us, and all we need to do is remember and respond:  “Lord, you are welcome, open my eyes and my ears so that I may see and hear you”.

What a privilege to know the presence of God. As we acknowledge Him, we would do well to remember God’s nature, whose glory is such, that Moses was unable to enter. God is utterly pure and holy, the beginning and the end. He is creator of all and sovereign over all, and yet so full of love, mercy and grace.  He created the way, through Jesus, for us to be in His presence, where we were always meant to be and where all our deepest longings are met. Today (and each day) may we practice the presence of God, learning to live the way we were designed, in constant conversation with the Lord most high. What a privilege!

One comment on “Exodus 40”

  1. Beautiful, Niall. To be in His Presence is just the best thing.

    The best bit of Exodus 40 is at the end. They built the Tabernacle and God himself came to dwell in it, visible through cloud and fire to his people. They moved when He moved, stopped when He stopped, guided by His Presence.

    I was thinking about this. Am I sensitive to His Presence today? Am I quick to repent when I sense I have grieved the Holy Spirit? Am I attentive to what He wants? I want to be more attuned to Him, moving with Him. This old hymn expresses it well:

    1 Take my life and let it be
    consecrated, Lord, to thee.
    Take my moments and my days;
    let them flow in endless praise,
    let them flow in endless praise.
    2 Take my hands and let them move
    at the impulse of thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    swift and beautiful for thee,
    swift and beautiful for thee.
    3 Take my voice and let me sing
    always, only, for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    filled with messages from thee,
    filled with messages from thee.
    4 Take my silver and my gold;
    not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    every power as thou shalt choose,
    every power as thou shalt choose.
    5 Take my will and make it thine;
    it shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart it is thine own;
    it shall be thy royal throne,
    it shall be thy royal throne.
    6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    at thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself, and I will be
    ever, only, all for thee,
    ever, only, all for thee.

    The cloud of His Presence came down on earth again when Peter, James and John went up the mountain with Jesus and fell asleep. They woke to find the glory of God all around and Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. They spoke about the second Exodus, Jesus leaving earth. Just as the first Exodus brought Israel from slavery so the second would bring freedom from slavery to sin and death to any who wanted: to all who receive Jesus the right to be God’s children. To live in His Presence now and forever. Wonderful!

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