Today’s Reading : Exodus 29:1 – Exodus 40:38
When I was in the army from 1984-1986, we did a lot of training. Much of the training consisted of us with rucksacks on our back. On, or attached to the rucksacks we always would have a bedroll and an e-tool. The e-tool, an entrenching tool, was a collapsible shovel. We used it to dig trenches around our tents. We also used it to help and/or create various things we would need in our time in the field.
These were just temporary structures, holes, and trenches. We needed them while we were settled down for awhile but not once we left. We moved on the next day and then would start the digging again once whenever we settled in again. We learned to move quickly and efficiently. We knew that we would have the tools, talent, and time to have what we needed each day when we arrived at our destination. This gave us piece of mind.
The Israelites might not have been in the army but they were doing their own fair share of setting up, breaking down, and traveling. We are not certain if the Israelites had their own e-tool but we do know they had something even more important. They were traveling with God. God had Moses create a “temporary dwelling” that would be set up and taken down as they Israelites set up or broke down camp.
This was the place where the presence of God would be apparent for the people. This was the beginning, in many ways, with our attempt to box up God I believe. The thinking can be that if we know where God is and can be assured of his presence there perhaps we are “off the hook” in other places. In my mind, this was always the beginning of the secular vs holy argument.
I have always struggled with this. I believe Paul makes it quite clear in his writing that within US resides the resting place of God. If this is the case then we are never in a secular place we are always in a holy place as it all belongs to God. There is nothing temporary about the Spirit of God for God’s people.
Look around today, in the midst of the snow and the cold, God is there. In the midst of the pain and suffering, God is there. In the joy and happiness, God is there.
God is there. Isn’t that a great thing!