May 21, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him. So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year . . . as the Lord commanded him. . . . And so Moses finished the work.”—Exodus 40:16–33 (NIV)
In Exodus 40:2–33, we see Moses set up the tabernacle. He had all the pieces in place. It was the special day God had assigned, and it was time to put it all together. But before the assembly, God instructed Moses to do something significant: consecrate and anoint Aaron and his sons, “so they may serve me as priests” (Exodus 40:15 NIV). Wait, the same Aaron who, while Moses was gone, not only allowed the people to worship a golden calf, but also encouraged them and even associated the perverse worship of this idol with the pure worship of the Lord? Yes, that Aaron!
You see, God’s call on our lives isn’t independent or mutually exclusive of our past mistakes and sins. And our past mistakes or sins don’t ruin or disqualify us from the purposes and plans God has for us. God knew before the foundations of the earth that Aaron would fall short, sin, and make some terrible decisions along the way, and that He was going to ordain Aaron and his descendants to the priesthood.
In the same way, God knew all you would do before you were even born, and He still sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be reconciled to Him. He also ordained you to be His ambassador and accomplish the work He has prepared for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). This is not an open invitation to live in sin. Just the opposite! It should serve as a never-ending motivation to live set apart unto the One who loves you and has given you life, freedom, and a special, beautiful purpose and calling. Out of the overflow of love and thanksgiving for who God is, what He’s done, and the fact that in spite of what we’ve done, He still delights to call, qualify, and use us for His good purposes, we should always desire to walk in His will and obey His commands. And this, friends, is a legacy we can pass on for generations as we live and walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16–18).
So now, upon anointing Aaron and his sons, Moses proceeds to construct the tent, ark of the covenant, and every other element as the Lord commanded. Every single detail was according to God’s specifications and direction, a reflection of heaven on earth.
And in the same way, every believer in Jesus has not only been made a priest, servant, and ambassador of Christ for the sake of the gospel, but also living temples in which the Spirit of God dwells and through which others can meet the Lord and come to know Him personally. And as such, we’re called to construct our lives “just as the Lord commanded,” in accordance with His Word, to reflect His kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven. We’re to “continue to live [our] lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as [we] were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6–7 NIV).
Pause: How does the anointing of Aaron and the construction of the tabernacle reflect our own relationship with the Lord?
Practice: Memorize 1 Peter 2:5 this week.
Pray: Father, help me remain rooted in You so my life may be built up in You and so my heart, mind, worldview, and interactions would be according to the specifications of Your Word and will. If there is any area in my life that is not surrendered to You or out of place, Lord please show me and guide me that I may bring it to its proper place and walk in obedience. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.