September 25, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant law and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.’”—Exodus 40:1–11 (NIV)
Have you ever been to a ribbon-cutting ceremony or a grand opening of some sort? Or maybe you hosted a house-warming party after having moved in to a new place. You set everything up, made sure everything was nice and clean and where it was supposed to be, used your best candles or essential oils to make the house smell wonderful, set out a nice charcuterie board and some chips and dip . . . the whole nine yards! Why? Because it’s a special time—a milestone in your life or for a business or organization.
In today’s passage, we see the Lord give Moses instructions on setting up the tabernacle. In the first few words, God says, “Set up the tabernacle . . . on the first day of the first month.” This kind of detail can easily be glossed over by us but it’s actually really important. Why? Because this indicates it’s been a year since Israel came out of Egypt (see 40:17)! Friends, that’s huge! Have you ever celebrated a one-year milestone of something significant?
This was an amazing year in the history of Israel. They could count the great works of God and measure their own spiritual growth. And how do the Israelites get to celebrate and commemorate this truly amazing milestone in their history? Assembling the tabernacle where the very presence of the Lord Almighty would always reside amongst His people!
So, what can we glean from this? Personally, the Lord showed me the importance of milestones, of remembering AND celebrating what He’s done! In the same way the one-year anniversary of Israel’s exodus from Egypt was an important milestone, we should reflect and remember, celebrate and commemorate the season of our exodus “from the dominion of darkness . . . into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13 NIV). We should be using the passage of time to see how far the Lord has taken us from where we were before we knew Him to where we are now, to see the amazing work the Lord has done in our lives.
You may not remember the exact date. Maybe you don’t remember any of it. Guess what? That’s okay. I was really young, so I don’t really remember a time before I was a believer. So, pick another moment. For me, it’s December 10, 2005, when I attended a Christmas event at a local church in college and fully rededicated my life to the Lord. If you can’t remember a date like that either, then create a milestone marker date to look back on all the Lord has done. It could be the new year, Christmas, Easter, end of the school year, or another date. The key is to reflect on all He’s done over the last year and beyond, to spend intentional time in His presence expressing thanksgiving for all He’s done, and to celebrate!
Pause: Why is it important to remember and celebrate the work of God in your life?
Practice: Establish your milestone born again/life with Jesus date and set it aside. If you can, take time off, get away, and spend it with Him, in His presence!
Pray: Father, I thank You for the work You’ve done in my life! I thank You I can sit in Your presence and reflect on how amazing You are and how You have changed me, revealed Yourself to me, and drawn me into relationship with You. I pray Your presence and the reminders of the gospel and the work of the Spirit in my life would never been far from my mind. 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.