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March 6, 2019·Mike Gentry

Sometimes when I read the Bible, especially in some parts of the Old Testament, I find it difficult to find something to apply to my life in my current context. I’m sure I’m not the only person who might decide to sometimes jump to one of my “favorite” books of the Bible to try to find application for my life. At least, I hope I’m not the only one…

However, as I was reading about the materials for the tabernacle, starting in Exodus 35, the thought almost immediately popped into my mind of the extraordinary craftsmanship and exquisite beauty of all that was put into the construction of the tabernacle. As you read the text, you can just imagine the beauty, starting in Exodus 35:5-9, which says, “From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.” As you read about the construction of the tabernacle, all the way through chapter 38, you can just imagine the innate beauty of the whole tabernacle and everything in it!

Before I felt the call to be in ministry as a pastor, I had started working as a carpenter’s apprentice, while still in high school. I loved working with my hands so much, that I could picture myself being a journeyman carpenter someday and helping to create and build beautiful homes and structures. So, when I read this text, I can picture the elegance of this architecture. It’s awe-inspiring! But then, almost as quickly as the thought came into my mind of how amazing this architecture was, another thought came to me as well. As elegant and beautiful as the tabernacle of the Lord was, it was never called His masterpiece. Of all the beauty that is described as we read the Bible, in God’s eyes, nothing is more awe-inspiring than you. As I read the text, it stood out to me that the creation of the tabernacle was as much about the people that were used to design the structure, weave together the tapestries, and decorate the building, as it was about the building itself. God used the skills and talents of the people that He had already woven together, to create the beauty of the tabernacle. God could have just spoken the tabernacle and everything in it into existence, but He chose to use skilled craftsman.

As we read the Bible, we can see that verse after verse after verse talks about His incredible love for us. We are His most special possession, His masterpiece. Luke 12:7 says, “Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion…’” These are just a few of the thousands of scriptures showing us how important we are to God.

We were made in God’s image. That has been said about nothing else in all of God’s creation. So again, as I read in Exodus about this pristine tabernacle being built by expert craftsmen, I’m reminded that in all its splendor, it means nothing compared to you.

You literally took God’s breath away, as He breathed His life into you.

Pastor Mike Gentry

The Church on the Way