sanctuary

Everything In-between {ex29:19-20}

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In the end,
what You will have of me is
all
or
nothing.

There is no in-between.

Either I will be consecrated
head to toe,
my entire being
holy ground,
or
I will be a vast, open
wasteland—
a demonic haunt.

There is no in-between.

For You
(the indwelling universe-God)
will not be relegated to
a shelf
a building or
a weekly (better-not-be-longer-than-an-hour) visit.

You will either dwell
in the midst
or
You will be completely
banished from the land.

There is no in-between.

You are uninterested
in negotiation
or compromise.

Come, then,
and take no prisoners—
except me, that is.
Captivate me
head to toe
and all that's
in-between.

Come, Divine Intruder:
Make me
holy ground.

 

The Sacred Chestpiece {ex28:29}

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By the time Jesus came,
the office of the high priest
was highly sought after,
often secured by bribery
and fraud
and murder.

The position had become
synonymous with
power
and prestige
and an opulent life.

But it was never meant to be that way.

The high priest was supposed to be
the one man in Israel
most like God:
consecrated to a life of service
sold out to truth
dedicated to all things right

his only luxury
the burden of bearing the beloved
forever close to his heart.

 

The Executioner of Darkness {ex27:20}

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Darkness does not exist
It has no properties
no matter
no makeup

Darkness does not exist
It cannot be measured
or observed
or heard

Darkness does not exist
It functions only as a corollary
It's a symptom
a condition
/and a temporary one at that/

Darkness does not exist
It's just the absence of something else
a ghost quantity
a negative integer

Light obliterates darkness.
Every time.
It's not even a contest.
There's never a doubt.

When darkness presses in around you,
you need only remember the Lampstand.
Let the tiniest, flickering flame appear—
the darkness must obey
and immediately poof away.

 

Temple Tailor {ex26}

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Measurements specified
down to the inch—
linen curtains
crossbars
acacia-wood frames

Accessories requiring
a wealth of resource—
bronze clasps and
gold hooks and
loops of blue yarn

When God sets out
to build Himself
a temple,
He leaves
no corner untouched,
no detail unplanned.

We so casually declare
our bodies to be
the temples
of this Holy Spiriting God
while intending
to satisfy Him with
our present accommodation.

Take note:
the God who deigns
to live in you
is not planning to
make Himself
at home.

He is planning to
make Himself
a home.

 

Most Holydays {ex25:22}

Photo © Unsplash/The Joy of Film

Photo © Unsplash/The Joy of Film

In the Most Holy Room
of God's Desert House,
there was a small, open door
to the universe,
where God sat between
His angels and talked
with humanity.

Okay, so the angels were gold
and it was just one man
and God had to make Himself tiny enough
to be stuffed into a room.
Still, for those moments,
it was as if God could have
His cosmic family
together in the same place.

Kind of like a mom
who dreams of having everyone
home again
for Thanksgiving.

 

God is a song.

God is a song.

2 Chronicles 29

As I read this chapter, I couldn’t help but notice the emphasis on music. Particularly this verse: "Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel." (vs 27)

God is a rock.

God is a rock.

1 SAMUEL 21

I have an old choir song rumbling through my head this morning: ♫♪ My God is a rock in a weary land ♪♫ A shelter in the time of storm ♪♫ Incidentally, these images of God were penned often by David. (One example is found in Psalm 18:2.) How well David must have known and trusted the refuge he found in God, particularly when he was on the run from Saul!

God gives the best gifts.

God gives the best gifts.

NUMBERS 18

After the blogs on defiance over the last week or so, I’ve been itching for a short and sweet blog. And Numbers 18 gives me the perfect opportunity for that. Nestled in amongst instructions to Aaron and the Levites about their priestly ministry in the sanctuary is this little nugget: "But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift." (vs 7)

God likes sneak peeks.

God likes sneak peeks.

NUMBERS 4

I’m intrigued by the idea that the tabernacle where God dwelt was a symbol of our bodies, which are called the temple of the Holy Spirit. In 2 Corinthians 5:1-5, Paul said this: "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not  be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

God's boundaries draw us in.

God's boundaries draw us in.

LEVITICUS 15

I must admit that, as I began to read Leviticus 15, it all seemed a bit ridiculous to me. I mean, really, if the rule is that "when a man has an emission of semen... he will be unclean till evening" (vs 16), an Israelite man must not have spent many days being "clean." Furthermore, in addition to the rule for men was the law that said menstruating women were also unclean. After this type of ceremonial uncleanness, the men and women were required to bring a sacrifice to the sanctuary in order to "make atonement before the Lord." (vs 15)

God's presence brings joy.

God's presence brings joy.

LEVITICUS 9

I think it’s hard for us to relate to the Israelites and what was going on in the wilderness. We don’t live out in the desert, exposed to the harsh elements, wondering where our next meal is coming from. We live very cultivated lives in sanitized conditions. You have a computer connected to the internet — that’s how you’re reading this blog right now!

God sacrifices.

God sacrifices.

LEVITICUS 8

So now we come to the point where all the sacrifices God has described in preceding chapters begin to take place. And, as Leviticus 8 describes one sacrifice after another offered during the ordination of Aaron and his sons, this was my thought: The sanctuary system was devised so that the Israelites would know that dealing with sin involves sacrifice.

God takes care of the little things.

God takes care of the little things.

LEVITICUS 7

In this chapter, I was struck with the provisions God made for the priests in the sanctuary system. For each of the offerings and sacrifices mentioned, there was a portion which was specifically reserved for the priests. This means that, as the Israelites brought meat and grain into the sanctuary and offered it to God, the priests would be sustained in their work.

God wants to hang out.

God wants to hang out.

LEVITICUS 3

Have you ever thought about God as a guy who just wants to hang out with His friends? Perhaps it’s not our usual picture of God. It’s easier to think about Him doing big things, like creating planets or running the universe. But, in Leviticus 3, we get a glimpse of a God who has (among other things) set up a local hangout in the sanctuary.