Image source: SouthWestChurchofChrist
A popular musician many years ago sang “Exodus, movement of Jah people”. We had this album at home, and I grew up listening to it so many times, that line has stayed with me. Exodus definitely involved movement of God’s people, but, and this is very important, they moved in response to God’s actions and movement. The decision maker, the cause of all the movement, was not the people, it was God!
Last week, we saw God (Yahweh), give Pharaoh a lesson on what supreme power looks like, through the ten plagues, that knocked out trust and faith in Egypt’s many gods. Pharaoh eventually agreed to let Israel go, but why did God invest so much of heaven’s power to secure their freedom? Was it because the Israelites had a special skin color, or spoke in a special way, or had the most handsome men? No, no, no, God was moving on with his plans to build a home on earth with us humans.
At creation in the book of Genesis, God built a garden, a place of leisure where he met with Adam and Eve, and enjoyed their company, as parents enjoy the company of their children. Adam and Eve left that relationship by choice, and God decided to re-establish it with the descendants of Adam, who would willingly choose God. Finally, in Abraham (Genesis 11 to 25), God found a man who welcomed God into his home, and started working with God to build a home for God on earth.
As part of that plan to build a home with us, God explained Abraham in Genesis 15 the events of the Exodus before they happened. Heaven invested so mightily in the Exodus because after so many years of having a presence on earth like a visitor, God finally had a people with sufficient number and physical resources, to build a physical home on earth where he could dwell among us.
Exodus 25:1-9 (Living Bible) (shortened) says: ‘Jehovah said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel that everyone who wants to may bring me an offering from this list: gold, silver, bronze, blue cloth… goatskins, acacia wood, olive oil for the lamps… onyx stones, stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate… I want the people of Israel to make me a sacred Temple where I can live among them. “This home of mine shall be a tent pavilion – a Tabernacle. I will give you a drawing of the construction plan…’.
God came down, brushed Pharaoh aside and finally built a home on earth. God is with us, first in Eden, then in the Tabernacle built in the wilderness, then in Solomon’s Temple, then in Jesus, and now in us the Church through the Holy Spirit. What a journey, thousands of years in the making – from Eden to us. There is so much to say and celebrate about this; the book of Revelation ends on this matter.
Great God, welcome into our lives and homes; make your presence, your grace and power, mightily felt in and through us, Amen!