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S (Scripture): Exodus 25:40
Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.
O (Observation): God gives specific directions for the plans God is giving the people.
A (Application): There was a time in my life when it could be said on my report card; "Does not follow directions well." As a matter of fact, some people might even call that a specific chapter. It is interesting that we plow through the segments of scripture about all the details of this kind of stuff and there are even more regarding the building of the temple, and 618 commandments about what to do and what not to do. It all seems so tedious. Yet this verse draws us into the mind of God recognizing that the details are important. Harkening back to the words of Jesus: "how can you know about heavenly things when you cannot understand earthly things."
In the early life of God's relationship with God's people, it must have been important to give directions to a wandering people. What a gift in the season of lent to reflect on our own wandering and maybe even more specific, how God speaks specific instruction to things we might think otherwise about. Clearly, there had to be at least a few wood workers among the traveling band of rebels to offer their own insights into how the ark, the altar, and the lampstands SHOULD BE....but God provided the directions for what God desired not for what we desired of God. It is a hard lesson during this time of discipline, direction and wandering....the lesson God is trying to teach the Israelites and us is that none of this is about you. Providing simple directions and seeing whether we follow them or not is about entrusting the people with more of God's desires. And think about it this way, maybe it is a lot better for us to hear and see exactly what God's plans are for the ark, the altar and the lampstands so that God might reveal to us the plans that God has for our lives. This journey IS about following after all.
P (Prayer): Lord, we thank you for your instructions in the big picture and the small details. Encourage us to hear and see the directions you provide in our lives everyday.