Exodus 39-40: Selective Obedience

There is a phrase in the Old Testament that shows up all to infrequently:

and the people of Israel did according to all that the Lord had commanded

This phrase comes from Exodus 39:32, at the end of the account of the construction of the tabernacle and the articles of worship. God had given Moses an incredibly detailed set of instructions for building the tent of meeting, and the people followed those instructions to the letter. To read of the obedience of the Israelites is an encouragement considering the tone of much of the Old Testament. Most times we read something like: and the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. If the Old Testament was a song, that would be the hook.

I am always reminded that my life is very much like that of the Israelites. I have been bought with a great price out of slavery and into the family of God, one of His chosen people, but my actions suggest otherwise. My sin far outweighs my obedience, and even my obedience is tainted with sinful motives and tendencies toward pride.

The good news is that I am not judged based on my own works, and neither were the Israelites. I am judged based on the gracious gift of Jesus Christ who took my sin upon Himself and placed on me His righteousness. The people of Israel were God’s chosen people simply because He chose them, not because of anything they had done. Our hope is the same, a gracious God who keeps His covenant no matter what, who is faithful even when we are faithless.

Place your hope in Him.

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