May 18, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Exodus 29-32
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Context: Moses receives instructions from the Lord on the consecration of priests, building the altar of incense, collecting atonement money, constructing a basin for washing, and making anointing oil and incense. The book of Leviticus will provide more details on the meaning of many of these actions. The Lord also tells Moses who is to make the items, as they have been filled with the Spirit of God. Interestingly, these gifts are gifts many have today. We often overlook our talents, not recognizing them for what they are: spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are not limited to those described in the New Testament. The Lord also instructs Moses to keep the Sabbath holy. How long Moses remained on the mountain we do not know. The Israelites were impatient and quick to forget all that the Lord God had done for them. When Moses failed to appear as they expected, they were quick to turn their backs on the Lord God and worship false gods that they themselves built! Moses intervened for the Israelites with God, and returned to the Israelites and punished them for their ways. How often are we like the Israelites, willing to turn away from God when things do not happen as we expect? God does not always work according to our timing.
World History: The golden earrings worn by the Israelites were a sign of worship of false gods. Even though the Lord God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt by demonstrating His superiority over all other gods, the Israelites were not willing to completely turn from idolatry. At the first whisper of trouble, they run back to false gods.