每日诗歌: 献上活祭 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ5hwOmQm0E)
Exodus 27 [Read]
Exodus 28 [Read]
Matthew 21:23-46 [Read]
The focus of Ex 25-27 is the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God among His people in the wilderness. Starting from Ex 28 the focus shifts to the priests, the only ones allowed to serve before God. The emphasis for the tabernacle was on the specification of each item, while the emphasis for the priests is on holiness. “He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Pt 1:15). In the middle of these two sections we find the provision of the lamp oil and the responsibility for the priest to light the lamp.
The oil for the lamp was offered by the people, and it needed to be pure. According to 25:2, God would accept such offering only when it was prompted by their heart. I don’t know where they would get the olives in the wilderness, but I believe God would not ask for things he did not provide. Throughout the wilderness years, God provided all His people’s needs. Now, He wanted the people to offer some of those back as they were “prompted by their heart”. We may know that all things belong to God, and it’s only right for us to offer some of them back to Him. But I found this difficult to do for things that are valuable in our eyes, things like a pure olive oil in the wilderness. But without the oil, the lamp of God will not be lit. Darkness will rule.
From this standpoint, we may better understand what Jesus was saying in the parable of the wicked tenants (Mt 21:33-46). They took over the vineyard from the owner and had no intention to give anything back, not even some of the fruit the owner had the right to collect. For such people, the vineyard would be taken away from them and they would end up with nothing. Their life would be ruled by darkness.
God does not demand from us things He did not already provide, but He wants us to bring those to him as we are prompted by our heart. There may be things in your life which you are having difficulty to offer back to God, maybe it’s your children, your wealth, your time, or even yourself. Let the Scripture we read and the song we hear today be a timely reminder for all of us, so the lamp of God will stay lit in our life.
Keep on reading. You are into the 2nd month.