Bible Reading: Exodus 25:1-9
Make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. 2 Peter 3:14
HOW DO YOU think Moses responded when God told him, “Tell the people of Israel that everyone who wants to may bring me an offering. Here is a list of items you may accept on my behalf: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen; goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; onyx stones, and other stones to be set in the ephod and the chestpiece” (Exodus 25:2-7)?
You think Moses said: “Hold on a minute, God. The bronze should be no problem, but silver and gold? I don’t know. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a nation of refugees right now. How about some tin and plastic?”
Or maybe: “Uh, there might be a problem with the yarn. Wal-Mart doesn’t carry the scarlet and purple yarns anymore.”
If Moses had said any of those things, he would have hit the roof when God started laying down the specifics: pure gold for the ark of the covenant and for the poles used to carry the ark; pure gold for the ark’s lid—everything had to be pure! After all, Moses and his friends were living in tents in the desert! They probably had a hundred reasons why pure anything would have been too much to ask.
But Moses didn’t say any of those things. He didn’t protest. Why? Because he knew that God—not Moses and the people—made the rules. And one of the things God said is that purity is good. It’s good when you’re making a tabernacle, and it’s good when you’re making a man or a woman.
There may be a hundred reasons why we (or our friends, or teachers, or favorite TV characters) may think purity is too much to ask. But we don’t make the rules, God does. It’s not up to us to decide what’s right or wrong. It is up to us to choose whether we will do right or wrong, whether we will obey God or disobey him. It’s up to us to choose whether we will live “pure and blameless” lives (2 Peter 3:14) or not. What do you choose?
REFLECT: Do you think purity is too much for God to expect of you? Why or why not? Do you think you need help to live a pure life? If so, what kind of help? From whom? How can you get that help?
ACT: Go on a scavenger hunt with a friend. Try to locate these items: Something made of gold; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; something made of linen; something leather; something made of wood; olive oil; spices; gems. As you hunt, let each item remind you that, just as God derided what materials were acceptable for the tabernacle, he decides which behaviors are acceptable (right) and which are not (wrong).
PRAY: “Only you, Lord, deride what is right. Help me to accept—and obey—your standards in all I do.”