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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's ReadingToday is the Last Great Day. Tabernacles prefigures the Great Day when we will dwell (Tabernacle) with our Holy God. Throughout the Feast of Tabernacles, we have looked at the sacrifices and symbols which all teach us something about preparing for that wonderful Day when we'll physically be in Yahweh's Presence.
Preparing for this moment, we are on spiritual journey from spiritual Egypt (which represents bondage to sin) to ultimate Canaan (our Eternal reward). What does it take to prepare to dwell with our Holy God? Today, we’ll be talking about the process of leaving Spiritual Egypt preparing to enter Canaan.
When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, they were often ungrateful and unhappy for the process Yahweh took them through in their journey to the promised land (Exodus 16:1-8).
When Yahweh lead the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan, He didn’t use the direct route. Why was this? They needed to come to know Him. Slavery is more than a physical state. It is also a state of mind. The children of Israel needed more than just a bodily deliverance.
The experience of Tabernacling in temporary dwellings in the wilderness was a needed one. It gave the people the opportunity to become mentally and spiritually free from the trappings of Egypt.
And this is the same calling Yahweh gives to us today. As it says in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
“…What agreement hath the temple of Yahweh with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as Yahweh hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith Yahweh Almighty.”
As always, Yahweh provided well for His people. Their clothing and shoes did not wear out. They were shaded by day with the cloud of His presence and warmed and lighted at night by His pillar of fire. Yahweh even brought water from rocks and fed them angel food. But all of this wasn’t enough to keep them from grumbling against Him.
When Yahweh tested their faith by having them wait and seek Him prayerfully for His blessings, the children of Israel failed Him time and again.
In Exodus 15:24, it says, “And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”
Deuteronomy 1:27 - “And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because Yahweh hated us, He hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.”
The people even went so far as to desire the things and gods of Egypt that Yahweh had delivered them from.
Here they were, on their way to Canaan, but the people longed for the flesh pots of Egypt. They actually preferred slavery to the promised land, if getting there meant suffering at all.
Exodus 16:3 "And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of Yahweh in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 10, to not repeat the sins of the children of Israel. Rather, we are to learn from their mistakes and walk with Yahweh in pure faith. We can read his admonition found in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 .
And coming out of spiritual Egypt isn’t going to be all miracles and easy street living either! Yahweh purposely brings trials across our path. Without them we wouldn’t be fit for Canaan.
So how do you respond when the going gets tough? Being able to trust God through the difficult times requires submission to Yahweh and great faith.
Most often, when people face problems or setbacks in their lives, they respond by doubting God. Some even go so far as to doubt God’s goodness or loving nature. Sadly, here are some common Christian responses to trouble:
- ¨“Why is Yahweh doing this to me?”
- ¨“How can a loving God let this happen?”
- ¨“I can’t stand strong under these circumstances?”
- ¨“Yahweh doesn’t care about me.”
- ¨Complain… Grumble
- Become miserable… Bitter… Lose hold on Yahweh
As it says in Romans 8:28:
Romans 8:28 -"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His Purpose."
When you understand that all things work together for good, you see that even the trials in our lives are for good. We may not see the good, but we must know it’s there and trust Yahweh.
There are two groups of Christians: the called and the chosen. The dividing issue between true and false Christians is which category they fall in.
Matthew 20:16 - "...for many be called, but few chosen."
The “chosen” will be found in the Kingdom of Heaven. They will make the full trip from Egypt to Canaan. But why are many called and few chosen? Does Yahweh only want a few to be in Heaven?
Absolutely not! The Bible tells us that Yahweh is not willing that any should perish. The reason many are called but few are chosen is that few accept the process of being chosen.
Isaiah 48:10 - "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
How we handle the refining fires of difficulty determines which group we will be in.
It is faith and pure character that Yahweh values. These are more precious than a treasure house of gold (1 Peter 1:7). Our faith is on trial in each test. Will we hang onto the Most High in trust? Or will we doubt Him and lose hold on Heaven? Each trial, faithfully endured, leaves us stronger for the next difficulty to come. This is the process of Tabernacling with Yahweh in the wilderness experience.
As our faith is tried, little by little Yahweh is perfecting us.
James 1:3-5 - "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Oddly, by rejected the suffering and the trials that Yahweh would have us endure, we are rejected the refining process that would make us “perfect and entire” and as it says in James 1:3-5 “wanting nothing.”
Yahweh also uses the trials to prove our loyalty to Him.
This is especially evident in the story of Job. Yahweh had said that Job was loyal, but the only way to prove this was to allow Job to experience difficulties. As Job continued to live in faith, remaining submitted to Yahweh through it all, his loyalty to Yahweh was revealed before seen and unseen beings.
Job’s testimony of faith needs to be our testimony, too. May we all firmly state, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Psalm 119:165 - "Great peace have they which love Thy Law: and nothing shall offend them."
In the world, peace is dependent upon the circumstances. While all is well around a worldly person, they can be at peace. But all is rarely well around anyone. In the experience of Tabernacling in the wilderness with Yahweh, He is teaching us to be at peace in Him no matter what happens.
So the next time you're facing a trying situation, remember the three blessings found in a trial:
1) it refines your character
2) it strengthens your faith
3) it demonstrates your loyalty to Yahweh.
Don’t cave in to difficulty and fail the test. In so doing, you miss out on the blessings Yahweh intended in this trial.
When serving Yahweh, we must come to understand that even the irritations which He allows us to experience are for some good.
One of the most beautiful and valuable jewels mentioned in the Bible is the pearl. It is interesting to note that each of the 12 gates of the heavenly city are made up of one large pearl, as it says in Revelation 21:21. This is especially significant when you consider how a pearl is made.
A pearl is made by transforming an irritation into something beautiful. It all begins with a grain of sand. The grain of sand gets into an oyster and irritates its soft body. The oyster then secretes layer after layer of a substance that coats the grain of sand. The coating hardens into a pearl. If the oyster had never experienced the irritation of the sand, the beautiful and valuable pearl would never have been produced.
A diamond also has little value until it experiences the cutting. In the rough, a diamond is hardly recognizable. It contains a great deal of potential for becoming valuable. But, without the needed cutting and shaping of a skilled jewler, it looks like little more than a jagged piece of glass. But what a dramatic change takes place when the diamond has been cut. Now it refracts light and scatters rainbows about. It has become a thing of great value and beauty, because of the cutting it has endured.
When you really think about it, it makes perfect sense that the gates to the heavenly city are made of pearls. Pearls – the jewel specifically created from turning irritations and trials into something beautiful to God’s glory. This is the kind of people who will enter those gates. They will have passed through suffering and will have endured.
In the end there will only be two classes of Christians, those who have rejected the choosing that comes with the furnace of affliction and are weighed in the balances and found wanting and those who have submitted to God in everything, even in suffering. This second group will be found to be “wanting nothing” and ready to dwell with our holy God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the Will of God in Christ Yahshua concerning you."
And this is how we prepare to Tabernacle with our Holy God for all Eternity.