For those who missed my blog yesterday, I apologise but it was a crazy busy day and on the rank of importance (although I love this and you) it slipped off. I need to consider busy Sundays because I have a few coming up and think how I will make it work. But on to today.
Happy Monday my friends, Exodus is finished and there’s so much I could say but one line in a commentary passage at the beginning of chapter 40 really caught my attention this morning. The commentator was saying that in Exodus God is in the process of repairing the damage caused by sin, He has chosen a people (Israel) and is making them into agents who will liberate the world from false gods and lesser powers. He asks where will these people be formed and the answer is:
They will be shaped in the crucible of worship and obedience.
I don’t know if you know what a crucible is, I went searching for pictures and they are not attractive things. A crucible is basically a container that can withstand very high temperatures and is used for producing metal, glass and pigments; the container has to remain intact whilst the contents melt or soften.
God’s still forming that people and I think worship and obedience are still the tools He uses to shape us. The Israelites were given precise directions to build the place where they met with God. I mean precise down to the inch, pound, number of panels, thread count and colour. There were precise rules for approaching the Tent, precise rules for making atonement, removing guilt, making free-will offerings.
Now jump to Jesus and His message, which is a fulfillment of God’s promises.
Jesus:21-24 Woman, I tell you that neither is so. Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship but on the truthful hearts of worshipers. You worship what you don’t know while we worship what we do know, for God’s salvation is coming through the Jews. The Father is spirit, and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth and deeply spiritual as well. Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek the Father, then you do not worship.
We aren’t restricted to a tent, or a temple, or church or a day. We come empty-handed because of Jesus. But we must worship in Truth which requires obedience and we must worship because when we know God what else can we do. It seems to me that this comes back to what is reasonable and essential.
But crucible? I’d prefer to be formed in a spa with some gentle massage and pampering, or in a bright warm room full of books and time to study, or with a group of friends as we love each other perfectly and always get on. But a crucible sounds quite painful. I know the metal melts and the dross rises to the top and gets scooped off to leave pure metal behind and that does not sound pleasant. Until the pure gold is shaped and formed into something beautiful and shiny. Until the iron is shaped into something useful and strong.
I’m still thinking about this crucible, thinking about not fighting my way out of it but staying where and how God puts me. Obedience isn’t always easy. Worship involves more than words and is equally difficult sometimes. But the end result? It’s gotta be worth it because it will produce what pleases God.