oday’s selected reading continues in and concludes the Old Testament book of Exodus which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters thirty-eight through forty of this Old Testament book which are the final chapters found and contained within the book. GOD PAYS ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS! HOLINESS IS IN THE DETAILS! THERE CAN BE NO CUTTING CORNERS! THERE CAN BE NO ADAPTATION! YOU MUST BUILD EXACTLY AS I HAVE COMMANDED! THE WEIGHT OF GOLD VERSUS THE WEIGHT OF GLORY! THE WEIGHT OF SILVER VERSUS THE WEIGHT OF SHEKINAH! GOD CARES ABOUT THE DETAILS WE MIGHT OVERLOOK! IF THE DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT TO THE LIVING THEN THEY SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO US! WHEN THE WORK IS FINISHED! IF THE LORD COMMANDS IT…WE MUST OBEY! IF YOU BUILD IT…HE WILL COME! IT’S NOT SIMPLY IF YOU BUILD IT HE WILL COME, BUT IF YOU BUILD IT THE WAY HE WANTS IT HE WILL COME! THE GLORY OF THE LORD CAN’T COME ON AN UNFINISHED THE WORK! THE GLORY OF THE LORD CAN’T COME ON A WORK THAT HAS BEEN ALTERED! BRINGING THE TABERNACLE UNTO MOSES! YOU CAN’T CUT CORNERS AND EXPECT THE LIVING GOD TO MANIFEST HIMSELF AND HIS GLORY! THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL MADE ALL THE WORK! IT WASN’T SIMPLY A ONE MAN JOB! INSPECTING THE WORK WHICH HAS BEEN DONE! THEY HAD DONE IT AS THE LORD HAD COMMANDED! THOU SHALT SET UP THE TABERNACLE OF THE TENT OF THE CONGREGATION AT THE APPOINTED TIME! THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH OF THE SECOND YEAR! THE WORK OF THE TABERNACLE TOOK ROUGHLY A YEAR AND A HALF TO COMPLETE! HOW MANY SABBATHS DID THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HAVE TO OBSERVE IN THE MIDST OF THE WORK? THE CLOUD COMES UPON THE FINISHED WORK! THE GLORY COMES UPON THE FINISHED WORK! THE CLOUD COVERED, THE GLORY FILLS! UNABLE TO ENTER INTO THE TENT OF THE CONGREGATION! THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE! WHEN THE CLOUD RISES, THE JOURNEY CONTINUES! THE CLOUD OF THE LORD WAS UPON THE TABERNACLE BY DAY! THE FIRE WAS ON THE TABERNACLE BY NIGHT! THROUGHOUT ALL THEIR JOURNEYS! A FINISHED WORK AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD!
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will not only find the Old Testament book of Exodus drawing to a close, but you will also find the work of building the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the Lord taking place. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the thirty-sixth chapter you will begin noticing language found within this Old Testament book concerning those who had been specifically chosen for the work of the sanctuary, as well as those whose hearts were wise and whose spirits had stirred them to arise for the work of the LORD. The opening verse of the thirty-sixth chapter of this Old Testament book begins with Moses writing how Bezaleel and Aholiab and every wise hearted man in whom the Lord put wisdom and understand to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary began. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and acknowledge what is found within this verse, for within this verse we notice two distinct groups and/or types of people who were involved in the work of the sanctuary of the living God in the midst of the children of Israel. As you read the words found within this book you will notice that when the LORD spoke unto Moses while he was atop the mountain in the midst of the thick darkness and the cloud which shrouded and surrounded the living God He specifically ordained and appointed two men who would oversee the work of the sanctuary. Any understanding of the work of the sanctuary which is found in chapters thirty-six through forty of this Old Testament book must be considered in light of the fact that there were two specific individuals who were called, ordained and appointed by the living God, but there was a second group of individuals who are also included in the work. Thinking about the work of the sanctuary and that which we find within these chapters it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand that Bezaleel and Aholiab—although they were chosen for the work of the sanctuary—weren’t the only ones who carried out the work of building the sanctuary unto the LORD with all its instruments, all its furnishings, all its furnishings, and even the garments of the priests. The Old Testament book of Exodus can and will bring you face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that although the LORD God of the Hebrews specifically called and ordained Bezaleel and Aholiab for the work of the sanctuary and filled them with wisdom, knowledge and understanding needed for the work, He surrounded them with and brought unto them those whose spirits stirred them up, and those who were wise of heart in order that they might assist in the work of the sanctuary.
The work of the sanctuary would be overseen by Bezaleel and Aholiab who would undoubtedly participate in the work themselves, but the work itself would be carried out by all those from among the children of Israel whose spirits the LORD had stirred up for the work, and whose hearts were wise within them—not only wise in the knowledge and understanding they might have already possessed, but also in their ability to be taught by Bezaleel and Aholiab. Consider first and foremost the words which the LORD God of the Hebrews would speak unto Moses atop the mountain, for when it came to the work of the sanctuary it is absolutely necessary that we recognize that first came the pattern of the Tabernacle which would be given unto Moses, but immediately following the pattern of the Tabernacle would be those whom the LORD would specifically call and choose to oversee and carry out the work of the sanctuary which would be found in the midst of the children of Israel. The language within the Old Testament book of Exodus which sets the stage for Bezaleel and Aholiab engaging themselves in and taking up the work of building the sanctuary would be found all the way back in the opening verses of the thirty-first chapter, for it is in the opening verses of the thirty-first chapter that we find the LORD God of the Hebrews speaking directly unto Moses concerning those whom He had specifically chosen to carry out the work of the sanctuary that the LORD might have a Tabernacle in the midst of His people. Consider if you will the words found within this chapter beginning with and from the first verse of the chapter:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to device cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Can: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, and the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do” (Exodus 31:1-11).
If and as you begin reading these words you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that not only did the LORD God of the Hebrews call Bezaleel by name and fill him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, but you will also find directly linked to the call of Bezaleel is the giving of Aholiab to assist in the work. This is important for us to acknowledge and come face to face with, for the pattern and instruction for the Tabernacle of the living God was given unto Moses, however, the instruction which Moses received from the Lord would be revealed unto Bezaleel and Aholiab who was given unto him in order that they might begin the process of building the sanctuary of the living God. With that being said, it’s absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that while it is true the LORD God called Bezaleel by name and filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, He also provided for him one who would come alongside the work of building the sanctuary. THE WORK IS TOO BIG FOR ONE MAN TO ACCOMPLISH! When and as we think about the work of building the sanctuary it is absolutely necessary that we understand that the work of building the sanctuary—specifically building it according to the word and instruction which the LORD revealed unto Moses—was much bigger than one man, and one man was not qualified to carry out and complete the work all by themselves. Even though Bezaleel was filled with the Spirit of God, in all wisdom, in all understanding and in all knowledge, he still needed Aholiab to come alongside him to assist with the work. What’s more, is that not even Aholiab was enough for the work of the sanctuary, for Bezaleel and Aholiab could not carry out and complete the work by themselves. This actually brings me to an absolutely astounding and remarkable truth and reality which I would dare say is more often than not overlooked. The more I read and consider the work of building the sanctuary and Tabernacle unto the Lord, and the more I think about and consider the fact that although Bezaleel was called by name and filled with the Spirit of God with all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding he could not carry out and complete the work by himself. This must be acknowledged within our hearts and our minds, for there are those among us within the church of Jesus Christ who think and believe that the anointing which is upon their lives and which rests upon them is enough for them to carry out and complete the work which they have been called to do. There would be those among us who would think and believe the lie and the deception that being anointed of the living God, being filled with the Spirit of God, and being filled with all wisdom, all knowledge, and all understanding is enough for us to carry out and complete the work which is before us. Oh I am convinced there is an absolutely incredible danger in this particular line of thinking, for it is not only the breeding ground of pride and arrogance, but it also restricts and prohibits us from experiencing and receiving the help the LORD God of heaven and earth desires to bring alongside us.
As I sit here this afternoon I can’t help but think about and consider the tremendous reality that it doesn’t matter how anointed you think you are, or how much of the Spirit of God you might have, for if the LORD has called you to a specific work—that doesn’t mean that He has called you to do the work by yourself. Oh I can’t help but wonder how many men and women among us within the body of Christ are attempting to do the work which they have been called to do by themselves thinking and believing that they don’t need the help and assistance of others. We must understand how absolutely deceiving this line of thinking is and how naïve we truly are when we think about and consider it—particularly when you consider the very first man who was ever created upon the face of the earth. If you turn and direct your attention back to the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find the living God forming man from the dust of the earth and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, and after he became a living soul, the living God placed him in the garden where he would exercise dominion and authority upon the earth, and would not only look after and care for the garden, but would also name all the animals which the living God would bring unto him to see what he would name them. Eventually and ultimately you will find the living God making a very striking declaration—one that would forever shape and shift the idea that we can accomplish that which the LORD our God has called us to do by ourselves. If you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find the Lord speaking concerning man whom He had just created and declaring that it was not fit that man should be alone, and that He would create for him a help mate who would come alongside him. The LORD would cause a deep sleep to come upon Adam and while Adam was in that place of sleep the living God took from within him a rib which he used to form and fashion Eve who would not only be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, but who would participate in the work which was set before Adam there in the garden. If Adam who was created in a perfect state without sin, without iniquity, without transgression, and completely and utterly clothed with the glory of the living God needed one who would come alongside him to help him—what makes us think and believe for a moment that we are any different and can do the work which the Lord our God has called us to alone and by ourselves?
Building upon this thought and reality even further it is absolutely necessary that we turn and transition our attention from the first Adam who was created in the image and after the likeness of God to the second Adam who was the only begotten of the Father. It is necessary that we turn and direct our attention to Jesus the Christ who was not only anointed with the Spirit above measure, but who was also one hundred percent God in human flesh. We must turn and direct our attention to that One who was the living Word of God who took on flesh and dwelt among us upon the earth, for it is with and through His life that we recognize and understand that not even He alone could fulfill and accomplish the work the Father had called and sent Him to do alone and by Himself. If there is one thing Jesus knew and recognized while walking upon this earth—it’s that although He was called by the Father and sent from heaven to accomplish and complete a very specific work, He was not called to fulfill and complete that work alone and by Himself. Pause for a moment and think about what the gospels found within the New Testament would and could have been like had Jesus the Christ carried out the work for which He was called and sent alone and by Himself. Imagine what the gospels would and could have been like without and apart from the disciples’ narrative and place within the account of Jesus the Christ. Imagine Jesus walking throughout Galilee, Samaria and Judaea alone without the disciples walking with and following Him participating in the work for which He had been called and sent to do. What’s more, is that I would invite you to consider what would and could have happened when the time came for Jesus to return and ascend unto His Father, and what could and would have taken place with the work which He began while He walked upon the earth. Who would have carried out and continued the work which Jesus the Christ began within and upon the earth if Jesus did not call, ordain and appoint the twelve disciples who would not only walk with and follow Him, but also who would participate in the work of the ministry for which He had been called and sent? What’s more, is what would and could have happened to the work of the ministry which began with Jesus the Christ upon the earth if He didn’t also ordain and appoint another seventy on top of and in addition to the disciples whom He sent out ahead of Him into the cities, towns and villages He would enter? If not even Jesus the Christ could do the work for which He had been sent and called to do alone and by Himself, and required the twelve disciples who would walk with, follow and participate in the work of the ministry with Him, as well as the additional seventy whom He appointed—what makes us think that we can do the work before us alone and by ourselves? Consider if you will the account of Jesus sending out the twelve disciples, as well as His sending out the additional seventy whom He ordained and appointed to go before His face into the cities and towns and villages He would enter:
“And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanites, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:1-8).
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor script, not shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come night unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come night unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city” (Luke 10:1-12).
It is absolutely necessary that we think about and consider both the first Adam, as well as the second Adam—though these are by no means the only examples of this truth—for within their examples we encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that despite how anointed we are, or how anointed we think we might think we are, we must recognize that we have not been called to carry out and complete the work before us alone and by ourselves. The truth of the matter is that when we read and consider the narrative and account of Bezaleel we see that the LORD gave him Aholiab to assist in the work. What’s more, is that not only did the living God give Bezaleel Aholiab, but He also gave unto both of them all those whose spirits were stirred up within them concerning the work, and all those who were wise hearted to assist with carrying out and completing the work. If you turn and direct your attention to the thirty-sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will fin the introduction of Bezaleel whom the Lord called by name, as well as Aholiab, but you will also find those whom the LORD brought unto them to assist with carrying out and completing the work of the sanctuary and Tabernacle of the living God. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the thirty-sixth chapter you will find and read the following words which are found concerning Bezaleel whom the LORD called by name, Aholiab whom the LORD had given unto him, as well as all those whom the LORD had brought alongside them to carry out and complete the work. Consider if you will the following words which are taken directly from this particular chapter, as well as the words which are found in the final verses of the thirty-fifth chapter of this Old Testament book:
“And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; and to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and inc raving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart tired him up to come unto the work to do it: and they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; and they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained form bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made…” (Exodus 36:1-8).
If and as you continue reading in the Old Testament book of Exodus—specifically in chapters thirty-six through forty—your will encounter a tremendous amount of language that might not seem like there is any significance in them. Within these final chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus we find Moses describing the work of building the sanctuary as the work in building all the furnishings, the work of building all the furniture, the work of building all the instruments, and even the garments for the priests, as well as the anointing oil, the oil for the lamps, and the incense was underway. Perhaps one of the greatest truths and realities that confronts me when I read these chapters is the overwhelming attention the living God gives to details. The more I read the words which are found within these chapters the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that the LORD was very specific when he revealed the pattern for the Tabernacle, and there was absolutely no room for any alterations or modifications. It would have been very easy for those who joined themselves to the work of the sanctuary of the living God to try and cut corners and make their own modifications and alterations to the design and pattern of the Tabernacle, however, as we read the words which are found within these chapters we find over and over again the repeated declaration that what was built was built according as the Lord had commanded Moses. It’s necessary that we recognize and understand this tremendous reality, for it is this reality that confronts the temptation to cut corners when it comes to the work which the Lord has positioned in front of and before us. When you think about and consider the work of the sanctuary you must consider and remember the fact that the work of the sanctuary was of such grave importance that there was absolutely no room for any of those who aligned themselves to the work to try and alter the work according to their own specifications. What’s more, is that there was so much attention to the details of the pattern as it pertains to the specific weight of each material that was brought, the specific materials themselves which were brought, the measurements of each of the pieces of the furniture of the sanctuary, the design of each piece of furniture and furnishing of the Tabernacle, and even the recipe for the anointing oil, the oil for the lamp, and even the incense which would be used for the altar of incense. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will undoubtedly be confronted with and by the fact that the LORD was very specific when it came to the recipe of the incense and oils, He was very specific concerning the measurements and materials of the furnishings and furniture, and was very specific concerning the garments which would be worn by Aaron and his sons who would serve as priests before the living God within His holy sanctuary.
When we think about and consider the work of the Lord which He has called us to and which He has set before us there has always been and there will always be the temptation to cut corners and to try and impose our own ideas and imaginations on the work of the Lord. Throughout history there have been men and women who have been called to a specific work of the Lord within and upon the earth, and while it is true that they engaged themselves in the work, it is also true that they proceeded to impose their own ideas and imaginations on the work. If there is one thing we must think about and consider, it’s that if the LORD has called us to a specific work within the earth, He has a specific way in which that work must be done and must be accomplished. If the living God has called us to a work which is to be done within and upon the earth—regardless of how big or small that work might seem and appear to be—we must understand that there is a very specific pattern which the work must be completed, and there is absolutely no room for our own interpretation of the pattern and design which the LORD has given unto us. Oh we run into a great deal of trouble when we think about trying to cut corners in order to perhaps finish the work sooner than expected, or even to make the work into something we think it should be. When man was formed from the dust of the earth He was formed in the image of God and after the likeness of God, and when the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the living God was given unto Moses there was a very specific image which was in the heart and mind of the LORD—an image which was not to be trifled with. With that being said, we must recognize that there is always the temptation to take that which the living God has revealed unto us and to try and form and fashion into our own image of what we think it should be and what it should look like. There is always the temptation to take that which the living God has revealed unto us and to try and conform if into the image we ourselves have conceived within and from our own imagination, and as such we proceed to cut corners or make our own modifications and alterations. We must realize that when the LORD gives us a pattern, when the LORD gives us a design, when the LORD gives us a specific work and task to do within and upon the earth, He expects it to be done exactly as He has ordained and appointed. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that you can demonstrate your obedience to the LORD by following the pattern and design which He has ordained and appointed? It’s not enough to simply begin the work which the living God has ordained for you to participate in, for you must also demonstrate your obedience in the work exactly as the living God has commanded. Perhaps one of the most striking examples of cutting corners and altering the work which the living God has ordained and appointed for us is found in the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel. In this particular chapter we find the account of Saul king of Israel who was given a very specific command from the prophet Samuel to utterly destroy Amalek. Consider if you will the words which are found within this passage of Scripture beginning with the first verse:
“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel: now therefore hearten thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalketies. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havialh until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the failings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: But every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed one, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stat, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, was thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners of the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Where then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearten than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:1-23).
It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that which is found within these chapters, for perhaps one of the most astonishing realities is actually found in a classic movie which starred actors Kevin Costner. You will recall from that movie the line when Kevin Costner’s character was told “If you build it they will come,” and it is this line which I would like to include in this writing, for there is a deeply profound truth found within that writing. While that particular line and quote was in reference to building “a field of dreams” and suggesting that if this field was built they would come, I would like to adapt that particular line and emphatically declare and proclaimed “If you build it He will come.” In reference to the Tabernacle and sanctuary I feel compelled to declare that when it came to the Tabernacle—if the children of Israel built the Tabernacle the living God would come within and come upon the Tabernacle. I firmly believe that if the children of Israel built the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the living God He would indeed come down upon and come within the Tabernacle, and would dwell in the midst of His people. With that being said, however, I feel the tremendous to declare unto you that it’s not enough merely to build the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the Lord, for it was necessary to build it exactly as the living God had ordained and commanded. It’s one thing for the children of Israel to build the Tabernacle and sanctuary among them in their midst, but it’s something else altogether for them to build the sanctuary according to the pattern and design the living God had ordained and appointed. It’s one thing to think about and consider the fact that if the children of Israel built the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the living God He would come upon and come within it, but it’s something else altogether to think about the fact that the living God would come upon and come within a sanctuary that was built exactly as He had commanded and instructed it to be built. When we think about and consider the sanctuary and Tabernacle which the living God ordained and appointed the children of Israel to make for Him, we must recognize and understand that if they built it exactly as He had commanded, ordained and appointed, He would indeed come and manifest Himself among them in the midst of the sanctuary and Tabernacle. With that being said I feel the great need to declare unto you that we cannot and should not expect the glory to come upon and to come within an incomplete work. The glory of the living God cannot and will not come upon a work that is partial or incomplete, but can only come upon a work that was finished—and finished exactly as the living God had ordained and commanded. As you come to the final chapter of this Old Testament book you will encounter the glory of the Lord filling the sanctuary, and the cloud descending upon the sanctuary in the midst of the wilderness, and when you think about and consider this you must understand that this was only made possible when the work was both finished, and finished according to the word and command of the living God.
THE CLOUD THAT COVERS AND THE GLORY THAT FILLS! WHEN THE GLORY OF GOD FILLED THE FINISHED WORK! WHEN THE CLOUD COMES UPON THE FINISHED WORK! The most tragic reality concerning Saul king of Israel was that he actually thought and believed that he had carried out the command and decree of the LORD—despite the fact that he had spared Agag the king alive, as well as the best of the cattle, the herds, the flock and that which was good and pleasant in the sight of both he and the children of Israel. In Saul’s mind he thought he had carried out and completed the work which the LORD had commanded and sent him to carry out, and yet the truth of the matter was that partial obedience is the same as disobedience. Oh that we would recognize and understand that partial obedience is in fact the same thing as disobedience, and that we cannot expect the approval, the pleasure, the glory, and the presence of God to be upon that which was partially complete with so much left undone. What’s more, is that we cannot expect the approval, the pleasure, the delight and the glory of the living God to come upon and come within a work that was not done exactly as He had commanded. The Old Testament book of Exodus concludes with the glory of the LORD filling the Tabernacle, and the cloud covering the sanctuary, and we must remember this reality, for the cloud can only cover that which is finished, and the glory of the living God can only fill that which has been finished. Even more than this, we must recognize and understand that the glory of the LORD has never and will never fill an incomplete work, nor a work that was completed, yet was not completed according to his pattern, His design, his specifications, and His will and mind. The glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle, and the cloud covered the Tabernacle, but only because the work was carried out and completed exactly as the living God had ordained and commanded it to be done. When we think about the work of God within our own lives and the work which we have been commanded to fulfill and accomplish we must understand that the glory of the LORD can and will only fill that work which was completed exactly as He had commanded, and exactly as He had ordained and appointed. We cannot, we must not, and we should not expect there to be any difference in this reality, for God’s glory and His presence are synonymous with His pleasure and His delight, and the LORD has never delighted in partial obedience which is the same as disobedience, nor has the LORD ever delight in blatant and fragrant disobedience. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are carrying out the work which the living God has ordained and appointed for us, and are doing so exactly as He has commanded and instructed us. What have you been commanded and instructed by the living God to do and accomplish, and if you have been commanded and instructed by the living God to do something specific—are you fully obeying that which the living God has commanded, and carrying out and completing it exactly as He has ordained and appointed? If you are not, and if you have not carried out the work exactly as the living God has ordained and commanded, I would emphatically declare unto you that you cannot and should not expect the glory and presence of the living God to come upon and come within the work. What’s more is that should you choose to do that which is separate and independent of that which the living God has commanded you might yourself experiencing the same reality as the people of the earth did in the plain of Shinar when they attempted to build a city whose tower reached into heaven, and yet were scattered abroad from that place, and had their languages confused before the Lord.