Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Bring Your Finest

Exodus 25:39 - Exodus 29:30

Today as I read my thoughts are filled with beauty.

Blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.

Chains of pure gold and wreathen work.

Silver and brass and precious stones.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.  And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”  (Exodus 25:2 & 8 )

I am reminded that they are in the wilderness.

And I ask myself, Can beauty be found in wilderness places?

And I realize the offering will require sacrifice.

Giving up.  Giving all.

It will require them to bring their finest to the Lord.

I recognize that through this bringing of their finest, there is a process of sanctification taking place.  A process of consecration.

I study sanctification in the dictionary:  To make religious.  To free from sin.  To set apart.  I see that it comes from Latin sanctus, which means ‘holy.’

And I realize that sanctification includes giving up in the sense of letting go.

Next I study consecration:  To make sacred.  To devote something exclusively to a particular purpose.  To dedicate.  I see that it comes from Latin consecrat, which means ‘dedicated’ or ‘devoted’ and from Latin sacer, which means ‘sacred.’  ‘Dedicated sacred.’

And I realize that consecration includes giving all in the sense of giving everything.

This bringing of their finest would require Israel to become dedicated.  Devoted.  Through the process it would become an experience that was sacred to them.  One that would make them holy.

Today I consider this path toward sanctification, toward consecration, toward holiness.

I want to understand what it means to bring my finest as an offering to the Lord.

We can't underestimate the lesson we learned this weekend ––of laws, of judgments, of statutes.  Israel has been asked to walk in obedience in preparation for the covenant they are about to make with the Lord.  It is hard work, this walking in obedience.  In tomorrow’s reading that will become abundantly clear.  But, remember, we believe in a God of second chances.  He knows walking in obedience includes making mistakes.  He has provided One to plead in our behalf.

It is through the process of obedience, of repentance, of giving up and letting go, we become sanctified.

And as we bring our finest ––our offering willingly with our heart, giving all, we become consecrated.

Dedicated Sacred.

Holy.

For the rest of this week our reading will teach these two principles ––sanctification and consecration.

The importance of walking in obedience.

The reason for bringing our Finest.

In preparation.

For when Israel arrives at that place of sanctification, that place of consecration the Lord has given a promise:

“And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee.”  (Exodus 25:22)

Emily Freeman