"...the nations that have heard of your fame will say, ‘The LORD was not able to bring them into the land he swore to give them, so he killed them in the wilderness.’ “Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed." Numbers 14:15-17
The Bible says God has a special relationship with Moses. Numbers 12 feels us God saw Moses "as a friend" - deep trust and mutual respect here - and Jesus says the same for us in John 14. So you can take a cue from what Moses said to the Lord in Numbers 14. Moses is looking at a hard place, a challenging situation, and he says "God, the world is watching - Remember what You told me about Yourself? The world knows what You ad I are supposed to be like together and they are watching! Do something! Help now or they will say You weren't able to save us!".
If Moses could say that to God and God recorded it for us, you can too. That feeling of "everybody's watching to see if my God is as big and mighty as I say" is something real and something God understands. Be like Moses - call on God to prove His power so the world can see He is Who you've been telling them He is! Don't be afraid to pray "God - SHOW THEM YOU CAN!"
Spark - short thought - but highly combustible!
So I’m reading in the parts of the Old Testament where God’s people are getting instructions on how to construct and travel with the Tabernacle - the place where the Presence of God appeared among them, where they made their sacrifices and worshiped the Lord.
If you’ve ever read these sections of scripture, you know they can seem to stretch on for a long time with tons of seemingly meaningless detail - for instance:
““4The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects. 5When the camp moves, Aaron and his sons must enter the Tabernacle first to take down the inner curtain and cover the Ark of the Covenant with it. 6Then they must cover the inner curtain with fine goatskin leather and spread over that a single piece of blue cloth. Finally, they must put the carrying poles of the Ark in place.
7“Next they must spread a blue cloth over the table where the Bread of the Presence is displayed, and on the cloth they will place the bowls, ladles, jars, pitchers, and the special bread. 8They must spread a scarlet cloth over all of this, and finally a covering of fine goatskin leather on top of the scarlet cloth. Then they must insert the carrying poles into the table.”
- Numbers 4:4-8
I’ve got a tip you today: there’s gold in the symbolism here if you’ll take the time to do some digging. For instance, did you know the when you are reading in these passages, the colors have meaning? Inner curtain = the way to God’s Presence (at th Ark) is veiled (but we know Jesus tears through that on our behalf!) Goatskin reminds us that something has to die to get of the access to the Presence of God - sin has to be atoned for (literally “covered” - read more about this in the Book fo Hebrews!) Blue = “heaven” as in relating to the Kingdom of God. Scarlet - well, you know this: it points to the Blood of Christ, and finally the goatskin again reminding us of sacrifice for sins. The carrying poles? The weight of the sacrifice is carried on our shoulders - a “burden” that our ultimate representative, Jesus would carry for us.
And the whole of these passages are filled with these gems. Think of what a difference it makes to read the Old Testament looking for Jesus all over the pages!
It’s been a while since I’ve written a SPARK to you, but this summer you will see more again and hopefully they will help ignite something fresh in you - even in places like these that seem to be dry or loaded with seemingly insignificant details. There’s good fuel here - we just need to know how to get that spark to set it off!
SPARK - find the fuel, light the flame.