Long term is major.

Exodus 40:16-33 (ESV)

This Moses did; according to all that the LORD commanded him, so he did. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Moses erected the tabernacle. He laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars. And he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He took the testimony and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark and set the mercy seat above on the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the ark of the testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil, and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, and set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the veil, and burned fragrant incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put in place the screen for the door of the tabernacle. And he set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed, as the LORD commanded Moses. And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

Notice that actually erecting the Tabernacle was Moses’s personal task, as the LORD had commanded Moses. Others, specially gifted by God, constructed the parts, but Moses had to do the final assembly.

Of course, Moses couldn’t possibly do this single-handedly; that’s not what, “Moses erected the tabernacle.” means. He had plenty of helpers. Moses was the builder, and everyone else was a go-fer.

But most importantly, they were learning how to set it up from his directions. They have a long way to go and they’re going to do this many times.

Even with help, the tabernacle takes a whole day to take down and at least as long to set up again. This is a staggering effort. After all the sacrifices Israelites made to build the tabernacle, now they have an ongoing commitment, one that takes regular effort – and slows them down.

The reduced mobility is problem. It’s a significant military disadvantage.

We do lots of things for the Lord, but how many of them are long term commitments? It’s easier to do something once than to take on a commitment that reduces our mobility or flexibility.

But the commitments are the things with big impact. Every church has many tasks that need to be covered by the members. If no one steps up to cover a task permanently, then someone has to schedule a rotation.

Pray about your commitments. Is the Lord calling you to step into longer-term shoes?

The weekly study guides, which include all six devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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