Just Done It.

I am attempting to read the Bible in a year with an online program called You Version Bible that parcels out daily readings for me from three portions - two from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. Lately I have been traveling along with Moses and the children of Israel through the book of Exodus, and we are currently constructing the tabernacle in the wilderness. This requires multiple chapters to accomplish. 

God first has to give the plans to Moses, and they are quite detailed, involving measurements and materials and design specifications for curtains and altars, lamp stands and the laver, incense and perfume, clothing, and the ark of the covenant. Although God does not go into great detail about certain creative elements of the project, he says to Moses that he has gifted certain men as craftsmen and artisans and that they will be able to make exactly what God has in mind. 

Next comes the collection of materials from the people of Israel - gold, silver, bronze, precious stones, wood, linen, dolphin and badger skins (dolphin skins???), and the elements required for producing dyes, incense, and perfume. Scripture tells us that Moses had to tell the people to stop bringing in their offerings, because they had more than enough to construct the tabernacle. 

This was all interesting reading in its own way, but then the chapters came when the craftsmen and artisans God had equipped proceeded to fashion and formulate everything exactly as God had specified. Verse after verse tells how how everything was manufactured precisely in the way that previous chapters had outlined; it was like a repeat of those chapters, except now instead of the plan being made, the plan was being executed. I had to stop and check to make sure I wasn't inadvertently re-reading the earlier chapters. 

I wasn't.

Having read all of this over the course of several days, the thought came to me that God got precisely what he wanted because he made the plan, he made the provision, and he prepared the people needed to carry out his plan. God was in it from the beginning to the end. The part that especially encouraged me was the people part. Sometimes the plan seems so overwhelming and the provision way beyond my means, and then God calls me to be the person to bring the plan to pass. Knowing that he is the one behind it all and that he has gifted me to fit into his plan even before it has begun is a great security for me; whether I know it or not, I have been prepared for what he has asked me to do. 

The artisans and craftsmen were asked to create something in general terms by God. In themselves, they may have felt inadequate for the task and wondered, "How am I supposed to know exactly what God wants? What if I make what I think is good, but God hates it? Can't God be a bit more specific? He wants cherubim on the cover of the ark? How am I supposed to know what they look like? I'm doomed." Somehow, I think that these guys didn't feel like that at all. God had mysteriously prepared them for the task at hand and he had put into their hearts and minds the knowledge of what he desired. They proceeded with godly reverence and it came out as God had intended. The work was already finished in God's mind before it began. 

I'd like to make the Nike slogan ungrammatically Finished Work to apply to God's part in building the tabernacle back there in Exodus:

Just Done It. 

"He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

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