If you’ve never read the Bible through from cover to cover, I highly recommend it. Several schedules are available from different organizations that tell you what to read for each day of the year. Until recently, I haven’t used them because I wanted to be able to progress at my own pace. Some books I wanted to breeze right through while others prompted me to slow down, savor them, meditate on them. Either way, it’s an incredible journey to see God at work from beginning to end.
Funny thing about the Bible–we think nothing of popping in for a few lines here and there, wherever we choose. Do we treat other books like that? Never reading them all the way through but simply picking out portions that suit our mood or our problem? I can’t think of any. And yet, we treat the very words of God the same way we treat Wikipedia.
So this year, I decided to try the Bible-in-a-year schedule. Recently, I was wading through a part of Exodus that I normally tend to speed through. The directions for the tabernacle, the priests’ clothing, and the precise manner of performing sacrifices don’t hold much interest for me. The measurements are foreign, as are many of the materials, and aside from the historical value, I never saw much application to modern life.
God spelled out the precise measurements for each of the tabernacle walls, the tables, the altars, the lamp stands and basins. He specified the materials to use for the walls, the coverings, the poles, the altars and utensils. Every detail mattered. And fulfilling each direction was an act of obedience, an honoring of the God who would inhabit the tabernacle.
Contrast that with today, when God chooses to inhabit the bodies of believers. All different sizes and shapes. A few look to be in perfect form but most are afflicted with defects. All are in various stages of decay. I’m ashamed to admit that too often, I’m less concerned with obedience to God’s commands than obeying my own whims. Rather than offering up the best I have, I often give Him the leftovers and prefer to honoring the society around me than the holy God who gave me life in the first place.
What a contrast! The God who instructed such precision, detail and exquisiteness for his tabernacle now chooses to make my frail, fickle, decaying body his holy temple.