Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

30 March 2020

Proverbs 6:16-19

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

What God hates, so should we; and yet, we may be more tolerant than we suppose. Because we value people who agree with us on issues – be they theological, political, or socially; because we are loyal to our fraternity or denomination or family, we will tolerate and excuse in them what we denounce in others. We will chuckle at misleading comments of those on “our side” and pounce on the same types of comments on the other side. We admire the haughty eyes on our side as representing jealousy for truth, while we condemn the arrogance on the other side. We excuse sowing discord by those on our side by claiming the other side cannot handle truth; yet we are quick to expose the slander on the other side.

These seven wicked traits are an abomination to God regardless of who exhibits them, although it is likely he despises them more when found in someone who claims to represent him. Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for the men who claimed closest allegiance to God. Note further that these traits are found together. That is why they are a single abomination. Whoever is guilty of one of these traits will be guilty of all the others.

Note more deeply that all of these traits can be found in every one of us. We have all lied; we have all looked down on someone else. We may not have literally shed blood, but we have harmed others emotionally; we have all desired some kind of harm to come. We have all said something, done something that caused discord. Do not fool yourself as the Pharisee who could not think of anything to confess before God. Because you are human, even though you are redeemed by the blood of Christ, your heart is far from being fully sanctified. Do not excuse what God so easily sees. Go each day to the mercy throne to find the forgiveness that is in Christ and to receive the daily grace needed to grow in sanctification. Give thanks to God that, though your heart expresses too often what is an abomination, he sees you clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Exodus 30-31

30 ‘Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense. It is to be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high – its horns of one piece with it. Overlay the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and make a gold moulding around it. Make two gold rings for the altar below the moulding – two on each of the opposite sides – to hold the poles used to carry it. Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Put the altar in front of the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law – before the atonement cover that is over the tablets of the covenant law – where I will meet with you.

‘Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so that incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come. Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. 10 Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord.’

 

Atonement money

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 ‘When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. 13 Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel,[c] according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord14 All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16 Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.’

 

Basin for washing

17 Then the Lord said to Moses, 18 ‘Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. 20 Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the Lord21 they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.’

 

Anointing oil

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 ‘Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia – all according to the sanctuary shekel – and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.

30 ‘Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. 31 Say to the Israelites, “This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.”’

 

Incense

34 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take fragrant spices – gum resin, onycha and galbanum – and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36 Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37 Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord38 Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.’

 

Bezalel and Oholiab

31 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent – the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand – 10 and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.’

 

The Sabbath

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, 13 ‘Say to the Israelites, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

14 ‘“Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. 15 For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. 16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites for ever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”’

18 When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.