Thursday, February 5, 2015

Who Shall?

And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars. (Exodus 40:17-18 KJV)

Have you ever thought your church needed a new sanctuary? I was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tulsa when they built a new sanctuary in the 1960’s. More than 50 years later, I would venture to say some of their members can’t imagine what it was like to be in the old one – which I remember well.

Sixty years ago this year, the church I attend now was formed. No sanctuary, so they met in the community center until their first was built. It is still in use – but moved miles away, just outside Chico. In March, we will hold services in both of those places in remembrance.

The tabernacle itself was a place of remembrance. It spoke of the Israelite’s relationship with God. By the time David was king, the Ark of the Covenant was located in a temple:

And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; (1 Samuel 3:3 KJV)

In the short five verses of Psalm 15, David asks, “Who shall abide there?”

A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. (Psalms 15:1-5 KJV)

Just as we live our lives, David did not keep this advice he gave. That non-compliance kept him from fulfilling a dream he had of building a temple worthy of the Lord he worshipped:

Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (1 Chronicles 28:2-3 KJV)

The consequences of his actions limited his ability to do God’s service.

These short verses are almost echoed in the fruit of the flesh and the spirit in Galatians 5:19-23. I do believe it’s a good idea to keep them in my mind as a measuring gauge for how I’ve limited my ability – and strive to live unlimited.

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