originally published on Reading the Bible in 90 Days
Oi - so I, too, was tempted to skim the details of all this building and making clothes and getting everything JUST RIGHT.
However, this is the stuff I’ve never read before, never really heard before. We hear the story part of Exodus, how the Isrealites get away from Pharoh… but so much of Exodus is really about constructing the Ark, the sacrifice tables, and how exactly God’s nation was to offer their sacrifices to Him. We even get the formula for a perfume (that no one can wear except the priests… it’s amazing how tempting it is to try to make the perfume, just to see what smells so pleasing to God).
So we have these long sections of scripture that isn’t just God-inspired, they are they very words of God. This is God, the very one who created the Universe. So His words should just resonate with our soul, right? They should brin enlightenment and help us understand why we’re here, right? All the questions we would love to ask God, and the unknowns… and we get paragraph after paragraph of how to build thing, what colors the robes should be, and how to burn meat.
I mean… really?
Where’s the mystery? Where’s magic and wonder and “why did you even create us”? Where’s the “why do you let bad things happen to good people”? Where’s the “how do I know You’re real”? We get… intricate directions on how to make stuff.
Which, I imagine, somehow makes sense. God is the ultimate architect; He was picky and peculiar about how He made the laws of physics… I suppose he can be picky about a box He’s going to call His home. He made the colors of the rainbow, so I guess he can be picky about what colors his priests wear. He made all the smells; from the smell of dog to the smell of bleach to the smell of peppemint. If he likes cinnamon, I think God can be picky and say He likes cinnamon.
These are the sights and smells and texures God is going to recieve offerings around; He can be picky and choosy.
Perhaps this is all part of the point… maybe our questions don’t really matter so much. Maybe if we sat and listened, God would talk to us about the things He likes, instead of us telling Him what He should like. Instead of us telling Him what we like, and thusly, He should like it too.
It’s strange to think that there are things that God just… likes. I imagine when Christ returns he’ll be partial to some version Mariam’s “Horse and Rider” and reminisce of eating the fat from a calf. He like jewels and gold and maybe even turbans. It’s hard, because I want to think that God would like my own favorite bands, like OtR or William Shatner… but we have so little idea of what He likes.
Unless we look at these long passages and find out that yes, God is partial to certain colors. That yes, He likes things built by skilled craftsmen. That yes, God does have opinions and likes and dislikes.
These passages make Him more than just a God for architects or a God for fashion designers… these long passages are God showing He likes things a certain way; that He does care about the details. Now to go find some cinnamon…