TODAY’S READING: Exodus 39–40
The lesson of Exodus is that Jehovah delivers His children out of bondage and brings them into the blessedness of His presence. In Genesis, Jehovah brought Abraham out of Syria and into the blessedness of covenant relationship with the express purpose of all people groups of earth following suit. Exodus continues this meta-narrative, for what Jehovah does for Israel (the physical sons of Abraham), He wants to do for all peoples (the spiritual sons of Abraham). We cannot forget this foundational truth when reading the Bible: God’s acts for and in Israel are pictures and prophecies of what He wants to do among all peoples of earth. God wants to bring men and women of every people group out of bondage and into the glorious and fulfilling liberty of His presence.
When Aaron the priest entered the presence of God, with the names of the sons of Israel engraved on his ephod (Exo. 39:7), it was a missions act of intercession. The sons of Israel are blessed and empowered for the singular purpose of being a demonstration and channel of God’s love for all nations. We cannot read or understand any biblical reference to Abraham, Israel, or blessing outside the foundational hermeneutic of missions. God will bless Abraham’s spiritual children (of every people group) through Abraham’s spiritual seed (the Lord Jesus). What God does for Israel, He wants to do for all. When Israel’s sons are carried on the shoulders of an intercessor into the presence of God, they enter His presence in advance hope for us all.
On the crown of the priest was the dedication: holy to the lord (v. 30). At the head of our thoughts, face forward in our global journey, is the sanctification of all the peoples of earth to Jehovah—the God of Abraham, the God who will at all costs redeem men and women of every race and every tribe to Himself. We should not be able to enter the presence of God privately, nor gather together as the redeemed in small or large settings, without carrying the peoples of earth on our shoulders in prayer and global devotion to Jehovah stamped on our foreheads. Our dedication to the Holy One is inextricably linked to His goal of being worshipped by every tribe and tongue. As saints holy to the Lord, our central question when we gather must always be, “Who is not yet here?”
Aaron and sons minister to the Lord as an advance deposit of global worship (40:13–15). When in holiness Aaron and sons worshiped Jehovah, glory filled the tabernacle (vv. 34-35). If this was true for the small proto-worshipers, just imagine the glory cloud when God’s purposes on earth are done! Imagine the soul-bursting reality when it’s not just Israel, but representatives of every tribe and every nation, made holy by the Lamb, worshiping with full-throated praise. I can hardly stand the wait.
Today as you singularly enter God’s presence, carry the nations on your prayer shoulders. Join your heart to the heart of the Father and ask Him to bring His lost ones home. This week as you join the saints in holy worship, in gatherings large or small, look forward with joy to that great glory burst when all are assembled and the heavens shake with multilingual praise.