Crystal Writes A Blog

A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

Make A Room for Daddy


Room Constuction by Flickr User Jeff Frisbee, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Room Constuction by Flickr User Jeff Frisbee, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’ve always thought that houses with “Mother-in-law quarters” were a nice idea for people who wanted to be closer to their parents in times of need but not have them living under the same roof. It offers the respect of privacy for both the full family and the addition, and above all else, it offers close proximity.

In today’s reading from Exodus 25:1 through Exodus 25:16, we begin a new portion, number 19, titled T’rumah which is Hebrew for “Contribution.” It’s all about the contributions the people of Israel will give to build the Holy Temple according to God’s command. It begins with the very important statement that the only acceptable offerings are those the people freely and wholeheartedly want to give. God knows what materials He requires for this new temple, but the thing He wants most is that all will be done with desire and not because people have to give. He still wants us to give in this way.

In verse 8, God says that He wants the people to make him a sanctuary. His reason, He says, is so that He may dwell among them. Of all the reasons we build churches and temples these days, do we ever think about the first temple to God Himself, and that it was built for the purpose of His dwelling among His children? That’s why He wanted it built with freewill offerings. He didn’t want the scenario where a child grudgingly allows a parent to live with him but hates every moment of it. He wanted to be wanted. Of course, after everything He did for them, it’s hard for me to imagine not wanting Him around, but if I look back to my days of living in sin, I can see how that could happen.

Specifically, this makes me think of a time when I was homeless due to some bad decision-making on my part. I was so embarrassed about my situation that when I spotted someone I knew passing through town (I was living in Las Vegas, and people who were on their way from Los Angeles to Utah for a big convention came through there during my lowest time), I ran the other way. They would have loved me, cared for me, fed me, and brought me back home–but I ran. I ran hard and scared. I was terrified. Maybe I was sure they would hate me if they saw the real me, or maybe I was just humiliated, but whatever made me run felt more like someone was after me to kill me than to love me.

I think that fear of the unknown contributes to all people who run from God instead of letting Him into their lives. That’s why it takes faith to let Him in. Israel had a battle with that, and God just kept looking for ways around it. He let them be taken into captivity, and then He got them out. He delivered them from their captors, and He allowed them to see the death of their tormenters. He gave them bread from Heaven, and He brought them up to hear His voice at Mount Sinai. Now He is having them build a sanctuary that will allow them to bring Him into their midst without the fearful images they saw when they tried to look on Him directly. Because it is impossible for sin to dwell in His presence, He has issued rulings to purify the people, and He will be putting these rulings in the ark He describes in verses 10-16, so they can always remember them. He does all of this just because He desires to dwell with His people. I think we should make room and let Him in.

February 1, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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