Saturday, 18 June 2011

A bit more 'God' stuff.

One of the interesting things about the bible is how you can read it again and again and again and find different things every time. I've read it cover to cover at least 3 times now, in linear fashion, as well as continuously reading at semi-random.

I've been working through Exodus recently, and there's a whole bunch of subtle stuff tucked away in there that you'd miss so easily. Take Ex25 v9-11:

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

OK - get this - these guys SAW God. And it's the OT, there was no special clothing, no exclusivity to Moses or Aaron, and they even ate & drank - presumably in His presence.

And yet 10 chapters on they're making the tabernacle, and 15 chapters on they're describing the Holy of Holies where the high priest alone could enter once a year, and where there was a risk of him dying if he did not enter righteously - and God wasn't even visibly present there!

What! Why?

I'm trying to understand this by seeing it through their eyes to see what really happened, rather than just take a historical record of perceived events that's been translated several times since original recording. I'm also trying to get my head around why God would direct these people to put in place religious stuff when He would meet with a fairly ordinary bunch of guys at the top of their present political tree.

A subtly different perspective comes woven into this.

Moses met face to face with God - God 'knew his name'. But for Aaron to come before God as high priest he has to wear all kinds of symbolic and protective clothing. I know that in a sense he was there to represent the people before God, a reason for much of the stuff tacked onto the clothing, but at the same time Moses met God face to face while Aaron was in serious danger of death if he didn't get it right (and one of his sons died for getting it wrong). Now the difference was probably God 'knowing Moses name' but what does that really mean, and how is it that Moses was 'known' and Aaron wasn't? They had both gone before Pharoh in Egypt just a little while before, with Aaron performing miraculous signs too.

To me, trying to understand this is all about trying to know who God is more, and why He does what He does.

At some stage I'll think about sovereignty, authority and politics on here, but that's for another post. Right now I need to go cut down a tree.

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