These are the kind of things that get me in trouble. Yet, it seems to be in my nature to inquire about things I don’t understand. Call me stupid, but some times I just want to know, or at least explore.
Take for example the building of the Tabernacle in Exodus 25-27. Based on a rough estimate, the account in the NRSV involves around 2500 words. Because of the economy of the Hebrew language, let us say that in the original it may have involved 1800 words. Maybe more, maybe much less. Either way, it’s a large chunk of information.
Now Moses and his assistant Joshua go up on Mount Sinai together, but Moses alone, enters “the cloud” and spends forty days and forty nights up there with God. During this time one of the items Moses receives are the blueprints for the tabernacle, the sanctuary of God. It is laden with detail. (How’s that for an understatement?)
Here is where my mind starts spinning. Moses, by his own admission is a bit slow of speech and not a real rationale thinker. Hence the need for Aaron’s assistance on numerous occasions. In fact, Moses finds it difficult to get around the desert with much accuracy. Therefore, how, under God’s heaven, does this man retain this blueprint information or who is taking notes for him?
Two tablets of stone…”Written with the finger of God.” Yes, I am aware I do not have to understand it. Yet, those must have been some rather large stones or the writing on them, some very creative short hand. What we usually think of when we picture the tablets of stone are the ten commandments. Not details of the tabernacle, priestly vestments and the like. Nevertheless, there it is, detail after detail.
I know you plenary verbal folks are probably flipping out right now, and the “god-breathed” crowd are rolling their eyes, but seriously. This is pretty heady stuff. This is not some random theological proposition. This is intricate detail down to lamp stands and pole rings; gold leaf and incense.
What’s that you say about “angels dancing on the head of a pin?” Why this is no such thing. It goes straight to the heart of inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy. Besides, how did the “bread of the Presence” get in here already?
Well, I must say, if for no one else, it’s been a fun little exercise for me. It is such a joy seeing God’s Word come alive and challenge me and prick my mind and stimulate my thoughts. Ink and paper by themselves are such boring items.
God Bless the reading of His Word!
God bless men like me, who so often don’t comprehend it.