God’s pattern

Exodus 26:30: Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan which you have been shown in the mountain.

God’s pattern is specific. God’s pattern for you is different from His pattern for me. Moses was supposed to build according to God’s pattern for him. The words of the focus verse were directed by God to Moses.

The bible says that every building is built by different men, but the builder of all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).  You cannot force your own pattern down everybody’s throat. There are patterns for them too. There is a pattern for your marriage, there is a pattern for you business, there is a pattern for your ministry. Because you are doing it, a particular way does not mean everyone should do the same.

God told Joshua during the start of his time as the leader of Israel that Moses his servant is dead, and proceeded to give him the pattern of what he was supposed to fulfill, different from what Moses did (Joshua 1:1-9). Though Moses was a great man of God, Joshua had to get his own pattern from God, because he was different.

Paul affirmed that he has been appointed to be the apostles to the gentiles, while Peter was appointed the apostle to the Jews (Galatians 2:8). Paul added that he magnifies his ministry (Romans 11:13). He doesn’t need to be envious about how things are going on in the ministry of Peter.

In the time of the first century church, it was not the most glamorous thing to be a preacher to the gentiles. The path was full of unusually high level of persecution. But that was the way, the path, God appointed for Paul, and that was what he will do, even if it involved having a torn in the flesh, not marrying, travelling often etc.

Jesus did not ask for Paul’s opinion or preferences when appointing him to preach to the gentiles. And at the end of his life, the only standard of measurement, to determine his success in life, was whether he ran on the race, the path laid before him or not (2Timothy 4:7).

It was not about what was popular in his time. May you not take the popular route! Jesus talked about the narrow road, which leads to life and the broad way which leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). In another place in the bible we read that we should not follow the multitude to do evil.  Evil may not be about breaking one of the Ten Commandments; it could be about not following the ways of God, as he outlines it for you, the pattern he ordained for you (James 4:17).

The bible says that for him who knows what is right for him to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. That is not the general sin; it is the sin attached to whether you followed your specific understanding of what God requires of you.

The Lord revealed certain things to John, which he wrote in the book of revelation. At the end of it, he warned that no one should add to or remove from those words (Revelation 22:19). That was similar to what God told Moses in the focus verse, not to add or remove from the plan God showed him on the mount. He was to be a stickler for the details that God is showing him.

God twice told Moses what to do to get water for the children of Israel when they complained of thirst in the wilderness. The first time God told him to strike the rock and water will flow out to satisfy the whole nation (Exodus 17:6-7), the second time he was told to speak to the rock, which he did not do. He struck the rock that time around and God punished him for that (Numbers 20:1-13).

Don’t think you can get away with following your own pattern, your own way, whatever you think about within yourself. King Saul did not get away with it, what makes you think you can?

God gave Saul a specific instruction to destroy all in the land of the Amalekites, including the animals (1 Samuel 15), but he spared the king and some fat animals in the name of using them to sacrifice to God.  He thought he could bribe God after disobeying him. He thought he could modify the instruction of God, the way it suits him, or to please the people around him, keep their allegiance.

He was suffering from the delusion of being independent. He followed the suggestion of his servant who said he should spare those animals rather than the voice of God.

At the end, God showed him that He would not be taken for granted. He cut him and his family line off from being king in Israel.

He said that he chose another man, David, whom he says is a man after his own heart, who will do according to his bidding (1Samuel 13:14), who would not say that he has a better opinion than the word of God.

God’s pattern for us should be beyond argument because he is the Lord. Jesus rebuked certain people because they call him lord but don’t do what he says (Luke 6:46).

The bible says that evil men will continue to be evil, following their own pernicious ways (2Peter 2:2). But what we come to church to do is to learn the ways of the lord, the pattern of the lord. That was the content of a prophetic word given by Isaiah. He said that in the last days the house of the lord shall be on the top of the mountain, and people will troop in there seeking to know the ways of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1-3).

Paul wrote that the church is the ground and pillar of truth (1Timothy 3:15).  This truth is about how to relate with God and others. The way of God is the way of love. When certain people came to Jesus asking that he tell the greatest commandment, he said it is to love God with all of our might strength and love others like ourselves, saying that on those two hangs the whole the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:4). That encapsulates the mind of God, defined his ways, his pattern for us, since God is love.

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul talked about a higher way which is the way of love (1Corinthians 12:1-13). He said there abides faith, hope and love but the greatest is love. Love is greater that faith because faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). Love is greater that hope because it makes hope come alive (Romans 5:5).

Paul wrote that we know that all things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28-32). That you love God gives you the right to hope that all things are definitely working together for your good.

 

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