“In a relationship the details are everything because they remind you – just when you need to be reminded the most – why you fell in love with someone in the first place.”
My daughter became snarky with her small group while she attended summer camp last year. Apparently, many of the campers had New Testament Bibles. My daughter didn’t know this kind of Bible existed. She’d never seen one without the Old Testament taking up three quarters of the pages.
It wasn’t the book itself that caused her frustration. She understood that it was still the Word of God. She was just caught off guard by the counselors responses when she challenged that the book was incomplete. “How can you really understand God without knowing the Old Testament?” she asked. I guess they didn’t think it was that important, and this floored our, then, thirteen year old.
As I’ve been reading through the Bible this year, halfway through the book of Exodus, I was tempted to side with the counselors.
Really? Do I need to know what a man should do if his bull injures another man’s bull?
Just like my daughter, I was caught off guard by the overall language of Exodus compared to Genesis. In the first book of the Bible, God is certainly present and active in the lives of the main characters, but it feels like a “hands off” kind of way compared to Exodus. It seems He allows people to make their choices while still orchestrating the outcome through those decisions, but my knee jerk response to God in Exodus is that He’s now become a control freak! All of a sudden He’s down to the cubits! He cares about spice, linen, stolen ox’s and borrowed animals that die while the owner is gone.
I had to ask myself, why the shift? More importantly, I had to ask myself why I was less than excited to read about pages of law and finely twisted curtains? I felt my heart and spirit quietly distancing from this God who seemed to care about widows, but not as much about virgins.
It was halfway through the book when The Teacher shared a detail about himself that I’d never known. We’ve been married for twenty-four years and I never knew this preference about my husband! I turned and looked at the man I share my life with, the man who knows me like none other on this earth, and I smiled at the miracle and majesty of real relationship.
I let boring details and lifeless language get in the way of the fact that God chose to share Himself with us. With Moses, on the mountain, He poured out detail after detail about His preference on color, odor, fabric, and wood. We are offered the privilege of entering into the personality of God! How incredibly cool that we know what He finds beautiful and worthy of His presence; that we are afforded an up close peek into His heart.
Here’s the other fascinating truth about the details of Exodus…by creating the tabernacle, God provides opportunity for others to exhibit their talents and gifts. Who will be the master craftsman that will find the perfect piece of acacia wood? Who will gather and blend the proper spices? Who will be the seamstress to twist the linen?
My “control freak” assessment was all wrong. In Exodus, God introduces Himself through details. He is helping us know Him. He is sharing His love of beauty, detail, and the enjoyment of His creation.
The artist in me leaps. This is the God I serve. A God of detail.
My big Bible, with the Old Testament included, is heavy, but those pages teach me what He likes. I’m so glad!
Photo Credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kim’s signature closing:
Welcome new readers, and those well loved! My blogs are focused on authentic Christianity and real life decisions. History proves that my readers interact most comfortably through an email exchange, rather than a public comment. You are always welcome to find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your questions or comments and will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
My deepest desire is for you to know Jesus real. He is not just a positive thought, a model to follow, or a comfortable space to hear love. He is life. Adventure. He can be the very air you breathe with just one decision. I never knew Him until I ended up sitting on a dirty field in India. He met me there, and that gripping tale of redemption is found in my life’s work: The Chance to Choose: Become Who You Were Meant to Be One Choice At a Time. I’d love all my reader’s to know the story. It is there where you’ll understand me, and the One I serve, best. Click on printed/signed copy, or Kindle version (also available on Nook and Apple iBook) to purchase, and if you need more, check out the book trailer below: