Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Exodus 25

I know I’ve said to myself before, “Hmmm, I wonder what God and Moses did for all that time up on that mountaintop?” When I was little, I used to picture Moses standing on the summit (which was only about two feet in diameter) looking up at a cloud (with a floating head sometimes), which was God, because that’s pretty much what all my Sunday school coloring book pictures looked like. My imagination didn’t change much, though, as I got older. As a teen and younger adult, I still pictured Moses and God (not a cloud but a real guy) just chillin’ on the tippy-top of that mountain. This chapter tells us, however, that these two weren’t just having man time in the woods. God was laying out some serious plans and instructions. Now, I know this chapter isn’t the most thrilling read, but it’s Moses’ way of summarizing a way longer and more detailed conversation that happened between him and God on Mt. Sinai. Think of it like a business retreat. Imagine you get to spend a month with your new business partner in the rice fields of Bali. Everyday the two of you get up to some unbelievable scenery, have coffee and immediately start drawing up plans for your start-up business. You talk about finances, office space, equipment needs and lots of other businessy stuff, and you make notes – tons of notes … tons and tons and tons of almost illegible notes that only you can translate into real, meaningful sentences and paragraphs. When you return home from your retreat, you’re tasked to summarize these notes for your partner and produce a solid business plan. One of the items you discussed was office space. You have to find an easy way to write out the plans for each measurement, desk space, break rooms, etc. This is Chapter 25. Moses and God discussed A LOT on that mountaintop, and Moses had to find a way to summarize the important stuff so that we could know exactly what went on and maybe one day realize the importance of it all. Imagine writing up your own business plan, running a successful business for 60 years, passing it down to your children and their children, etc., and after you’ve been gone for a century or two, your ancestors find the original business plan. I bet they wouldn’t find those notes boring to read at all! Well, some of them maybe.

I was contemplating, too, why God goes to such lengths here (and in the future in the Old Testament) to have “items” built in his honor. I’ve heard people argue against Christianity many times because of passages like these. Then it hit me that maybe God doesn’t do these things any more for a reason. How many stories do you know about the Ark of the Covenant, moreover hunts for the Ark of the Covenant? Movies have been made, and tales have been told about this object dedicated to the Lord. What has happened over time is that people, many of whom have no concept of why the Ark was made in the first place, have started idolizing the Ark, rather than God, for whom it was made. Doubters are right: God doesn’t use things like this anymore to draw people closer to Him – because we as people miss the point. Over time, we lose the importance of why the object was built in the first place and begin worshiping the object itself. God sent Jesus to end all this superficial bullhockey, but that doesn’t happen for a while, and God and the humans have a lot to learn about each other in the meantime.

Writing prompt: plan it

My sister and I used to draw up maps of our dream houses, but I never attempted to write them out. Do you have a plan for something? It doesn’t have to be a building project. Maybe it’s a new dress, a book or even a DIY project. (I’ve been creating cleaners with essential oils. I know. Dorky. But it’s fun reading what others have to share about them.) Write out your plan or idea, and give it to someone else to read. See if you can get them excited about reading your “boring” text by giving them some background about why you are embarking on this project.

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