by Sandy Kirby Quandt
My first day of junior high school was a day full of anxiety and unknowns. None of which was helped by the test my 7th grade science teacher handed us as we entered his classroom.
A test on the first day of school? A test covering a subject that was not at the top of the subjects I excelled at? A test where the teacher’s instructions were, “Put your name at the top of your paper, then read the entire test before you begin.”? Good grief.
The only part of the test I got correct was my name. Seriously. That was it.
You want to know the reason why? I didn’t follow the instructions. I didn’t read through the entire test, as instructed, before I began answering the terribly hard end-of-year-type questions.
If I followed the instructions I would have understood why several students put their pencils down so quickly. I would have saved myself an awful lot of unnecessary stress. I would have realized at the end of the test, the very last sentence said, “Put your pencil down when you finish reading this sentence. Do not attempt to answer any of the questions.”
The purpose of the test was to see if we could/would follow directions. It’s purpose was not to test whether we had a grasp of the scientific concepts we would learn during the coming year.
Epic fail on my part.
The ending chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus detail the construction of the Tabernacle. These instructions came straight from God to Moses. God went into minute detail as to how he wanted the Tabernacle built.
Moses gave the instructions to the people. The people followed those instructions thoroughly and completely. They passed the test.
In his Holy Word, God gives us his instructions on how to build our tabernacle.
We are to believe Jesus is God’s son, the Risen Savior, who willingly laid his life on the cross to pay the debt for our sins which we could never pay, put our trust in him, and live each day according to his will.
But we don’t read to the end of the test, sometimes. We dig right in and try to get through life on our own. We try to earn our salvation through our hard work and answering all the questions correctly. We forget about grace.
Although it did count for how well I followed directions, I am extremely grateful the science test I took in 7th grade didn’t count for a grade. I’m also grateful Jesus has passed the test on my behalf and all I need do now is thank him by living every day of the remainder of my life for him.
I’m sure all of you would have followed the teacher’s directions and read all the way to the end of the test before making that first mark, but can you think of a time when you didn’t follow instructions and wish you had?
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And they brought the entire Tabernacle to Moses:
the sacred tent with all its furnishings, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases;
the tent coverings of tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather;
the inner curtain to shield the Ark;
the Ark of the Covenant and its carrying poles;
the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement;
the table and all its utensils;
the Bread of the Presence;
the pure gold lampstand with its symmetrical lamp cups, all its accessories, and the olive oil for lighting;
the gold altar;
the anointing oil and fragrant incense;
the curtain for the entrance of the sacred tent;
the bronze altar;
the bronze grating and its carrying poles and utensils;
the washbasin with its stand;
the curtains for the walls of the courtyard;
the posts and their bases;
the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard;
the ropes and tent pegs;
all the furnishings to be used in worship at the Tabernacle;
the beautifully stitched garments for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests.
So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them. Exodus 39:33-43 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire January 5, 2016. Please stop by.