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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Espenshade farm scene
It was nice to get our first snowfall of the new year this last weekend.
This is a view of Espenshade farm which we see at the end of our road as we turn onto Donegal Springs Road.

"The Importance Of Patterns"

Message summary: God is pleased and honored when we follow the patterns He sets for His people.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you" (Exodus 25:9). "Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them" (Exodus 39:43).

Sewing patternEarly in our marriage Brooksyne sewed her own clothing, as her mother had done for her and her siblings. For Brooksyne sewing her own clothing became a means of creativity as well as thriftiness. For the last twenty or so years we have bought most of our clothing from the numerous thrift stores that dot our area since most of them raise support for a cause we are happy to contribute to.

When sewing a dress or other article of clothing Brooksyne started with a "pattern", tissue paper outlines of the various components of the article of clothing she was working on. As long as she followed the pattern she was able to make clothing that looked and fit very nicely, sometimes making a few customized adjustments.

This week let us consider the concept of "pattern" in the Bible.

TabernacleIn Exodus we read the very detailed pattern for making the Tabernacle which takes up several chapters for what most of us find rather tedious reading material! Later in Exodus there is essentially a repeat of this pattern and how the Israelites had followed through in full obedience. Few would count these chapters among their favorites but we have them for the historic record.

Today's first verse contains the very first use of the word "pattern" as translated in most standard versions such as the KJV, ESV, NASB, NIV and many others. So let us examine this verse as well as a verse later in Exodus demonstrating the Israelite's strict obedience in following the pattern.

The Lord instructed Moses, "Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them." This was a traveling sanctuary for use during their journey to the Promised Land, which ended up lasting forty years, which for most was the remainder of their lives!

"Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." The instructions are in meticulous detail. These instructions, including the clothing worn by the priests, are covered in Exodus, chapters 25-28.

Later in Exodus we read concerning the completion of the Tabernacle project, "Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them." There are a lot of records regarding disobedience and partial obedience in the Bible but here we have an account of full obedience; they had done it "just as the Lord had commanded". This led to a blessing from Moses.

This fundamental teaching reminds us that God is pleased and honored when we follow the patterns He sets for His people.

In a broad sense the Bible provides a pattern on how life works and how we are to live our lives in obedience to God. Each individual will determine whether to follow this pattern or not. Later in the week we'll learn that a foundational responsibility of Christian ministry is teaching and practicing this pattern or we will face inevitable consequences to breaking God's pattern.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, because the Israelites dwelt in tents in their wilderness wanderings, You instructed that a tabernacle be constructed that would travel with them, where Your presence would abide. Surely the instructions You provided Moses did not always make sense nor would they have fully understood the purpose of all the particulars, yet the Israelites followed the instructions, thereby honoring You and blessing Moses as their leader. They responded to Moses' instructions by giving, doing, and following in total the directions You laid out. Help us to practice obedience even when we can't see the end results, for that is what You ask of us; to trust You, yield to You, and fully obey You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"One Day (When We All Get To Heaven)"  Video  Matt Redman This was a song our church's choir sang yesterday during the worship service while those who had died over the past year were remembered as their photographs were presented in a power point presentation. Although we knew few that were on the screen it was a warm and honoring remembrance of those who had greatly influenced our lives over the years. Looking out at the congregation from the choir Brooksyne saw many wiping away tears including her own. Tomorrow we expect to place up our choir's version of this song. (They don't post the video until after the Monday evening service.)

Dottie on pillow
Personal Note: In last Thursday's message we mentioned our 17˝ year old cat Dottie who at that time seemed to be doing reasonably well for her age. On Friday afternoon Stephen noticed she couldn't walk and was very weak overall. We set her up in a comfortable place and gave her some milk which she tried to drink. Ester stayed with her through Friday night and early on Saturday morning at 12:27 am she died in Ester's arms. Apart from being very weak Dottie did not seem to be in pain or distress.

She was the only female from a litter of four kittens that a barn cat delivered in the dilapidated summer kitchen in our rented farmhouse three months after our arrival in Lancaster County in 2001. For a year we rented the hundred year old farm house before buying the house where we now live. Four weeks after the barn cat gave birth she disappeared and we became the sole caregivers of the litter. We found homes for the other three kittens but kept Dottie. Ester, at age 12, loved to bottle feed Dottie. She also dressed her, pushed her in a doll stroller, and often treated her like a doll which would cause most cats to hiss, scratch, and run away. But Dottie soaked it all up and became a very endearing pet. We already miss her presence.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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