Old Testament text
1. Mercy seat
-God gives the measurements and construction materials.
- The Ark and mercy seat were kept inside the Holy of Holies - the Temple's innermost sanctuary, the Sanctum Sanctorum, which was separated from the remainder of the temple by a thick curtain, because the ark and mercy seat were associated with the presence of Yahweh.
- The account also states that two golden statues of cherubim were placed at each end of the mercy seat, facing one another and the mercy seat, with their wings spread in order to enclose the mercy seat. According to the Books of Samuel, these cherubim together formed a seat for Yahweh.
- According to the Biblical directions, the Holy of Holies could only be entered at Yom Kippur, and even then could only be entered by the Jewish High Priest, who was covenanted to do so in order to sprinkle the blood of a sacrificial bull onto the mercy seat, as an atonement for himself and his family, the other priests, the tabernacle, and the people of Israel.
- The directions specify that incense was first burnt in the Holy of Holies so that a cloud rose up and appeared above the mercy seat.
2. The light in the tabernacle is to burn all night. We are to keep our light burning and shining for Christ, day or night. The earth is in a "long, dark" night of suffering, wars (big and little), injustices...what better time to be a servant of God...to help bring "light" to the world? When is it needed more? Always.
New Testament text
3. Parable of the ten bridesmaids...I think there are 2 lessons here.
- As yesterday, always be prepared!
- The second is about giving, even if it is well meaning, when you don't have it to give. This is a clear example of a time when it was okay to say, "No". There just isn't always enough to go around. And, sometimes others need to be responsible for their own themselves and their own actions.
- While the unprepared bridesmaids were out shopping, the bridegroom came, and they missed the big party. The great event.
- For thos who have not done much bible study before...Christ is the Great Bridegroom we are waiting for. Don't get caught unprepared! You'll miss the party!
4. Parable of the giving of the three servants (talents)
- Again, from yesterday's lesson...always be faithful
- You can think of talents netaphorically as gitfs. Or you can think of them in monetary terms. It depends on where you are, where your head is.
-Notice that the servants who did something with their talent, returned 100%. Their effort was whole-hearted. That is how we are to give of our talents. We are to give a whole-hearted response. Many of us have had our hearts wounded or assaulted, and we don't feel we can give anything our whole heart. That's where Jesu comes in. He comes to redeem what was lost. Wether you were physically or mentally abused as a child, left at the altar, abandoned by your friends...Jesus is there to bring us back into the fold.
- We are not to hide (bury) our talents. They are not to be horded. I heard someone say yesterday, "we were not put here to get SUVs, and live by the beach". We all know that.
- The talents we are given are to be used to bring the glory of the Kingdom.
- "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!"...Isn't this what we long to hear?
- Also notice that Jesus frequently starts many of these stories with..."The Kingdom of heaven is like this..."
- The subjects of the stories we can easily understand with our minds. But it is our heart that Jesus is after.
5. " You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger".
- "You, Lord are my rock...It is for Your glory that You protect me.
- I was created to worship You!
6. Good sense and sound judgement...more important than silver or gold.
See you next post...