In God’s dealings with ancient Israel, He provided two sets of instructions (Exo 34:27-28), which occupied different places in the Ark. A brief preamble to these instructions follows. “…[John] saw… the Temple in heaven, God’s Tabernacle, …thrown wide open” (Rev 15:5, NLT), “…and the Ark of His covenant could be seen inside the Temple…” (Rev 11:19, NLT). Years prior, God shared the blueprint of the heavenly temple with Moses. He said, “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.
Oppression has a long history! The biblical record documents it this way: “My people were tyrannized without cause by Egypt and Assyria…” (Isa 52:4; 3:12, TLB). “Childish leaders oppress my people…. …Your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road” (Eze 45:8, NLT). Even God’s prophets were victims of oppression (Jer 38:9). But God “…shall send them a savior, …and he shall deliver them” (Isa 19:20). There is NO need to take matters into your own hands, for “…He who watches over Israel NEVER slumbers or sleeps” (Pss 121:4, NLT).
“‘You have said terrible things about me,’ says the Lord. But you say, ‘… What have we said against you?’ You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying His commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich…’” (Mal 3:13-15, NLT). This was not an isolated occurrence. The Psalmist also said: “…The proud… seem to live such painless lives…. They don’t have troubles like other people; …they are not plagued with problems like everyone else.
“The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense” (Prov 10:21, NLT). “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble” (Prov 13:20, NLT). “A wise man doesn’t [make a show of] his knowledge, but a fool displays his foolishness” (Prov 12:23, TLB & NLT). “The foolish woman is loud; she is ignorant and knows nothing” (Prov 9:13, NRSV). “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
“I know that nothing good lives in… my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Rom 7:18-19, NLT). This internal conflict attests to the fundamental human problem: “…Our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course” (Jer 10:23, NLT). “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes…” (Prov 21:2, NKJV). So God forewarns: “Watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from Me.
“…Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49, NKJV). Our attitude must be the same. “We must quickly carryout the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:4, NLT). “…My grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Cor 12:9, NRSV). “…By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not [me], but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Cor 15:10, NRSV).
“…[In] Christ Himself… lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:2-3, NLT). If we recognize this, then we will pray the prayer of Moses: “…Guide me clearly along the way you want me to travel so that I will understand you and walk acceptably before you…” (Exo 33:13, TLB). According to the Psalmist, God will always answer this prayer—“…I will instruct you and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress” (Pss 32:8, TLB). “For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but my kindness shall not leave you.