Day twenty-seven: Exodus 27

Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?

Whether it’s a teacher or your boss walking round and you can feel their eyes burning into the back of your head, or maybe it’s the dog when you’re eating your dinner, we can all feel like our every move is being watched. But we have to admit, that we sometimes find joy in people watching, whether it’s sitting in a coffee shop looking out the window or whether it’s watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Love Island, we can sometimes be quite nosey.

You see, this is probably what the Israelites would’ve felt like when they went to do anything. Somebody would always be watching. But God had a plan to stop this. In Exodus 27 we see God give the instruction to build a courtyard around the tabernacle. As we know, he gives quite a bit of detail as to the measurements and the materials, but we don’t actually find out here what the purpose of this courtyard is.

A bit of research led me to two conclusions. 1 – It set the holy ground surrounding the tabernacle apart from the rest of the camp. And 2 – It screened the activity that went on inside so that a crowd wouldn’t gather to watch. We’ve seen earlier on in Exodus how God likes to set the Israelites apart, but setting this ground apart might seem a bit extreme. The thing is, just like we said in Exodus 26, this was to show respect for God. Giving camp space up to become holy ground.

The second conclusion is what I want us to focus on. As people, we seem to like to know what’s going on in other people’s lives whether it involves us or not. Especially now with the addition of reality TV and social media. Because of this, we can sometimes get caught up in what other people will think of us and so we do things that please people rather than God. For the Israelites, having this courtyard surrounding the tabernacle meant that they couldn’t be watched. Everything that went on inside the tabernacle was between the person and God. No one else. And that’s the same for us today. We don’t want to have a faith that is more for show and so is 40 miles wide but only 1 mile deep. We want to have a strong and genuine faith and relationship with God that is 1 mile wide but 40 miles deep.

My favourite Bible verse is Galatians 1:10. Here’s what it says: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

And I think for us today, we need to put those boundaries in our lives. Just like the courtyard was a boundary around the tabernacle for the Israelites, we need to put boundaries around our time with God in order to keep it sacred.

Come and see what God has done.

Question for today: Where do you need to put boundaries in your life to keep your time with God sacred?