Prayer for the day
Test me, O LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind.
Scripture for the day
When all of their work had been completed, the Israelites were treated to the fulfillment of their dream: God descended in the form of a cloud and settled on the tabernacle. Their long goal was accomplished: God had made his dwelling among the people, declaring their tabernacle worthy of His presence.
This must have been an incredible sight for the Israelites. They got to see the glory of God before them. They saw and worshipped. The saw the things they had consecrated to God being owned and occupied by God. The things they had made took on their true purpose in that moment.
Their candlesticks and curtains, their tent poles and ephod, everything had been created to the glory of God, and now everything was accomplishing its purpose perfectly.
On the other side of this coin was the life of the Pharisees. They were designed to live lives consecrated to God. They were supposed to be the people whose lives were holy, set apart, and serving God with everything they had. Yet instead of service to God, they imposed restrictions and oppression on the people of God. Jesus calls out the Pharisees not because their actions are wicked (though they are) but because their hearts are wicked. They have rejected their purpose for the appearance of holiness hiding their rotting souls.
Jesus rebukes them and pleads with them to renounce the way they have become. Only in this renunciation will they be free to pursue the purpose for which they were made.
How much like tombs are we? Whitewashed and clean on the outside, dead and decaying within. The life of faith is not supposed to be about a veneer of holiness but about a life of surrender. We are not supposed to look perfect, but we are supposed to seek God with everything we have and are. Only then will we truly fulfill the purpose for which we were made.
Only then will we see the glory of God.