Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 37

Making the Ark

by

Today's Text: Exodus 37:1-29, Jeremiah 1:11-12, Revelation 1:12-20

Scripture Reading: Exodus 37:1-29, Jeremiah 1:11-12, Revelation 1:12-20

I lived in England for a year after college. Before I moved there, I did not fully understand that an English winter involved very little sunlight. The sun rose late and was completely gone by 4 p.m. This was incredibly disheartening for a girl raised in the sunny desert of South Texas. I remember feeling as if winter would never end.

In Exodus 37, the careful crafting of the lampstand, and the ark with its mercy seat, gave the Israelites hope for the light that was to come. Fashioned from a solid piece of gold, the stem and six branches of the lampstand held seven perpetually burning flames that not only illuminated the holy place of the tabernacle, but also flickered in anticipation of the coming light of Christ.

Darkness to light, darkness to light. This is the cycle we see in nature, and this is the cycle we see throughout the narrative of Scripture. This is why the ever-burning light from the lampstand was so critical.

For the disciples, the days after Jesus’ death must have felt like a winter that would never end. Three days of confusion and despair. Their rabbi, their friend, their Savior, had died.

Although I know the end of this story and the hope that Christ’s resurrection would bring in three days’ time, I still feel the weight of darkness on a daily basis. I still feel like this life has more winters than it does summers. For this reason, I need to remember the words that Jesus said to John in the book of Revelation:

“I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever…”
- Revelation 1:17-18

Something else I didn’t know about England was that what winter lacked in light, summer made up for tenfold. In summer, the sun rose early and didn’t fully set until 10 p.m. People stayed out later, and walked in the parks more often, their coats left hanging on their hooks. A warmth gripped the city that thawed any remnant of winter.

I wonder if this is what it felt like when the disciples saw Jesus alive. How quickly their winter must have turned to summer, their despair to hope, their sadness to joy. This is what the light of Christ did for the disciples. This is what it does for us in our daily lives, and this is what it will do when Christ comes again.

The promise Jesus gave John in Revelation also came with an instruction: “Therefore, write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this” (v. 19). Until Christ comes again, the Church has taken on the responsibility of the lampstand. We don’t sit and wait idly for Christ to return. We are the flame that continues to burn. How will we take up the charge? How will we tell others of what we have seen? How will we tell them of what is, and what is to come?

SRT-Lent2018-Instagram-Day37

  • Peony Noirr

    ❤️

  • Needed the reminder of summer to thaw out this sudden winter. Thank you.

  • As I read the passages today I thought about a devotional I am doing by Beth Moore titled Portraits of Devotion. In her devotions she talks about David and how as king he moves the arc and the first time he tries to moves the arc it’s on a cart not the way God intended, with the poles of acacia wood. When it started to fall off the cart David’s head of his armies, Uzzuh, and he tried to catch it and God struck Uzzuh dead. Then David, after leaving the arc was for a while, brought the poles and finished moving it closer to the palace. I now, by reading both, have a wonderful idea of what the arc David was moving looks like. I also understand the power and glory of God it has.

  • I was reminded of this powerful song by Andrew Peterson: “Is He Worthy?”
    May it be a blessing to someone else who needs to be reminded of our hope in this dark world…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OIahc83Kvp4

    • Kim

      This song was absolutely touching. I loved it and it added so much to my prayer time tonight!

    • Leslie Warnick

      Great song. Thank you for sharing

  • This is just so beautiful — God’s word is phenomenal! Where can I get more insight on the almond branch/blossoms? Also, is there a trustworthy website with images of all that was was designed as instructed by God?

  • Would all of you please pray for our Supreme Court today as they hear and make a life changing decision supporting our churches and our pregnancy centers. In a nut shell the pro choice agenda wants us to be required to post abortion facilities information in our centers and our churches!! Thanks.

  • I’ve been in a season of winter for many months now. There’s been some really wonderful sunshine days in between. It’s only because of my surrendering to Jesus that I’m finally letting my voice be heard! I too wait for spring especially summer. It’s during these winter months I’ve also grown and is only because of Christ alone. Many of my close friends remind me that I am not the same person they met six months ago. It has to be Jesus. Still facing many challenges and waiting for answers your prayers are appreciated. Meanwhile I’m going to enjoy the victory Christ has done in my life. God is good all the time and all the time God is good

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re praying for you Mari and are so glad that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Dorothy

      Mari you will find that if you give God all your cares and troubles as well as all praises and glories that you will feel free and unburdened. You will stray, I proclaimed Christ as my Savior when I was 12 and I am 59, I have strayed many times. I have questioned Him many times, especially when my oldest son died (my son was a believer and said something about being a minister), but no matter how far I strayed or how much I questioned when I came back He had open arms and an open heart. You have a good support system in She Reads Truth sisters. I will be praying for you.

  • Phylicia

    prayers for yourself and family! god be with you all.

  • Brittany White

    This is so beautiful to me, especially in this season. My 34 year old sister + best friend (she’s also a wife, mom, daughter, cherished friend and beloved teacher) has terminal cancer and we only have a handful of days left with her this side of heaven. Easter always wrecks me. I am wrecked by Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. But this year, I am even more wrecked and ever more grateful that he beat back darkness, sin and death forever. We are so so heartbroken. Devastated. Numb. But. But!!! Because of Jesus and the cross, death does not have the final word. Light wins!! Hallelujah.

    • Heather N (MNmomma)

      Praying for your and your family during this time…..may you feel His presence with you as your sister makes her way Home….

      • AliceV

        Having lost my own beloved sister to cancer several years ago, I understand feeling heartbroken, devastated, and numb, as I had those same feelings. I am praying for you and your family during this most difficult of times and asking that God’s mercy and loving kindness be evident to you. I look forward to seeing my sister again one day and am grateful that you have that joyful reality as well. May God be with you with all.

    • Kara

      Praying for you and your sister. May God hold you close.

    • Heidi V

      Hallelujah! Light wins! Praying for you.

    • Alexis

      Praying for you and your family Brittany! May you know that Jesus is with you while your sister makes her trip home.

    • Mari

      Praying for you Brittany. And remember this isn’t goodbye. It’s “see you later”. Because of Christ that is the hope that we have.

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so sorry to hear that Brittany. We’re praying for you and your family during this time. So grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Beth R.

      Hello, I’m new to this site, but I felt I needed to respond. I just recently lost my own sister in the same way last July. Unimaginable sorrow at first; I had to call on the Lord to keep me from drowning in it. But it has eased now and I rejoice that she is with our Lord in her new healthy body. Something that helped me was the Sweet Blessings website. The author, Shannon, provides Bible verse writing plans. Her grief plan was wonderful for me during the last weeks and afterwards. Praying for you!

  • Melissa Dean

    I am in a season of darkness. But I will take hope because the season will end as the Light has surely triumphs over the Darkness.

  • Churchmouse

    Kelly, be kind to yourself. There is such catharsis in shedding heartfelt tears. We know our Lord values our tears – He even keeps them in a bottle. He sees. He knows. He cares. Praying you will release the need to be the strong one. Climb on to His lap and just let Him love on you.

    • Kelly Chataine

      Certainly trying to do all of that and remember God’s love for me. I ache for physical assurance and audible understanding. So, I am trying to recite scripture out loud.

  • Churchmouse

    “… for I watch over my word to accomplish it.” These words from our Lord are so encouraging. There are no cold case files with Him. Nothing and no one is overlooked or forgotten. He is ever faithful to do just what He says He will. Our world is not falling apart – it is falling in to place. He is in control. “He laid His right hand on me and said ‘Don’t be afraid.'”

  • Kelly Chataine

    My thoughts went to other things from the Bible reading, however, now I think about light and darkness. I have been on a journey, due to my husband’s injury, for 23 weeks. Those weeks have been long, hard, and at times dark. Recently, I have been dealing with depression, and my joy seems to have been hidden from me. I was feeling betrayed and toyed with by God. I know and knew then, that God doesn’t act in that manner but yet, my dark, depressed discouragement was growing. When I feel this way, I don’t know who I can talk with, because I don’t want to discourage my husband. My grown children don’t have the patience for me to be weak. Others always ask if Dennis is doing better and when I confirm that he is doing better they look at me and say, “How could you be anything but thrilled?” I silence myself and agree with them. Where is that right friend that will allow me to hurt? Where is the one that loves me even when I am sobbing and a mess? Well, the light is where it has always been, Jesus Christ the Light of the World. So today, I see myself curling up on the mercy seat and emptying my grief onto Him that can carry me.
    Today, I read, pray, praise, and look to the Light!

    • Kari

      Prayers for you Kelly. So many deep and true prayers in this hard time! Also, thank you for your perspective. I have a friend in a similiar situation right now, and I am guilty of discussing only the miracles that are occurring with her family member’s injury rather than allowing her to just talk to me about how she is feeling. You must be hurting, and you are allowed to, as long as it is in Christ! To see HIM in this pain and to focus on the soon to come redemption. Thinking about you in this hard time!

      • Kelly Chataine

        God may use you to truly touch your friend during her struggle.
        God bless you!

    • Gina Glennon

      Praying for you in these days of light and dark. May suggest a most wonderful year long daily devotional study book called The One Year Book Of Hope by Nancy Guthrie. I have used this wonderful book and it will keep your eyes focused upon Jesus each day!

    • Sheryl

      Praying for you Kelly. I’ve been where you are and the walk of caregiver opened my eyes (once I was through that valley)! I had the exact same feelings you described. While it’s obviously not easy being the person who is sick, suffering, and hopefully recovering, it is so much less obvious that its not easy being the 24/7 caregiver. God will use this valley to open your eyes and heart as well. You won’t look at a caregiver through the same eyes ever again. We now have an understanding that burns within us to reach out with love, understanding, patience and wisdom to uplift other caregivers. To remind them of God’s promises and His goodness and His faithfulness. God is so good to us!

      • Kelly Chataine

        How I look at caregivers has already changed. My mom has dementia and it has worsened over the winter. My dad has no help and will not accept help. However, my dad talks to me now and it is because I am taking care of my husband. My dad tells me his struggles and I listen. He is not willing to hear mine, yet.

    • Janice

      Kelly, I pray that the right person will come along side you, to support & encourage you. My Dad has been caregiver to my Mum for many years. She has Alzheimer’s & macular degeneration and recently moved into full time nursing care as it was becoming too much for Dad to cope with. The family encouraged this move, saying it would give them more quality time together. He visits her every day but now he is living alone after 60 years of marriage . So you are right Kelly, we do forget the care givers, we think when things improve for the sick person things will be ok, but that’s not always the case. I pray for all care givers that they see the light of Christ shine in their darkness with love & support for them. Amen

      • Kelly Chataine

        I believe that right person’s name is Marilyn. Thank you for your prayers!

    • Kara

      Sending so much love to you. I too have dealt with a husbands illness and it’s a long tough road. I’m praying that God will provide someone to comfort you in this season. Also do not be afraid to let your husband be emotionally strong for you while you are physically strong for him.

      • Kelly Chataine

        I started to cry and my husband was emotionally strong for me. He reminded me of God’s promises.

    • Mari

      Dear Kelly, I am praying for you.

    • Kerry

      In my own dark season, I have looked around and found no one to help me carry the weight of my anxiety and fear. I didn’t want to burden my husband, and my older children are affected by my anxiety. I have true friends but they have their own things going on. My mother has been gone over five years, and she would have been the one. Jesus was the only one. It’s funny how it takes that finality to finally fall into the arms of God for mercy. He held it. He listened. He is giving me hope and glimmers of progress. The sun will rise again. Look up! I am looking with you for light! I wrote this a couple of days ago, I hope it encourages you. https://mylittleepiphanies.com/2018/03/17/all-along/

    • Beth R.

      Oh my goodness! Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am going through the same thing; my husband is going blind. I’m also new in the role of caregiver and it’s more difficult than I could imagine. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. But all of this has brought me closer to to God’s loving arms, Jesus’ teachings and examples, and the Holy Spirit’s counsel through the Word. So knowing that, I’m striving to learn to be content. Praying for you!

    • Dorothy

      Kelly, as a nurse of 38 1/2 years and the last 15 years in long-term care and the last eight years in Dementia/Alzheimer care units, I have seen first hand what you are going through and my prayers are with you. I also know what a deep depression is like to go through. When my son died the first of September, by March of the next year I was in such a deep depression that I wanted to commit suicide and had to by hospitalized. I was lucky in that when some of my friends found out they were praying for me. When I got out I regularly went out with one or two of them and we talked and prayed. They let me do a lot of the talking. Please start telling one or two of your close friends how you really feel when they say, “How could you be any thing but thrilled?” Tell them your feeling I know that that is what helped me greatly. That is what best friends and true friends are for.

    • Bessie

      Kelly, there is little I can offer that hasn’t already been said other than to say I’m praying for you and Dennis. I wonder if you are suffering from a form of post traumatic stress. You have been through a trauma and it has lasted so long. You are physically and emotionally depleted. I believe you need to take some time to heal yourself now that your husband is healing. Rest, do things that you enjoy and allow others to care for you, including your husband. God is with you and loves you so much.

  • Michelle Mayo

    Thank you God for the seasons of my life. Thank you for the reminder that my brighter days will ALWAYS come. If I endure the dark days, the promises of your word and my faith ensure that a new season will come. I love you Jesus!

  • This reminds me so much of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

    • Kelly Chataine

      Lovely quote, just lovely! Thank you for sharing!

    • Kerry

      I love Aslan! Remember in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, where the children, on hearing his name for the first time in the Beavers’ den, were filled with hope and joy, though they didn’t know why? Your quote brought me the same nameless, real joy. Thank you!

    • Sarah D.

      Aw wow, I love this so much! So good and beautiful to remember. I’ve been reading those books and they are so heartwarming, especially all the beautiful messages C.S. Lewis put in it relating to Jesus.

    • Samantha Rogers

      I was thinking the same thing Tabitha!!

  • The app is missing some versus in Revelations compared to the study book. I think it was supposed to cover Rev 1:12-20 in case anyone with the app only wanted to read the whole passage.

    • Barbara Menefee

      Yes—those verses really add to the reading. Thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks so much for pointing that out Lisa! We appreciate it and will be sure to pass it along to the team. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    I think it’s incredible how Bezalel was able to make all that the Lord wanted. He truly was used by God in a great way.
    Today I pray that I would allow God to use me and my gifts, whatever they may be, for His purpose.

    • Kristine Loughman

      And I love that Bezalel gets a name drop! In a Bible filled with nameless characters, where only the really big players tend to get named (kings, etc) how wonderful that God remembers that workshop guy who sweat and toiled to follow the architectural plans to produce the Temple. That says to me: head down, focus, do the good work, and be known by God.

  • Marianne

    Oh yes – I can so relate! Today is the beginning of spring (so my calendar tells me) but outside it´s snowing again. I long for the sunshine and the beginning of new life. I know it will come, because it always has. I want to hold fast to the same belief when the winter of life has taken me captive. God promised new life and His light will melt all darkness and fear. Thx for the beautiful analogy! :)

    • Debi

      Today I was reminded in the Revelation passage that without snow we would not comprehend the description of the hair on God’s head, which is white as SNOW!!! Haha. I am one of the few snow and winter lovers in this world, so I look for ways to endear folks to that season all the time! Enjoy your snow!! My area is under a winter weather watch and I am hopeful for something white, no matter how little!

  • Sydney Smith

    Yessss, the parallel between believers and the lampstand is so encouraging and a gentle reminder of our purpose in this life. I live in Alaska and I strongly identify with the vast difference between winter and summer. Interestingly, today was such a warm day compared to the last few months and it brought so much JOY. Spring is on the way. Reading this devotion today was like a lightbulb — Jesus is the spring after a long, long, looooong winter. There is HOPE.

    • Alexis Gray

      Love this! Jesus is truly Spring after a long Winter…light breaking through the darkness. ❤️

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