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Online Bible Studies: Treasures of Darkness – Week 2

Hello sweet friends!  How was the week?  I’m sitting in bed writing this and cozy in my sweats.  If we were in person, I’d probably be just as cozy on the couch.  I’m such an informal setting kind of girl.  I’ve even been known to bring a couch up on stage while I teach just so that I can kick my shoes off and sit cross-legged just as I am now.  Whether it’s two women or 200, I much prefer cultivated comfort over formal and stuffy.

Before we get into the daily recaps, I do have one thing I want to share with you.  It’s a little tidbit I discovered as I was teaching through this study a year and a half ago.  And it has everything to do with the tabernacle.  But, more specifically, day two and the roles of the priests.  And one small detail tucked into the middle those ten verses I had you read in Exodus on Day Two.  It’s the part about the gold rings being included to hold the poles.

The short version of the story is that the priests were all given very specific jobs according to their families.  You read about the Levites and their duties with the altar of incense and all the sacrifices.  But those poles that were made to perfectly fit inside those rings on the side of the altar?  They were there so that it could be carried when the people moved.  Because some of those things inside the tabernacle were so holy that they couldn’t be moved on carts and pulled by oxen.

They had to be carried on the shoulders of the priests who were designated with their charge.  Specifically?  The Kohathites.

If you skip ahead a couple of books, you’ll come to a story in Numbers 16.  About a rebellion against Moses and Aaron.  It turned out that after awhile, the Kohathites got tired of their holy responsibility.  They resented being the designated moving men, and resented the two men in charge even more.  They wanted more responsibility.  More leadership.  More fame.  And less of what they deemed inconsequential.  So they staged a coup.  Them against Moses and Aaron. And they demanded more.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for them.  The last you see of them, they are standing at the door of the tabernacle demanding their rights and declaring that those most holy things that God gave them charge over?  They weren’t good enough.  And the earth opened them up and swallowed them whole, along with their tents and their families.  And that might be the last you think you hear of them, unless you happen to come across one little side-note buried deep inside of Numbers.  One that references the fact that God didn’t entirely deplete the family.  There was a remnant that remained, and they quietly became worshipers.

But here’s the real clencher: if you read Psalm 84, the introduction attributes it to the sons of Korah.  And do you know the name of Korah’s son?  Kohath.  And suddenly, the words of Psalm 84:10 take on a whole new meaning:

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

These men were in charge of carrying the symbolic prayers of the people.  And their pride, fueled by jealousy, quickly took over, engaging their mouths in words from which they were unable to recover.  And the generations long after them would feel the repercussions of.  In fact, it was some 500 years after the fact that the words of that Psalm were written.  By men who were still forever barred from entering the holy place of God’s presence that they once had free access to.  And they grew to be content with their lowly position.  Even when their ancestors detested their lofty one.

My point is this: prayer changes things.  It changes hearts.  And attitudes.  It shifts discontentment to I-can-get-through-another-day.  And if Kohath had stopped to pray through his frustration.  To allow the LORD to give him a fresh perspective of the magnitude of his responsibility when hoisting those altar-of-incense-poles onto his shoulders?  Things could have ended much differently for him.

this week in review

What was the overall thing that hit home the most for you this week?  Let me know in the comments!

Day One:

What way have you seen prayer be effective for you, even though the actual prayer itself might not have been answered?

Day Two:

Did you find yourself thinking more about prayer this week than normal?  Did you linger longer in prayer?  How were your prayers different (if at all) than normal

Day Three:

Do you find that there is a lost reverence today when it comes to approaching God in prayer?  You’ve probably noticed that I always write LORD in all caps.  It’s a small thing I do to show my reverence for God when I pray.  What are you doing to emphasize reverence in your prayer life?

Day Four:

Ahh, the importance of a quiet time.  Have you ever thought about it as a tithing of your time to God?

Day Five:

Have you ever experienced the wordless type of prayer?  The kind when all you can do is sigh or groan or weep, knowing that He picks up where you left off?  What was the scenario?

a peek at next week

Hang onto your hats, ladies!  We’re about to jump into a popular topic among women, but we’re going to approach it in a way you might not expect: beauty.  Everyone feels differently about hair and makeup and fashion and appearance.  But there’s not one girl that I know that doesn’t want to feel beautiful.  I’ve been watching a Say Yes to the Dress marathon for weeks now – I watch an episode every day while I eat my lunch.  And every single time the bride-to-be is looking in the mirror, wearing her perfect dress, and is asked How do you feel?, do you know what she says?  Beautiful.

I’m borrowing a line from the introduction to reiterate the importance of approaching this topic while also loving the people around you who have their conviction lines drawn in different places than you do.  Don’t try to move their line.  Just understand that ultimately, wherever the line is? Beauty is rooted first in holiness.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:3-4

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