By J.A. Medders
When my kids are done eating a meal, one thing I’ve asked them to please do is put their dishes in the sink. This is not an unusual request, but given their success rate, you’d think I’ve asked them to guide the Mars Rover. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve said, “Guys, dishes.” But when it does happen—when they’ve successfully guided the Rover—I celebrate and thank them, because you have to celebrate these rare wins.
In today’s reading, we see this kind of rare and treasured obedience. After all, it’s not often that the Israelites obey just as God said. God had given very specific, ornate, and detailed instructions for the making of the priestly garments. No shortcuts. No options. You’d think with such complicated and costly design specs that someone would have cut a corner along the way. It didn’t happen. “They did just as the LORD had commanded Moses” (Exodus 39:29).
When it comes to obeying God’s Word, where do you find yourself cutting corners? Are there areas in your life, under the loving leading of the risen Lord, that you don’t care to do just as He says? Do you think His commands are optional, that Christ’s call to discipleship is just too costly?
Brothers, the truth is simple: We ought to forgive as He says. Turn from lust as He says. Love our wives as He says. Live in a local church community just as the Lord says. As the new covenant children of God, we have been given everything we need for life and godliness (2Peter 1:3); we are primed and ready to follow the Holy Spirit in obedience to God’s Word.
But there’s also another form of disobedience in adding our own creative touches to what the Lord asks of us. As the various craftsmen and artisans were making the priestly garments, no one took creative liberties. No one added a jewel where they thought one was needed. No one swapped out the purple yarn for another color, believing they could better the color palette of God’s design.
To do just as the Lord says means to simply obey and follow His commands. Our opinions crumble before the Lord’s. Our hunches are not on par with the holy will of God. The crucified and death-defying Christ paid for our sins so we can walk in the newness of life—His life, His ways, His righteousness.
Jesus has already guided the Rover for you. He did all that God commanded of Him, so that His righteousness could be ours. And today, it’s truly yours. Walk in it. Trust in the Lord’s strength and power, His perfect work on the cross. Learn to love and obey His commands—they are always for our good and His glory (Deuteronomy 10:13).