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God Is the First to Know

My brother asked, “Come camping with us.” I told him that I did not have any camping equipment and that there was a reason I did not have any camping equipment. He told me, “I have everything you need.” So I went against my better judgment. When I arrived, I suggested to my brother, “I wouldn’t put my tent over that rock.” He said, “No worries, I have an air mattress for you.” So that night, I was lying on the air mattress, and I heard a sound that no one wants to hear while lying on an air mattress. Needless to say, I ended up sleeping on that rock. The next night, after the campfire experience, I got up and walked to my car. My brother asked me, “Are you going to buy a new air mattress.” I replied, “No, I am going to sleep in my bed,”

That was the last time I ever set foot inside a tent. I tell you this because, for many years before the temple was built, God dwelt in a tent. So my question is this: why would God want to dwell in a tent? I will explain why?

Most of us are familiar with the book of Exodus: the burning bush, the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. I am certain that most have never read the last fourteen chapters of the book of Exodus. The reason why is because the last chapters are as exciting to read as an instruction manual for putting together a desk at Staples. Instead of a desk, it is a tent. So I am going to tell you what you are missing. In these chapters, we discover that everything in and on God’s tent is found in the Garden of Eden. God wanted a miniature Garden of Eden in the desert. Remember–we got kicked out of the Garden of Eden thanks to Adam and Eve. But God wanted us back in so He could always be with us.

Later God moved from the tent into a temple because you could fit more people inside a temple. Still, you cannot fit everyone in the temple, which is why there is a  sign at the entrance that reads how all Gentiles and foreigners were not allowed inside.

Jesus makes a very important announcement in the Gospel today–the temple will be destroyed so that a new temple can be built, one that did not have any walls. Now, where do we find this temple without walls? Jesus Christ is the new temple. Jesus has no walls, divisions, and no separation. With Christ, everyone can be with God.

When I was working for my father, I asked him why he was not like other CEOs–sleep in late, have lunch meetings with important executives, and golf in the afternoon with other company owners. He asked me, “Peter, do you remember the time when they delivered the lumber and half of the 2X4’s was twisted and I sent them back? I answered, “Yes.” Then he posed another question, “Do you remember when the painters came and they didn’t know what color to paint the bedrooms on the second floor? Again I answered, “Yes.” Then a third question, “Do you remember the last time someone came to the job late?” I replied, “NO.” And he said, “That is why I am the first person on the job and the last person to leave. If there is a problem on the job here, I want to be the first person to know about it, and not the last.” 

            When God was with His people in the desert, He was the first to know when they were thirsty or hungry. He was the first to know about the poisonous snakes and pesky neighbors. God was the first to know that the Egyptians wanted to kill them at the Red Sea.  Here is the faith lesson: Adam got us kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Jesus gets us back in. All of us are back in, so we will always enjoy being in the presence of God. Whatever happens, whatever evil or misfortune may be lurking, God is the first to know about it.  

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