The God of Details
By Kaite Westenberg
You must make it according to all that I show you — the pattern of the tabernacle as well as the pattern of all its furnishings. Exodus 25:9
Cracking open the book of Exodus feels like a throwback for me. So many dramatic stories from this book were imprinted in my mind by way of Sunday School felt boards. They have become somewhat euphoric for me.
Moses in his humble reed basket being taken in by the princess, that burning bush, wild plagues and the Israelite’s spectacular escape - it’s easy to read through the first half of Exodus like a storybook.
And then comes the latter half - covenants and law, rules and instruction. It seems so antiquated. The reading becomes onerous and I’m tempted to skim. What are we to make of all this? Is it even important any more?
The chapters are steeped rich in history and cultural significance which is certainly worthy of study on its own, but in reading through Exodus recently I was wowed by something more simple - the details.
“Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of find woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them. Exodus 26:1
When God relayed his vision for the tabernacle it didn’t come in vague and half-baked ideas. He was specific and incredibly detailed. The loops on the curtains, the clasps on the loops, the color of thread, lengths and widths - it’s all in there.
I have always loved how God gave Noah specific instructions on building the ark, but these details in Exodus take the technicalities to an entirely new level. And they show us an entirely different side of God.
Throughout our lives we struggle with day to day challenges. We face small bumps in the roads, simple challenges that we pray and think our way through. And occasionally we face the big ones. The really tough ones. Sometimes we step back and honestly ask how in the world is this even possible, God? It’s a new territory we’ve never walked before. Our resources are limited. On paper it’s just not even possible.
In Exodus, right amidst those precise instructions and patterns, we meet the God of details. The God that takes Israel’s hand and says “Here, this is exactly how I want you to do it. This thread, that many loops, these bronze clasps.”
All of a sudden the last half of Exodus takes on a whole new meaning for me. Yes, it is rich history. Yes, we learn about feasts and sabbath law, but we also meet the God who cares about the details. We meet the God who knows and sees, who gently leads those who want to meet Him and know Him and aren’t always sure what that should look like lived out. He takes their willing hands and guides them in the growing.
That God, I AM, never changes. He is still the God of details, taking his people by the had today. What a gift.