We just got a contract on our house! Even though it was only on the market for 26 days, we’ve been rather anxious about the sale moving forward in a timely manner. Thank you to everyone who supported us through prayer, and thank you most of all to God for sending us a buyer. Closing date is April 16, which means we hit the road April 17!

Looking back over my Watchmaker’s Pulse posts, I decided to re-visit one that I made almost exactly one year ago, called Our To-Do List. The following is a re-posting of that information, with updates shown in red.

It’s my intention, once 2018 rolls around, to establish a more regular cadence to the material I produce for The Watchmaker’s Pulse, but until then, I’m just using the site(s) to experiment and practice some of the tasks that I have planned. This is what I was referring to in an earlier post titled The Framework is Coming Along!. A lot of details have to be figured out before The Watchmaker’s Pulse is fully up and running, which will be after my actual retirement date of Dec. 21, 2017. (The retirement date remained valid!)

With that in mind, I wanted to create a “to-do” list here, both for my reference, but also to highlight for you more of the plans that I have. I welcome feedback and comments.

  • Prepare our house for sale. Not a minor task, it includes
    • Remodeling the kitchen – DONE!
    • Remodeling 3 bathrooms DONE!
    • Updating electrical and lighting from the original 1965 configuration! (about 1/10 is complete now!) – This primarily involved updating plugs throughout the house. I didn’t complete any more of it, other than what was included in the above remodels.
    • Tearing out all the upstairs carpet which covers beautiful hardwood (1/4 is complete now!) DONE!
    • Refinishing all the hardwood in the house – We didn’t get this done.
    • Tearing out carpet on the lowest level and redoing wall and floor coverings there – Nope
    • We also have some cracking in the garage and lower level concrete, inadequate insulation, and no lawn sprinkling system. We’re still unsure if we’ll try to rectify any of these or not. – Repaired some of the cracking.
    • Replace the front and back doors. DONE!
    • Clean the HVAC system. – Nope.
  • Determine when and with whom to list the house for sale. – Highly recommend our real estate agent, Brad Herman. He’s a great Christian man, and he was a pleasure to work with!
  • Get rid of stuff. We have been in our house for 31 years. We’ve also lost all 4 parents in the last 9 years, 3 of which have been in the last 2 years. We have a lot of their stuff packed into various places in our house. We also have 2 adult children who no longer live with us, but whose apartments don’t have room for stuff which we still have – not to mention all the “non-junk” stuff with memories attached that we have to figure out what to do with. So, we will be:
    • Selling anything which might be useful to others, except I HATE THE PROCESS OF SELLING THINGS! – Because I hate selling things, I only managed to sell one bed frame on Craig’s List. We have a few items which we might still try that with, though.
    • Giving away anything which might be reused by someone else – We’ve made at least a dozen trips to a donation station to donate many items.
    • Throwing away things (sorry… landfill… I know) – We made one trip to the dump, and used the two free special trash pickups allowed by our city. Beyond that, we managed to fill up a roll-off dumpster as well. 20180215_072703.jpg
    • Somehow archiving, through pictures, scans, etc. those items which have sentimental or practical value but which may be too voluminous to keep – I lost count after about 12,000 items scanned, but I managed to do that many before we had to stage our house for sale. The rest of the items are stored in boxes in the “to be scanned” category. The scans are all housed on a hard-drive, additional thumb drives, and backed up on the cloud as well.
    • Keeping stuff in a rented storage unit that we might eventually want in a small apartment in the future – We utilized a 10′ x 10′ storage unit. The next step is to retrieve all that stuff and bring it back home in preparation of our next phase. The small apartment idea has changed a bit… see below.
    • Keeping the stuff we’ll want designated for use in our not-yet-owned RV – We own the RV now… see below.
  • Change our residency. I’m learning from a number of full-time-RVers that certain states (e.g. South Dakota, Florida, Texas) have set their laws in such a way that works better for people without a permanent residence location. I’m still investigating that, along with its impact on taxes, vehicle licensing and insurance, and voting. – We have opted for Florida. The biggest reason for this is the (unanticipated a year ago!) upcoming wedding of our son, Matthew, and his fiance’ Jordan. We are thrilled about this. They will be married this Saturday at Applewood Baptist Church. We have decided to purchase a house in Florida (Orlando area) and Matthew and Jordan are going to live there and use our furniture as they begin their lives together. The idea is that as time progresses and they get a bit more on their feet, they will either buy the house from us or buy another one, in which case we’ll rent it out or sell it or retire there ourselves. That part of the plan is still to be determined!
  • Change our health insurance. I’ve been fortunate to have insurance coverage provided by employers for nearly 35 years. In November/December, which is the standard open-enrollment for insurance, we’ll have to make a decision about our health care moving forward. – We did this, but have been shell-shocked at the expense of it. We may be re-assessing our selections and options as time progresses.
  • Figure out mail handling and banking. I haven’t researched either of these much at this point, but we’ll need to ensure both are set up in such a way as to be fully accessible and functional from the road. – Banking is figured out. Mail handling for the time being will be handled by our new Florida tenants!
  • Make sure we leave necessary paperwork in order. We need to update our wills and life insurance policies and make sure necessary people know about them. –  DONE!
  • Get necessary medical and dental work taken care of before we leave, along with a plan on how to communicate with our doctors while on the road. – DONE!
  • Obtain an RV which will suffice as “home” for the foreseeable future.
    • I’m leaning toward a Class A motorhome. Gas or diesel?
    • Darlene (my wife) is leaning somewhat toward a 5th wheel trailer.
    • A standard trailer is still not out of the question.
    • Whatever we end up with, we really want it to include: a king-size bed, an oven, a bathroom with shower and toilet in the same room (as opposed to across the hall from each other), a length of about 35 feet or less, a couch, ample storage, and a functional and comfortable secondary vehicle either towed or used for towing. Additional preferences would include a dinette with chairs (rather than a booth), an oven, a residence-style refrigerator, slide-outs, an awning, outside kitchen, fireplace, ceiling fan, solar capability, and a means for Darlene to continue with her love of jigsaw puzzles. – You can read about the rig we purchased on our Motorhome page.20170614_124311

Specific to The Watchmaker’s Pulse, I need to:

  • Design a more permanent logo. When I created this site, I threw this together…,cropped-cropped-logo.jpg  and cropped-logo1.jpg, but would like to engage someone to create a more refined look for me. – I’ve updated the logo to this WPlogo and this.WPlogo3 I’ve also tentatively created a business card, but haven’t printed any yet. bcLastly, I purchased “vanity” license plates for the motorhome that look like this.wmkrpls
  • Similarly, for my videos, I’d like a theme. I’ve worked with some ideas but would like to engage someone to help me create a more defined, professional theme. – The videos can be seen on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe!
  • Also for this website and the associated sites, I’d like feedback and help in refining the theme and continuity of the products. – Still seeking comments and feedback.
  • Purchase necessary equipment for planned activities:
    • Internet and data coverage sufficient to keep us connected on the road. – DONE!
    • Adequate video and still photographic equipmentDONE!
    • One or two new laptops for each of us to useDONE!
    • Decent video editing softwareDONE!
    • A dashcam for in-motion driving videoDONE!
    • A drone for aerial photography – This is still on my list.
    • Necessary tripods, audio, and storage equipment to support the video and audio creationsDONE!
    • Memberships for any necessary activities, including national and state park passes, fishing licenses (yes, that too), campground or travel memberships, TV coverage – Haven’t done this yet (except the national park pass).
  • Create a few sample videos and get feedback on them on our YouTube ChannelDONE!
  • Figure out potential podcast formats and methods – I’m not sure I’m going to do this now.
  • Develop ideas and sample modules for The Watchmaker’s Pulse Academy, a planned for-profit homeschooling resource center – This is still on my list but has taken a back burner. I have a potential inroad into this in the works, but nothing I can share with you right now.
  • Figure out the best approach to engage with and inter-relate the various social outlets connected to The Watchmaker’s Pulse, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. – Still grappling with this.
  • Identify missing elements from The Watchmaker’s Pulse idea and develop those. This might include speaking engagement activities, RV-park ministries, publications, other product lines, business cards, advertising, financial support options, …? – I have some new ideas based on some blogs I’m following. More on that later.
  • Plan out our initial route and destinations – East, to New England and eastern Canada this summer, south and west next winter, and then, God willing, Alaska highway next summer.
  • Convince Darlene that she really does want to participate in these videos – This is the hardest one of all!

I realize that I may not have thought of everything yet, and also that God could very well change the course of this plan, but this will at least give you an increased understanding of what we think lies ahead for us. – We have four weeks to close on our house, purchase the house in Florida, finish packing all our stuff, get it moved to Florida so Matthew and Jordan can set up the house the way they would like it, and start the trek eastward. I’m bringing the motorhome back home today (it’s been in storage during our renovations and staging of our house for sale) so we can start preparing it for travel and living. Pray for us! April 16, here we come!

Chronological Bible 11: Moses’ Final Instructions

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This week’s readings came from Deuteronomy 1-25. There are still nine chapters left in the book, but I’ll go ahead and speak to the book in its entirety here.

The Israelites, at this point in their history, find themselves camped on the east side of the Jordan river. They have been wandering in the desert for the past forty years as punishment for their rebellion against God’s leadership since being brought out of slavery in Egypt. God had promised that all those who rebelled would die in the wilderness and would not enter into the land that He had promised them. Now if you will recall, that curse was given specifically to all the fighting men aged twenty and over, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, two of the twelve spies sent to scout the land. They stood against the rest of their people in favor of following God and entering the land as He had commanded.

A quick side note: Something I’ve always found interesting is that God says, in Numbers 14:24, “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants will possess it.” And yet a bit later, (verse 30), “not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.” Why mention only Caleb in the first instance, and both Caleb and Joshua in the second, when both of them stood together in obedience? I’ve looked some and been unable to find an explanation, but it is my thinking that Joshua is not mentioned in the first instance simply because he is younger than Caleb, and their age difference is likely that Joshua is under twenty years old and Caleb is over twenty. Hence, of the two, Caleb is the only one who actually falls under the curse. I don’t know if that’s the case, so if you know, please leave me a comment in the comments section of this post.

To put Deuteronomy in perspective, think with me through these reflections. I am currently 56 years old. As we’ve prepared our house for sale, I have been going through some mementos. Here is a picture of me in band during my senior year of high school. (The image is a composite because the picture was too wide for my scanner.) I have a red oval around me.

Senior Band Here I am (bottom right corner) in a photo about a band award I received.

Band paper

Finally, here I am a few years before in a school choir photo.

Inked76_77 Vidor Choir_LI

Needless to say, music was a big part of my high school days and has been ever since.

Here’s my point. I was in my teens when these pictures were taken, and I’m in my fifties now. I still remember quite a bit about my high school days. But, a lot has happened in the 39 to 40 years since these photos, including an entire teaching career. However, this represents the same length of time that the Israelites were wandering in the desert. The “teens” when the Israelites exited Egypt who witnessed the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the 10 commandments… these former “teens” are in their fifties now as Moses is delivering the words of Deuteronomy. These former “teens” have lost their parents in the wilderness and are now being prepared to enter and take the land that was promised forty years earlier. These former “teens” need to be reminded of some very important teachings and events which they probably remember, but may not have fully recognized the significances. Case in point – while I remember a lot from my teen years, I know for a fact that some of the things I did and learned at that time look very different now as seen through forty years of maturity, wisdom, and knowledge. We may read Deuteronomy and think it boring because it seems to be repeating things we just read a short time ago in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. However, as you reflect on it, try to picture yourself as part of the new generation of Israelites learning from the mistakes and experiences wandering with their parents in the desert for decades.

In Deuteronomy 5:1-3, it says

And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.

In Deuteronomy, Moses recalls the important events from the desert years, including the exodus from Egypt, the ten commandments, the idolatry with golden calf, the spies report of the land and the ensuing national rebellion, the importance of offerings, festivals, social justice, and clean living.

There are a couple of very important passages that I don’t want you to miss. First, Moses reminds the Israelites of why God chose them in the first place. Deuteronomy 9:4-6 says

Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess the land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

He repeats THREE times, it’s not about you! The Israelites were to be God’s tools for judgment on wicked nations. Additionally, in Deuteronomy 4:4-8, Moses points out,

But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

Not only were they God’s tools of judgment, they were also simultaneously His tools of evangelism. This corresponds to Paul’s teaching about the church in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

We have the same responsibilities – to simultaneously proclaim God’s judgment on the world and also offer reconciliation and peace through the gospel salvation and atonement available through Jesus Christ.

Next week the readings will complete Deuteronomy (chapters 26-34), Psalm 90, and Joshua 1-12.

For Further Investigation

Chronological Bible 10: The desert wandering comes to an end

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This week our Bible passages are found in Numbers 19-36 which mainly takes place near the end of the forty years spent wandering in the wilderness.

As I mentioned last week, the book of Numbers begins with the Israelites camped at the base of Mount Sinai. God instructs them to take a census in advance of the conquest of the promised land of Canaan. However, the Israelites rebelled and were sentenced to spend forty years wandering in the desert instead. The last half of Numbers finds us near the end of that forty year period. There is still rebellion in the hearts of the people. Moses evens succumbs to that temptation and becomes disobedient to God. God instructs him to speak to a rock to provide water for the thirsty people, and Moses, in anger toward the people, instead chooses to strike the rock with his staff and try to make it appear that it is his actions that cause the water to come forth. This act of disobedience costs Moses the privilege of setting foot in the promised land as well.

At another point of rebellion, the people grumble against God and he sends venomous snakes among them. When they cry out to him, He instructs Moses to create a bronze replica of the snakes and lift it up on a pole. If people looked at the snake, they would be healed of the bites.

There’s also a fascinating story of a man (Balaam) hired by the king of Moab to pronounce a curse on the Israelites. He finds that he is unable to speak a curse, but is only able to speak blessing. However, he also is in rebellion to God by even trying to curse the nation and God sends an angel to bar is journey. His donkey, seeing the angel on 3 different occasions tries to stop, but Balaam beats it. Miraculously, the donkey then speaks to Balaam to explain why he’s stopping.

Much of the rest of this passage details a series of lists which stay true to the name of the book (Numbers). There are lists of the number of required sacrifices needed during a year, a second census of the new generation of fighting men, lists of cities captured east of the Jordan (the beginning of the conquest of the promised land), a listing of all the places encountered during the 40 year wandering, and descriptions of the future boundaries of the land that God is giving to them.

The big takeaway from the book of Numbers is God’s faithfulness to his promises, even to a faithless people. During the forty years, the Israelites continued to be provided for with manna for food, water where there wasn’t any before, and clothes which lasted. Their flocks prospered and grew as well. The New Testament points back to the story of the bronze snake (John 3:14), the provision of manna (John 6:30-35), and the water from the rock (1 Corinthians 10) as pictures of the salvation and sustenance available to believers in Jesus as well.

Next week we’ll look at the first part of the book of Deuteronomy.

For Further Investigation


Chronological Bible 9: Rebellion in the Wilderness

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This week’s readings came from Leviticus 27, Numbers 1-6, and Numbers 10-18. Essentially, the book of Numbers is split between this week and next week.

The book of Numbers gets its name from the census that is taken of the Israelites at the beginning of the book and at the end of the book (with about 40 years in between, but more on that later.) In the biblical narrative, Numbers begins with the Israelites still camped at the base of Mount Sinai almost a year after the initiation of God’s covenant and the giving of the ten commandments. The tabernacle has been designed, built, and assembled, and the laws concerning worship and sacrifice have been established (see last week’s blog post regarding the book of Leviticus). God instructs Moses to take a census of the fighting men (age 20 and up). This is in preparation for the planned conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan. There were 603,550 fighting men from the twelve tribes. The Levites were not to be counted as part of this census.

The Levites, however, were counted in their own census by the three clans (sons of Levi), the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites. Men aged 30 through 50 were counted to care for and transport the furnishings of the tabernacle (Kohathites), the textile coverings of the tabernacle and courtyard (Gershonites), and the posts, pegs, frames, etc. (Merarites).

Another part of the “numbering” was the designation of camping positions with respect to the tabernacle. When the Israelites set out and later set up camp, they had specific designated order of marching and order of camping around the tabernacle.


Diagram from Step Into The Story (referenced below)


The Levites were to camp next to the tabernacle, between it and the rest of the nation, with Aaron’s descendants (priests) camped in front of the entrance in the east. The rest of the tribes then set up around the Levites.

The narrative progresses with the Israelites approaching the promised land, with various bits of complaining along the way. The next main part of the story occurs when Moses selects 12 men (1 from each tribe) to spy out the land in preparation for conquest. The spies tour the land for 40 days and bring back conflicting reports. The land is good, but the inhabitants are threatening. 10 of the men counsel against invasion, while two (Caleb and Joshua) stand firm on God’s promise and advise the nation to trust God and enter the land. The 10 prevail in convincing the nation, and the people rebel against God and Moses. It is this culminating act of rebellion which prompts God to give the people exactly what they asked for.

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in the wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14:1-4) …. And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and all of your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure. (Numbers 14:26-34)

The rest of this section of Numbers provides further details of proper worship and additional rebellious attitudes of the people.

Next week we’ll look at Numbers 19-36 which mainly takes place near the end of the forty years spent wandering in the wilderness.

For Further Investigation

Chronological Bible 8: The Sacrificial System

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This week the readings come from Leviticus 9-26, but I want to discuss the whole book of Leviticus in this post. The Israelites are still camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where the ten commandments were given and where the tabernacle pieces (discussed last week) were constructed and first assembled. The book of Leviticus contains instructions given to the Israelites regarding how they are to relate with God and how the Levite priests are to conduct their work. Before going through some of the instructions, I want to point out what I believe is a critical explanatory passage from Leviticus 20:22-26.

You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nations that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

All the described offerings, declarations of clean/unclean things, prohibitions of immoral and idolatrous behaviors, codes of ethics, defining of festivals, and guidelines on caring for others were intended to teach the Israelites a couple of very important principles. First, that God is completely holy and cannot be approached by anything unholy. Second, that to be in right relationship with God is very costly. And third, that the Israelites represent God to the world around them and they are to be seen as being different in the way they related to their God as compared with how other nations’ religious and ethical practices. While the rules have been set aside because of the new covenant through Jesus, these basic principles still hold true for Christians.

There are three categories of items discussed in Leviticus that I want to explore a bit: offerings, clean vs. unclean, and ethics.


There are five types of offerings described in these passages: Burnt, Grain, Peace, Sin, and Guilt. Without going into detail (see the additional resources below), the offerings have several important aspects as they relate to the sacrifice Jesus made of himself on the cross. The Burnt offering was intended to be entirely burned as an act of worship, just as Jesus was completely consumed by death. Several offerings (sin and guilt) involved the symbolic transference of one’s sin onto the animal through the laying on of hands by the person while the sacrifice is made, just as our sins were transferred to Jesus as he was crucified, allowing him to represent us and us to represent him. As Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Some of the offerings involved a shared meal of the sacrificial elements between the priests and the offerers, symbolizing reconciliation and fellowship with God. Similarly, Christ’s sacrifice for us enables us to approach the throne of God and have fellowship with him, having been made holy by the blood of Jesus.

These passages also describe the Day of Atonement, which was the only day of the year that the High Priest was able to enter the inner sanctuary (holy of holies) of the tabernacle to offer an atoning sacrifice for the nation as a whole. When Jesus died, the curtain separating the inner chamber and the outer one of the temple was torn from top to bottom, indicating that God has now removed the barrier that separates us and him through the eternal atonement provided by Jesus.

Clean vs. unclean

All the teachings in these passages about activities, animals, objects, etc. which were to be declared clean or unclean may have some hygienic or health related aspects, but the basic idea is that to approach God in worship, you must be prepared and approved. One commentary I read likened this to voter registration – to vote, you must be registered. One who is registered is not better, or more righteous, than one who is not, but the registered one has the legal privilege to vote. Likewise, one who is “clean” has the legal standing to approach and fellowship with God. This has implications today in the sense of preparing our hearts and minds to worship God, rather than being flippant about how we approach him. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, Paul is teaching about worshipping through the observation of communion. He says

Whoever, therefore, eats of the bread or drinks of the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

We must be discerning about ourselves as we prepare to worship God. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

Ethical Behavior

Finally, the last part of Leviticus deals with how the Israelites should treat each other. As you will recall, the last six of the ten commandments dealt with our relationships with others. A key passage in Leviticus regarding this behavior is in Leviticus 19:17-18.

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

These passages speak of caring for the poor by not reaping completely from your fields, but leaving some for them to gather. It also speaks of returning purchased (e.g. rented) property to the original owner every fifty years (the year of Jubilee), and of forgiving debts every seven years. This points forward to the gift of forgiveness and restoration of life that we receive by believing in and following Jesus.

Next week our readings will come from Leviticus 27, Numbers 1-6, and Numbers 10-18.

For Further Investigation


Chronological Bible 7: The Tabernacle

This week’s readings were Exodus 35-40, Numbers 7-9, and Leviticus 1-8. All of these passages involve the construction, setup, and proper use of the tabernacle, which was the “tent of meeting” that God ordained to represent his presence among the Israelites. Exodus finishes out with God providing Moses the description of the tabernacle and then Moses collecting the materials and overseeing the construction and setup. God was very specific about the materials and specifications for the tabernacle. In Exodus 25:40, God says,

See that you make [the elements of the tabernacle] after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

Also, in Exodus 26:30, God said,

Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to the plan for it that you were shown on the mountain.

Exodus 35-40

  • Sabbath Regulations
  • Contributions for the Tabernacle
  • Construction of the Tabernacle
  • Making the Ark
  • Making the Table
  • Making the Lampstand
  • Making the Altar of Incense
  • Making the Altar of Burnt Offering
  • Making the Bronze Basin
  • Making the Court
  • Materials for the Tabernacle
  • Making the Priestly Garments
  • The Tabernacle Erected
  • The Glory of the Lord

Numbers 7-9

  • Offerings at the Tabernacle’s Consecration
  • The Seven Lamps
  • Cleansing of the Levites
  • Retirement of the Levites
  • The Passover Celebrated
  • The Cloud Covering the Tabernacle

Leviticus 1-8

  • Laws for Burnt Offerings
  • Laws for Grain Offerings
  • Laws for Peace Offerings
  • The Priests and the Offerings
  • Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

I want to take a look at all the prescribed elements of the tabernacle, starting with the perimeter curtains and moving inward. Images below are from the teaching materials of the Lifeway Bible Study curriculum The Gospel Project.

taberrnacle layout

The tabernacle includes all of the elements shown in the picture above. It was designed to be portable, and the descendants of Levi were designated as the people who cared for, assembled/disassembled, carried, and used the various elements as priests for the nation. (Specifically, Aaron’s descendants were designated as the priests). If you recall from last week, the Israelites were instructed to dedicate all their firstborn children to God. The Levites were designated as the substitutes for all the firstborn’s of the rest of the nation. In Numbers 8:17-18, God says

“For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel.”

The tabernacle had an outer courtyard which was rectangular in shape. A person would approach on the east side, where the entrance curtain was located, signifying that there is only one appropriate way to approach and fellowship with God, and also signifying a turning away from the rising sun, which is often associated in pagan worship practices. A person would be met by the priests at the gate where the person could offer the gifts and sacrifices he/she has brought.

Inside the courtyard, the priests would offer the various offerings brought by the people. The first element located between the entrance and the tent of meeting was the bronze altar, used for burnt offerings. I’ll discuss the specific sacrificial system next week. The significance of encountering the altar first was to represent the fact that one must be cleansed and forgiven of sins through the substitutionary blood sacrifice of an unblemished animal.

The next item encountered upon approach to the tent was the basin, which held water for cleansing of the priests as they approached God’s house. This served as a reminder of the necessity of cleansing and washing away filth in the presence of God.


Only the priests could enter the actual tent structure, located near the west end of the tabernacle complex. The above diagram shows a cutaway view of the tent. The lampstand (menorah) had seven branches to it and was designed to provide light to the space in front of it. It was to be placed on the south interior side of the tent to provide light for the work of the priests.

The bread table was to be placed on the north interior side of the tent. It was to continually hold bread offerings, representing fellowship with God.

The altar of incense was placed at the west end of the tent, before the curtain (discussed next). The incense to be burned was a specific formula used only for worship of God. It the smoke and fragrance were to represent the prayers of God’s people.

The curtain was intended to separate the outer chamber from the inner (holy of holies) chamber. It represents the complete holiness of God and the fact that He cannot have fellowship with anything less holy than He. Only the high priest could enter through the curtain into the holy of holies, and only on a specified day of Atonement (which I’ll discuss next week). Significantly, this curtain (as found in the 1st century temple) was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross, signifying that the necessary separation of God from humans was over because of the sufficient sacrifice of Jesus.


The only object found in the holy of holies was the ark of the covenant. It was a box with a gold lid called the mercy seat. The solid gold lid had two cherubims on it, facing down with their wings stretched across the top and touching. Moses would hear the voice of God coming from the space below the wings, which represented the throne room of God. Inside the box were placed the two tablets of the ten commandments, a jar of manna to remind the Israelites of God’s provision, and a section of Aaron’s staff (budded, as we’ll read about later in Numbers.

The big takeaway that I want to emphasize from these passages is that God is to be approached on his terms, not ours. We don’t get to pick and choose which of God’s requirements we want to listen to and which we’ll ignore. We are not saved from our sins by the things we do in terms of following the law, because we are unable to do that completely. Yet it is still God’s expectation of his people to be holy as He is holy.

Next week we’ll be looking at Leviticus 9-26, so I’ll discuss all the Leviticus passages then.

For Further Investigation