Monday, 8 February 2010


My reading through the Bible has slowed down a bit recently, but I've now got to the end of Exodus. Reading through the last six chapters was hard work. It's a description of the building and furnishing of the Tabernacle - loads of gold, silver, linen, silk, scarlet and purple. How did they find it all in the desert? The probable answer of course is that this is really a description of Solomon's temple read back into the desert days.
But my reaction is: do we really want to know all this? Even to the description of the pans, shovels and washing bowls, repeated three times - first planned, then made, then dedicated - there is so much unwanted information.
This is one of my problems with talking of the Bible as the Word of God. I can cope with its scientific and historical inaccuracy. I can understand how some people cope with the morally questionable parts by talking of 'progressive revelation'. But what about those vast stretches that are simply irrelevant? Is there anything in the last six chapters of Exodus that has anything to say about morality, the meaning of life, the nature of God or the gospel? If not, how can it be the word of God?
I don't recall ever hearing a sermon on it!

1 comment:

  1. Whatever God is, God is never boring. So it is not the Word of God. People who are daft enough to say 'This is the Word of the Lord' after every reading, should only be given passages like this to read until they get the point. But then, if they desire to be boring people? Probably no stopping them. I think if I preached on this passage I would want to talk about materialism and how it affects God's people. I always feel depressed when I enter a big superstore like Lewis's. I felt the same when I went into some of the big Cathedrals in Spain, like Malaga and Seville. I couldn't wait to get out - all that gold everywhere, and so many poor all over the world. The lesson from the Christian scriptures would be 'Lay not up for yourselves teasures on earth.' |There you are, it's possible to get a sermon from any passage in the Bible, but often only in reverse as it were. Much of it is how NOT to behave! (John Henson)