Exodus 39:42-43 “According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”
Exodus 40:33-34 “So Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
Exodus 39 and 40 are an account of the completion of the work of the tabernacle that Moses was directed to construct according to the exact specifications given him by God on Mount Sinai. Throughout these two chapters, at least 16 times we are told that the work was done “as the Lord had commanded Moses.” Obviously, the Lord wants us to be aware of the obedience of Moses to what he had been commanded. But notice that it was only after Moses obeyed God’s commandments to him that “the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Obedience, then glory, that’s always the way it is.
In the New Testament, Jesus told Mary and Martha just before He raised their brother Lazarus from the dead “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God (John 11:40)?” Indeed, one of God’s greatest commands is to believe. What a lesson to each and every one of us. God’s Word is filled with His commands. He has told mothers, fathers, and children how to obey Him in the home. He has instructed pastors and elders has to serve Him in the church. He has told each of us how to pray. He has commanded us to believe Him and to trust our lives to Him. He’s told us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He’s given us the Ten Commandments and the depth of those commandments has been revealed to us by Christ. He has told us how to live, and He has told us how to die. He has commanded us to do everything to His glory, whether it be eating, drinking, or anything else. And what’s the result if we do as He has commanded? It’s the awesome privilege of seeing the glory of God at work in every area of our life.
So, do we want to see the glory of God displayed in our workplace, our family, our church, and our life? Then we should simply do “as the Lord has commanded us” just as Moses did as the Lord had commanded him. To do otherwise is to act in a way to bring glory to ourselves. That’s what the Pharisees did. That’s what Judas Iscariot did. And that’s what everyone else does who goes his or her own way rather than God’s. Jesus said of such people “they have received their reward (Matthew 6:5).” And that reward of some sort of recognition, wealth, or privilege for the brief time of this life is such a poor substitute for the glory of God. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul (Matthew 8:36-37)?”
If we love Him, we will obey Him, for His commandments are not burdensome to those who desire to glorify the One Who first loved them (1 John 5:3). Obedience is the grateful response to the One who died for us in obedience to His Father. And to what did that obedience lead? The glory of the resurrection. And that’s the same glory that God wants us to see today, if we would only trust Him and obey.