Father Knows BestFebruary 25, 2014 - 5:00 am
From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary. They also made sacred garments for Aaron, as the LORD commanded Moses. — Exodus 39:1
The Torah portion for this week is Pekudei, which means “counting,” from Exodus 38:21–40:38, and the Haftorah is from 1 Kings 7:51–8:21.
There is a great classic children’s story, A Fish Out of Water, written by Helen Palmer, the wife of famed children’s author, Dr. Seuss. The story is about a boy and his fish, Otto. After buying the fish, the pet store owner warns the boy: “Never feed him a lot. Never more than a spot! Or something may happen. You never know what.”
After the boy brings his fish home, he decides that he knows better than the pet store owner about what the fish needs and proceeds to feed the fish the whole box of fish food.
The rest of the story is a humorous illustration about what happens when little boys don’t listen to instructions. In the end, the pet store owner fixes the messy situation created by the little boy, and again warns the boy never to feed Otto too much. This time, the boy takes his advice to heart.
From the time we are young, we are told what to do and how to do it. But part of us wants to try things our own way. Sometimes, this is a smart move, but other times, not listening can get us into big trouble. As we grow older, we are better able to discern whose advice we should listen to and whose we should disregard. But there are directions that we must never pass up: those coming from God.
In this week’s Torah portion, as we read about the construction of the Tabernacle, Scripture repeatedly mentions that everything was done precisely “as the LORD commanded Moses.” Why was it necessary to continually stress this fact?
Given the context that the children of Israel were still recovering from the sin of the golden calf, this phrase has added meaning and importance. The core mistake that led to the sinful idolatry was that the Israelites felt they knew better than God. God told them not to make idols, but when Moses appeared to be missing, the Israelites were sure that idol worship was the way to go. What a messy situation that created!
In this week’s reading, the Israelites apparently had learned their lesson. They were careful to carry out God’s directions exactly, and this is the reason why their compliance was emphasized and repeated over and over.
Friends, as we go through our days, weeks, and lives, let’s remember that our Father in heaven knows best. Even though we are tempted to think that we know better from our limited perspective, let’s remember that God has an infinitely greater perspective. We would be wise to follow His laws and directions for living – “or something may happen, you never know what!”