Carpenter's Brief -- By Elizabeth Price

‘Surely you know that you are God’s temple where the Spirit of God dwells’ (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Exodus chapter 24 is the Carpenter’s Brief, a ‘make me’ set of instructions. Make me this, make me that, make it this size, make it out of that wood, make it with a rim, make it gold-plated, make it with cups shaped like almond blossoms – and finally, ‘see that you work to the design shown to you on the mountain.’

You’d get tired just carrying the instructions around in your head. But the list goes on. In further chapters there are intense instructions about weaving and designing curtains, their length and breadth and number; the colour and number of the hanging loops and the gold fasteners to join them together.

Then there are the hangings to cover the outside of the tabernacle frame and it goes on with such a battery of orders you have to wonder why it is all so precise.

I tell you, God did not do his home design by halves. He was exhaustive, there was not a chisel cut or stitch or colour that was not ordered exactly so.

Oddly, it is encouraging to think of God as the God of tacks and pins. If he is so careful, does anything about you escape his notice?

When he says you are ‘the temple of God’ you can go through the extreme detail of his plans, and of the Pattern shown to you on the mountain, and say to yourself ‘that is the way he builds me. He holds the master plan and he employs the builders and labourers. No detail is too small and nothing is left to chance.’

Prayer for today: Holy Lord, all through Scripture you give me patterns, examples and specifications – how to work and how to play,

how to think and how to pray. Then you sent your own Carpenter to bring it all together. Grant that I might never impede the way of the Carpenter. When other instructions look better and when every other way looks like success, read me the instructions again.

Elizabeth Price