Day 4: Exodus 31 – Leviticus 19

It strikes me that there are two main ways to play with Lego – one is to use the pieces to create something from your own imagination and the other is to follow the instructions carefully, and slowly build an exact copy of what is on the box. It has to be said that some of us are better than others at reading the instructions first …

God longed to live among His people and for them to see His glory. That’s the picture on the box. But the people chose to build something else based on their own plans. In the end they went back to God’s instructions and their obedience paid off : ‘the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle’ (Exod. 40.34).

But further instructions were needed to enable the people to come closer to God, detailed instructions for priests about ritual sacrifice and daily life, some of them eye-wateringly specific and obscure to a squeamish 21st century reader!

It can be hard to see how the Lego bricks you are piecing together will fit within the final creation and the only way forward is to trust the person who has written the instructions. In the case of Israel, God demands that the people trust the one who has already done so much for them. We hear him say again and again, ‘Be holy, because I am holy’ (Leviticus 11.44,45; 19.2).

Anthony Lees-Smith

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


6 Responses

  1. Brilliant analogy! It brings back the times that I helped my own children make things with Lego – I was always a “follow the instructions” person, though.

  2. For me this is about legislation for the priests. Moses must have been patient and a good listener. I agree with Anthony and paul – maybe it’s better to follow instruction.

  3. All I can add is that I’m glad we’ve got an extra bonus day to wade through this bit! Moses must have been a lot more patient than I am …

  4. Amazed at the skill sets required to be a priest:
    “Needs to be good with a knife, previous butchering experience essential; culinary skills useful; basic knowledge of common skin diseases; able to identify various types of mildew; and is partial to dressing up.”

    • Caroline: I do so agree – that thought went through my mind too. How different the selection processes for Ordination or Lay Ministry would be today if such skills were still required! Quite fascinating really but, in many ways, sensible provision to keep a travelling nation healthy. What struck me too was the amount of uncooked blood that was getting put on the Altar. I found myself wondering what on earth it must have looked (and smelt) like! An interesting section to read nonetheless.

  5. Lego is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – if you are missing a bit the house is turned upside down.
    It’s only after everyone is still and quiet that it is realised that not all of us are aiming for the same structure or following the same plan. A few exchanges of ideas, consultation of the instructions, a cup of tea and harmony is resumed once more. The missing bit was there all along – it took a Mum like Moses to bring order from chaos.
    Thanks for the analogy-handy for a sermon

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