Exodus 37:1-5 NIV
Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it. He cast four gold rings for it and fastened them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. And he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.
I was reading this and, honestly, I was a little bored. I mean, its a super-long, detailed account of how they built the Ark of the Covenant. I’m a pastor, this isn’t supposed to be boring! Plus, I know that somehow this is supposed to tell us all about Jesus… but I wasn’t sure how. I thought, “what’s the big deal about acacia wood?” So I looked it up. Here’s what I found:
Volume and shape of acacia timber is very durable, qualities, it has low shabbiness (it is resistant to scrape). It is impermeable and it is water resistant. From our european woods acacia is the most durable. Unprotected and untreated will last 40 years. One of the few timbers that are immunized against dry rots and insect pest. Because of its properties, acacia [is used for] contact with water (bridges, columns, stakes, water and earth works, wine-casks, fence and others). From acaciawood.sk
So, acacia is like the super-wood. It’s practically indestructable, doesn’t scrape up easily, can take water and insects, and is hard and straight for building. It’s like the perfect wood. And the ark and everything around it is made from acacia wood.
But that’s not all. All this stuff is made with the perfect wood, and then covered with glorious, shiny gold. Strong, durable, beautiful, and worth beyond measure. It’s Jesus!
So, what does that matter to me? It’s cool trivia, but how does that affect my life? Well, for one, I am thankful for the reminder that Jesus was both fully human (from the earth, represented by the wood) and fully God (represented by the glorious gold coating on the wood). My savior is both God and man.
Because He was a man, he knows my situation personally, and can relate to me. He is not absent and distant, but close and personally familiar with the human condition. I am very thankful for that. Like, the acacia wood, He was perfect as a man. I am probably more like a piece of pine that’s been in the sun too long. Maybe it looks ok from far away, but I’m twisted if you look up close. Thankfully God is in the un-twisting business.
Also, because He is fully God, he has the power to save me and change me. And what is more awesome? He changes me into a better version of me. A truer me. A golden me. Because as I am changed, I start to shine like the gold on that altar. In a way, I get coated with gold. Slowly but surely.
LORD, help me to see the awesomeness in your Word. Help me remember who you are, and to see your fingerprint in all of creation, not just the obvious places. Make me a man of Your ways. I want to be acacia covered in gold: earth covered in Your righteousness. In the name of Jesus, AMEN.