Elevator Manners

Exodus 30:12, 14–15 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them … Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves.”           

Observation: This passage is about money given for atonement for sin. It is part of a much larger passage of instructions on how to build the altar and how Aaron is to use it to make atonement for sin using the blood of the sin offering.

Application: Isn’t it interesting that the price for atonement was identical for everybody? Rich and poor alike had to pay the same price, demonstrating again that His sacrifice, not ours, provided the redemption for all of us, equally (see 1 Pet. 3:18).

How often do I allow myself to begin thinking how great a prize I am in God’s kingdom? How pleased He must be with my performance here or my effectiveness there! I’m sure He noticed the significant check I recently gave; perhaps He will have someone erect a sort of memorial in my honor. And I hope He noticed the time last week when I so graciously yielded to that person frantic to board the elevator.

I can begin to think that God must place a higher value on me than He does on, say, an Asian tsunami victim. I think that because I am clean, because I dress well, or because of where I live, God must surely have been “extra glad” to have redeemed me. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Prayer: Lord, You are the great equalizer. In Your presence, no one can stand. My best righteousness is like dirty rags compared to Your glory and majesty. Father, there is nothing I can bring to You by which I can be made worthy. I am like every other man or woman in Your sight, fallen and sinful and desperately in need of the redemption that can only come through the sacrifice of Your dear Son.


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