“According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made (did) all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.” Exodus 39:42-43
In the summer of 1999, my parents came down to Phoenix to help Rebekah and I as the new house we bought was completed three months earlier than we anticipated. In most cases, this would have been great news, but we were not prepared to start making house payments. To a young couple, it seemed like an insurmountable task.
My parents helped us and bought many items for the house that we did not even consider, like toilet paper, garbage bags and a vacuum cleaner. I guess we just assumed those things came with the house. I started to realize that while owning a house is great, there was much to consider from a financial standpoint.
My mom focused on what we needed inside the house and my dad focused on the outside. He ordered rock for the front yard, and we went to the nursery to pick out some trees, plants and shrubs. A friend came to visit from Chicago, and helped me spread the 27 tons of rock in the blazing AZ sun. The front yard was almost complete, but it was missing some planters under the windows to frame the rose bushes that were planted there. My dad picked up some bricks and mortar for the planters and I wondered if he had hired someone (as I had not known him to do masonry) or if he planned to tackle the job himself.
I came home from work the following day and noticed that there were brick planters around the rose bushes. From a distance, they looked really nice and complemented the newly-landscaped yard. I got out of the truck and went to take a closer look and the bricks did not look as straight as they first did. I asked my dad, who was hot and tired from his work, if he used a level when he laid the bricks. He was not appreciative of my question. He became upset with me and told me I should have thanked him for his hard work instead of criticizing it. The brick didn’t look bad, but it wasn’t perfect, which was contradictory to what he had taught me growing up. Using a level to make it perfectly straight was what my dad raised me to do, and to do my best in whatever I did. He didn’t appreciate his own teachings when I used them against him, and looking back, I probably should have used a more respectful approach when I asked if he had used a level.
My parents’ standard was always high because they desired to bring out the best in my sister and me. We were far from perfect, but these standards instilled in me a desire to do my best in the things God has given me to do. Their standard gave me a work ethic that I did not appreciate as a kid, but I do now.
The children of Israel completed the work God had given them to do in exactly the way God told them to do it. I don’t know if they had levels back then, but I am sure they did their best for the Lord as they built His tabernacle. They did not take shortcuts, but rather worked hard and desired to do their best. They realized God was watching and they were grateful to be working for the Lord. They did not seek their own understanding in their work but they sought to do all that God had commanded.
What do people say about the work you do? Do you do the bare minimum or do you look for ways to improve on the work you do for the glory of God? If God were to inspect your work and work ethic, would He be pleased? Do you realize that no matter who you work for, you ultimately work for almighty God? We are ambassadors for God. May our God not spoken ill of because of our work, but rather be praised for the labor of our hands. Colossians 3:23-24 states, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Never forget that we serve the Lord Christ, and may our work be pleasing to Him.
Stay in the fight!