The Pattern


Pictures of patterns

Now I’m not what you would call a fashion guru but I do like to watch what people are wearing, (point out some patterns on their clothes) We all live with patterns in our daily lives.

Get out of bed, get dressed for school, have your breakfast, go to school registration, some classes, break time, some class, dinner time, some classes break time, some classes, go home, do your homework, get changed, have your dinner, go out and play, have a bath and go to bed and the next day you do the same thing.

Adults get out of bed, get kids ready for school, make their breakfast, take kids to school, go to work, have some lunch, go back to work, come home, prepare dinner, watch EastEnders, bath kids, relax and watch CSI go to bed, sleep and get up the next day and do it all again.

We all live by patterns and they are important because they help to keep our lives organised. The law of the land gives us patterns and if we break those patterns we will end up in prison.

God loves patterns too; that’s why He gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments. Patterns are important to Him so that we can enjoy life with Him and worship Him according to the pattern He has given us in the Bible.

Picture of the Tabernacle

“The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breast piece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. “Have them make a chest of acacia wood–two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.

Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold moulding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.

Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. Make an atonement cover of pure gold–two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.

Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.

Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

“Make a table of acacia wood–two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold moulding around it. Also, make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold moulding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them.

And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times. “Make a lampstand of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it.

Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand–three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand.

And on the lampstand, there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair–six branches in all.

The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:1-40

Twice in that one chapter, God says, “Make the tabernacle and everything in according to My pattern.”

Picture of the tabernacle. Picture of all the items in the tabernacle

 “Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.” Acts 7:44

Would God be happy if people just did their own thing and ignored His pattern for us? There were two men named Nadab and Abihu who decided not to stick to God’s pattern.

“Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1-2

Let me tell you about another man named Uzzah who God killed because He didn’t stick to the pattern.

“When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:6-7

You see even today God has a pattern for us, He has a pattern for the way we are to worship Him.

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

Does that mean that we should worship God in any way we want? No, He wants us to worship Him in the pattern of Spirit and Truth. In other words, He wants us to worship Him with everything we’ve got, with our mind body and soul.

And He wants us to worship Him according to the truth or pattern which He has told us about in the Bible. So no matter how much we think this or that would be great to do during worship, we have to listen to God and do what He says.

Now does God say that we should use guitars and drums and tambourines to make music? No

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20

We should worship God according to the pattern we find in the Bible because as we saw in the Old Testament He doesn’t like it when people just do what they want to do.

That’s what Jesus told His disciples to remember and what the apostles told all the other Christians to remember.

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13

“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.” Philippians 3:17

Now would I love to hear one of the ladies preach sometime on a Sunday morning, yes I would but God’s pattern says that that’s the men’s job.

Would I love to see you guys form a choir and listen to you all singing praises to God on your own on Sunday mornings, yes I would but God’s pattern says we’ve all got to sing together.

Now you may think that worship is boring sometimes, but what we adults are doing is worshipping God according to His pattern. The pattern that says, to come together on the first day of every week to worship God.

The pattern that says, when you come together, pray, sing, give, encourage each other with a Scripture reading and sermon, remember the Lord’s Supper and enjoy the fellowship with one another and God. Because if we didn’t have that kind of order with our worship we would be all over the place.

I love the film Toy Story which as you know is about a little boy named Andy who loves to be in his room, playing with his toys, especially his doll named “Woody”. But, what do the toys do when Andy is not with them, they come to life? Woody believes that he has life (as a toy) good.

However, he must worry about Andy’s family moving, and what Woody does not know is about Andy’s birthday party. Woody does not realize that Andy’s mother gave him an action figure known as Buzz Light-year, who does not believe that he is a toy and quickly becomes Andy’s new favourite toy.

Woody, who is now consumed with jealousy, tries to get rid of Buzz. Then, both Woody and Buzz are now lost. They must find a way to get back to Andy before he moves without them, but they will have to pass through a ruthless toy killer, Sid Phillips.

That’s happened in the church at Corinth, they were people were following people instead of following God. They were all saying well, I have this talent and gift and you haven’t and my gift is better than yours and they were becoming jealous of the gifts that someone had and someone else didn’t have and the whole worship service to God was a mess.

So Paul finally had to write a letter to them and say.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

So if you guys ever wonder why we do things the way we do and are different from everyone else around us, it’s simply because we want to please God and follow the pattern that He has given us.