And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so they had done it. Then Moses blessed them.
Time and time again, we’ve pointed out the way Moses chooses words and phrases that mirror the Creation account in Genesis 1, and Exodus 39:43 might be the clearest example yet. It reads as a mirror image to Genesis 1:31, which says, “And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Did you catch the significant difference though? It’s far from trivial. “Behold! It was very good,” Moses writes of God’s work. But he describes the people’s work differently: “Behold! They did it as the LORD commanded them.” That’s pivotal—literally, Moses pivots from his earlier language to describe a contrast between God and image-bearing man. For one, God’s work is good because He is good. Unlike us, He’s untainted by sin, undeterred by distractions, unhindered by mistakes; so while our work done in obedience is certainly good in its own way, it isn’t of the same quality as God’s. It doesn’t reach the same level of workmanship—of purity. Only what God envisions in His own mind and speaks forth from His own power and carries out through His own hands can be called ‘good’ in the purest sense. But our works, our virtues, our lives of faith, are at their best when they produce the vision God has given us to perform.
That’s why we should think of virtue as an artform. The discipline of imitating our Father’s character—his purity of mind, His love and justice, His integrity and steadfastness—produces the most sanctified and significant work of all—a Christlike man! Which is the reason Christ promises to speak over our lives that highest commendation in heaven, “Well done My good and faithful servant!” When the sum of our achievements is added up, when the totality of our accomplishments is heralded, they’ll be measured by the only standard that ever mattered: how well we imitated Him.
As the LORD commanded, so they had done it. Friend, what if we lived our lives in such a way today that God could say the same of us? That would be the best sort of day indeed! A good day, in fact! A day that ends in overflowing blessing.