Parashat Terumah: “Donation” Exodus 25:1-27:19

Parashat Terumah: “Donation” Exodus 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26-6:13

In this week’s Torah portion we study the various vessels which were used in Tabernacle worship in the wilderness and then in the Temple. Early on in the parasha HaShem commands the children of Israel saying,

“And make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among you.” Exodus 25:9

One cannot over estimate the desire of G-d to dwell with His people. He loves us and wants to be with us in an intimate relationship. Why does He command to build for Him a dwelling place? As in most instances G-d want His people to respond to His word. The building of the Tabernacle shows a commitment that the people wanted to be in relationship with HaShem. Tabernacle worship also revealed a great deal about the principles of worship. All too often people take worship way to casually and believe G-d is pleased with the type or form of worship that pleases us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Worship demands obedience to the instructions of G-d and an understanding of who He is. Today there are congregations which offer different styles of worship so as to please everybody. Often I think everyone is pleased except G-d Himself. The purpose of this brief article is not to discuss what make proper Biblical worship. Rather it is to ask, what is the motivation of congregations that serve to please man, rather than to recognize that there are Biblical principles of worship which are listed in the Scriptures that one should observe? Personally it is not so much that what is being done is so offensive to G-d, but the reason behind this desire is to accommodate people rather than response to the leadership of the Holy Spirit rooted in Scriptural admonition.

I do not find Biblically speaking that the worship of G-d was rooted in culture, but in divine revelation. When worship becomes focused on what will bring the people out and keep them coming back rather than on exalting the risen Savior, worship has ceased and idolatry has begun. The problem is today that there is a blurring of what is worship and what is evangelism. Congregations are building services around the non-believer who visits (usually around 2-5% of attendees) rather the providing those who have placed their faith in Yeshua to have a Biblically based, Spirit led worship experience which has the focus on G-d rather than man.

We have made many sanctuaries; but the question is whether G-d is dwelling in them?

Shabbat Shalom

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