Parashat VaYaqhel (And He Assembled) &
Parashat Pequdei (Accounts Of)
Shemot (Exodus) 35:1–38:20 & 38:21–40:38
This week we read of one of my favorite accounts with regard to the building of the Mishqan (God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle):
Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every wise hearted person in whom the LORD gave wisdom and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.
Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every wise hearted person in whom the LORD had put wisdom in his heart, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it. And they received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.” So, Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.” Exodus 36:1–7
I love this account for many reasons!
The first is the fact that God alone gave wisdom to every man who had a wise heart to do His work; their talents were not of themselves, but from the Lord. I believe that it is so important for us to understand! God imparted His wisdom and know-how in order to build a dwelling place for Himself. The same is true for us today; the wisdom and talents we possess are not from us and are not for us, but rather they are from God and for God alone.
The second is that, once again, we see how important the heart is to God. It's interesting that the Scripture specifically refers to those who were wise in heart and not in the head. God is looking for a willing heart above all else; when our hearts are willing to receive from Him, He will give us the wisdom to do His will.
Thirdly, the purpose here was to build a Mishqan, which means a place in which God would dwell in the midst of the children of Israel. This is so important for us to understand because we know that our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His desire was, and still is, to dwell amongst us. Why? Because He created us in order to have relationship with Him. I believe that this should be a strong reminder to us, His followers, of our role in building and preparing His Kingdom!
The fourth reason I love this account is because we see the incredible heart of the people. They gave and gave to the point that Moses had to order them not to continue to give! Can you imagine if we today gave to the point of overflowing? I believe that there is a great lesson for us in freely and generously giving from whatever God has gifted us - time, money, talents, etc. And we are to do so with a cheerful heart, knowing that it is all from Him and all for Him!
In closing, my dear brothers and sisters, I am well aware of the current challenges in the world, and do not want to ignore them. But let me encourage you to remember that while we are in the world, we are not of the world. Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord, trust Him to provide for all your needs, and remember your important role on this earth, which is to prepare His everlasting dwelling place, His Kingdom!
Did you know? — Lone Soldier
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