Torah: Exodus 25:1-27:19 Haftarah: I Kings 5:26-6:13 Brit Chadasha: Mark 12:41-44
“And they shall know that I am Yahweh their Elohim, who brought them up out of the land of Mitsrayim, to dwell in their midst. I am Yahweh their Elohim. Exodus 29:46
Tabernacle in the Wilderness
There are many believers today who don’t take the time to study the Mishkan (Tabernacle in the wilderness) and therefore falsely assume that it was something that Yahweh MADE the children of Yisrael do to worship Him. I have heard people say something along the lines of well that was for the ‘Jews’ or that was the way the ‘Jews’ worshiped, really? Again, when we haven’t studied something it usually will manifest through our ignorance (lack of knowledge) especially when we open our mouths and start to try and explain something that we have no clue about. In order to not point the finger too much I’ve been guilty of this myself in times past.
This portion is one on those where many folks just skip right over it because it goes into details about the building of the Mishkan. You know it talks about the rings, curtains, walls and so forth. I used to think what in the world does that have to do with anything and why couldn’t they just have something simple? Again, I was ignorant of what the Mishkan not only was about but what it represented. I recently was listening to a xtian minister who was reading out of Leviticus and he just nonchalantly mentioned the Scriptures that were pertaining to bodily fluids and what not. His attitude was well those things over there. You could tell his attitude was well it’s written here so I do need to mention it but that’s all I will do and then just jump right over it. What caused me to drop my head in sadness was this minister was teaching youth. I thought another generation being taught at a young age that the Older Testament is not really relevant for us today and more or less just history.
Well what I took away from the teaching was that you and I still have a lot of work to do in going to the lost sheep because we have found what they have lost and just as the kinsman redeemer is responsible to return to his brother that which was lost but now is found. Well it’s our job number one to live our lives in such a way that folks ask us about the light that is being emitted out from lives. Number two when they ask we should have plenty of salt within us to give them as well. Why do I say salt? Well think about this; what happens when you eat a lot of salt? You have an instant urge/desire to go and consume a jug full of water. What do we find in Scripture in type and shadow form about water? You got it its Torah. It’s not just words on a page or regulations; it’s the very essence of life.
He said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:46-47
And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And he who hears, let him say, “Come!” And he who thirsts, come! And he who desires it, take the water of life without paying! Revelation 22:1, 17
Enough on that subject let’s get into this weeks portion to see a couple of things that might be of some importance to you and I as believers today.
You might be wondering why in the world the heading would be titled beg-a-thon. In the beginning verses of this chapter we read something very interesting.
And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, that they take up a contribution for Me. From everyone whose heart moves him you shall take up My contribution. Exodus 25:1-2
It could be said that this is a new concept in today’s age. The Creator told Moshe to take up a contribution from amongst the children of Yisrael from those whose heart moves them to give. Notice the Father didn’t say give them a sermonette about giving, make them feel guilty for not giving, or manipulate them into giving. No, Moshe wasn’t a money marketing manager or it could be said better in our day and time; Moshe wasn’t the C.E.O. of YHVH Incorporated and wasn’t someone who was running around preaching the serfs into submission through paying their ‘religion tax’ to help keep the ‘monster’ afloat. This was an instruction for those who were led to give.
It was just recently brought to my attention that it wasn’t the Egyptians money they were giving.
And the children of Yisra’ĕl had done according to the word of Mosheh, and they had asked from the Mitsrites objects of silver, and objects of gold, and garments. And יהוה gave the people favour in the eyes of the Mitsrites, so that they gave them what they asked, and they plundered the Mitsrites. Exodus 12:35-36
The KJV says that the Yisraelites borrowed the gold, silver and other material things from the Egyptians. The Paleo-Hebrew gives us the picture of not necessarily meaning to borrow but the Yisraelites just flat out asked for the possessions. Now let’s think about this for a moment. The Egyptians had seen all the plagues and saw Moshe pray to Yah in order to remove the plagues (which were something the priests or magicians of Pharaoh couldn’t do) and then to top it all off those who had first born, whether children or animals, found them dead without following the instructions about placing the blood on the mantels of their door. So wouldn’t it make sense that the Egyptians were scared to death of not only the children of Yisrael but of the God of the Yisraelites? The Eternal just destroyed their belief system because he made their gods into powerless nothings through the plagues. So I think it’s safe to say that the Egyptians thought man what will the God of the Israelites do to us if we don’t give them what they are asking for. So when they inquired about the gold, silver and other materials the Egyptians didn’t hesitate to hand it over to them? It’s like someone who keeps bugging us to death and finally we give in and say just take it in order to get them out of our hair. It also could be said the Egyptians were reacting just like you or I would react if someone comes up and pulls out a gun and says give me your money. We can’t get it out of our pockets or wallet fast enough.
This is how I see this whole situation of the Egyptians giving their possessions to the children of Yisrael. So what was pointed out to me was that the children of Yisrael were not giving the Egyptians money or material possessions to YHVH. It had become Yisrael’s possessions when it was given over to them and that they were giving what had been given to them over to the Eternal for the purpose of His Mishkan and remember this was done freely and not done through manipulation or coercion. This begs to ask the question of do we need to return to this type of set-apart giving today? I say yes.
Dwelling in our midst
I will have to say that I am still studying all the articles of the Mishkan and all the little other details so I am definitely not an expert in this area. One thing that I can clearly say though is that Yah set this system up to show us a type and shadow of what He wanted to do in our lives. We can see this not only through the articles of the Mishkan but even the way the Mishkan was set up in having the most Set-Apart place, the Set-Apart place, and the outer court.
YHVH wanted to dwell in the midst of His people. It is my opinion that if Yisrael would have obeyed Him there would have been no need to have the Mishkan because all the children would have been priests. I know that is a bold statement to make and I am open to hear other opinions about it but that is just the way that I see it at this time, but I believe the Eternal wanted to have all of His people going forth and representing Him to the fullest and not just one specific group of folks ministering to Him but from the beginning it was about the whosoever’s.
A few articles of the Mishkan
I would like to mention very briefly a few articles of the Mishkan. One that many believers are familiar with is the Ark of the Covenant. There are many things that can be said about this vessel on a simple to deep level, but I would like to keep it simple in that this article was located in the most Set-Apart place and is a picture of the hearts of Yisrael in which Yah dwells.
Another article that isn’t really mentioned much is the table of showbread where the bread (or truth of YHVH) was located. Bread is a type and shadow of the Word and provision. We are to have that bread in us so that when folks come and sit at ‘our table’ we can share that Bread with them.
The last article that I will mention is the lamp stand. This was where there were seven cups (what we would call candle holders today) located. This also gives us a picture of the seven spirits of YHVH.
The Spirit of יהוה shall rest upon Him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of יהוה, Isaiah 11:2
This lamp stand was what gave light or illuminated the Set-Apart place. So we see that the Ruach (Spirit) is what illuminates our understanding thus helping use to see where we are going.
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalms 119:105
For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life, Proverbs 6:23
Again this is very simplistic but applicable in our everyday lives and you and I should strive to have the presence of the Eternal and the presence of His Ruach thus you and I being His people who emit His presence and Ruach in order to draw all men to Him and bring glory and honor to His Set Apart Name.