Remembering the Passover & Exodus: a selection of passages & meditations
"He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability, intelligence, knowledge, and with all craftsmanship"

Scripture: Exodus 35:4-19; 35:30 - 36:1; 37:1-9

(35) 4 Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "This is the thing which the LORD has commanded. 5 Take from among you an offering to the LORD; whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's offering: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue and purple and scarlet stuff and fine twined linen; goats' hair, 7 tanned rams' skins, and goatskins; acacia wood, 8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 9 and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breast piece.

10 "And let every able man among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded: the tabernacle, 1 its tent and its covering, its hooks and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 12 the ark with its poles, the mercy seat, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the laver and its base; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19 the finely wrought garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests."

30 And Moses said to the people of Israel, "See, the LORD has called by name Bez'alel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oho'liab the son of Ahis'amach of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with ability to do every sort of work done by a craftsman or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet stuff and fine twined linen, or by a weaver -- by any sort of workman or skilled designer.

(36) 1 Bez'alel and Oho'liab and every able man in whom the LORD has put ability and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded."

(37) 1 Bez'alel made the ark of acacia wood; two cubits and a half was its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 2 And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a molding of gold around it. 3 And he cast for it four rings of gold for its four corners, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side. 4 And he made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold, 5 and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark.

6 And he made a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 7 And he made two cherubim of hammered gold; on the two ends of the mercy seat he made them, 8 one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim on its two ends. 9 The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.

Meditation: God showed Moses his throne in heaven and gave him instructions for establishing an earthly place of access to him and of atonement in the midst of the people (Hebrews 8:5; Psalm 84:1-2). Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst (Exodus 25:9).

The Book of Exodus devotes thirteen chapters to the construction of the first earthly dwelling place for God. The structure of this portable temple, called the tabernacle or sanctuary or tent of meeting, was a pictorial representation of the sanctuary of God in heaven. It also foreshadowed Christ, who is the full manifestation of God in himself (John 2:19; Hebrews 1:3) and of the glory of Christ in his church. Jesus is both priest, victim, mediator and sanctuary (John 15:1,5). He is a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord (Hebrews 8:1-3).

The earthly tabernacle is a copy of the heavenly one (Rev. 15:5; Ezekiel 1:26-28; Isaiah 6:1-5; Psalm 24). In the Incarnation God placed his Tabernacle--or pitched his Tent--among us (John 1:14), thus making God personally visible and fulfilling all that the tabernacle in the wilderness represented.

God not only revealed the pattern of the tabernacle, but also whom he chose to construct it for him. Bezalel and Oholiab were chosen because God had filled them with his Spirit and gifted them for the task. These men foreshadowed Jesus who was given the Spirit without reserve (Isaiah 11:1-3; John 3:34), and who built the body of Christ, God's home on earth (Matthew 16:18). We, too, are called to be laborers for the Lord and to be spiritual stones built into a spiritual house, with Jesus as the Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-6). Do you allow the Lord to work through you, by the power of his Holy Spirit, for the building of his kingdom?

"Lord Jesus, you dwelt among us that we might live with you forever. Fill me with your Spirit and consume me with zeal for your kingdom."

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(c) 1999, 2001, 2002 Don Schwager