“Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.” (25:2)
The LORD is a gentleman. He doesn’t force Himself on us. He’s about to get real specific and He’s looking for an audience that’s willing. We can all say we’d love detailed instruction from God for our lives, but the truth is, we have it, and He gives it to those whose hearts and listening and obedient.
The tabernacle is both magnificent and simple. From what Israel knows about gods, they’ve always got elaborate temples. For whatever reason, the God of creation, who just dominated the Egyptian gods, is only requesting a tent. Sure it’s a well crafted tent, full of articles of gold, but a tent all the same. Mobile. Because He’s traveling with them.
The real magnificence of the tabernacle is how it foreshadows Jesus. Every piece, every article, every curtain, covering and veil introduces a function He will one day fulfill.
I found this picture that very briefly illustrates these parallels:
I don’t want to rob y’all of the digging and discovering these things on your own. I remember the first time I read all the way through Matthew after finally studying and reading the entire Old Testament in Bible college. Journeying from:
“You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies.” (26:33)
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:50-51)
Having made the emotional, perilous journey of God’s people over those 1400 years, left me sobbing like a baby.
He is beautiful.
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Don’t get lost in these details. Achacia wood, gold plating, goat hair, almond blossoms… they are all there for deeply beautiful reasons. God is getting specific and scholars are still unloading the significance. Don’t shy away from using Google while you read.
Israel is about to learn the flow of worshipping their Great LORD. We worship this same LORD still, able to abide in His presence and it’s glorious.