I’m starting to think that the last chunk of Exodus is like hitting the reset button and trying to do things the right way. In the last chapter, God gave Moses the law again and now he finally gets to read it to an audience that is very much NOT worshiping a golden calf.
The structure of Exodus 35 is as follows:
- Instructions on the Sabbath (which felt a little random)
- An invitation to contribute certain items for the construction of the tabernacle
- A list of all the things that need to get built
- A description of the people bringing the items
I felt hopeful reading it. Which is a lot more than I can say about some previous chapters. It appears as though things might actually go well this time. Hooray!
This Is Optional
Look at the following verses. What do you notice?
“Take from among you an offering to the Lord; let whoever is of a generous heart bring the Lord’s offering . . . ”
“And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering . . .”
“So they came, both men and women; all who were of a willing heart . . .”
“all the women whose hearts moved them to use their skill . . .”
This was not a required activity.
Only the people who wanted to do it participated. Apparently you could choose out of this one. You only have to give if you want to. Even when you are building the house of God.
Shout Out To My Ladies!
They brought their jewelry.
They brought their yarn.
They spun that yarn like a boss.
And I don’t know if you remember, but pretty much the entire Tabernacle is covered in spun linen. So when you look at it, you are looking at the incredible work of some very talented and skilled women.
I Made That
This might be my favorite thing about the Tabernacle.
Let’s say that you had a willing heart. Let’s say that you had some gold or some linen. And then let’s say that not only did you contribute it, but you helped build it.
Now, every time you go near the tabernacle, you can look up at the tent or the curtain or the poles or the altar and you can say, “I made that. That little corner right up there? That was me.”
And then you would look around and see the work that your friends and family and neighbors did.
And you would be proud.
And you would be humbled that this crazy God who brought you out of Egypt and parted the red sea and spoke to you from the mountain now lives in a house that you built.