By Matt Redmond
Reading about the building materials of the tabernacle can be more than a little intimidating. If you are anything like me, your eyes will glide over the pages with not one word penetrating your brain; you skim just enough to credit yourself with that day’s reading. I often find these sections harder to read than the ones that are theologically challenging to understand.
But there is something more here, something with the aroma of grace.
After Moses gave an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: “Let no man or woman make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people stopped. The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough.
A call had gone out to all the people of Israel for contributions to the building of the tabernacle. And they kept coming. People were bringing the contributions of their own free will. They brought more than enough, more than was actually needed. There was a surplus to the point where Moses basically said, “Whoa, that is enough. No need to bring anymore!”
What does the power of grace look like? What does it look like to believe God when He makes a promise? What does trust in a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God look like when it is taken seriously by those who worship Him? What happens when we have beheld the glory of the Lord?
Well, what did it look like in Israel? In chapter 35, Moses calls them to give to the building of the tabernacle, and in chapter 36, we see that they did give, to the point of having more than was necessary.
More often than not, when I think of “giving up something” for God, it is something bad, some habit or sin that I should not be doing. But these people gave up their valuables because they saw Him deliver and provide for them. They saw His glory reflected on the face of Moses. They knew the covenant-keeping God, and they knew His worth.
And yet we have seen and experienced even more. Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, says that Christians have actually seen even more glory than the Israelites and Moses saw. We have seen the glory of Jesus in His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension (2Corinthians 3:7–18).
So the question remains: What happens when we have beheld the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? We are free to let go of the sin that so easily entangles us, and take hold of the blessings and provision He has given us (Hebrews 12:1).