How Do You Contribute?
Exodus 35:1-40:38 Exodus 35:4-9,30-36:1;40:12-15 5/9/2010
What should have been said and done upon Mosesâ€™ coming down the first time from the mount, if the golden calf had not broken the measures and put all into disorder, now at last, when with great difficulty reconciliation was made, begins to be said and done; and that great affair of the setting up of Godâ€™s worship is put into its former channel again, and goes on now without interruption. Moses gives Israel those instructions, received from God, which required immediate observance. Concerning the sabbath Concerning the contribution that was to be made for the erecting of the tabernacle. Concerning the framing of the tabernacle and the utensils of it . The people bring in their contributions. The head-workmen are nominated .
1. (Exodus 35:4-9) The free gifts for the tabernacle.
Exod. 35:4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, â€œThis is what the LORD has commanded: 35:5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 35:6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 35:7 ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows ; acacia wood; 35:8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 35:9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
The tabernacle was to be dedicated to the honour of God, and used in his service; and therefore what was brought for it, was an offering to the Lord. The rule is, Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring. All that were skilful must work. God dispenses his gifts; and as every man hath received, so he must minister, 1 Peter 4:10 . Those that were rich, must bring in materials to work on; those that were skilful, must serve the tabernacle with their skill: as they needed one another, so the tabernacle needed them both, 1 Corinthians 12:7-21 .
2. (Exodus 35:30-35) Bezaleel and Aholiab called to the work.
Exod. 35:30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, â€œSee, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 35:31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts â€” 35:32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 35:33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. 35:34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others.
35:35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers â€”all of them master craftsmen and designers.
Here is the Divine appointment of the master-workmen, that there might be no strife for the office, and that all who were employed in the work might take direction from, and give account to them. Those whom God called by name to his service, he filled with the Spirit of God. Skill, even in worldly employments, is Godâ€™s gift, and comes from above. But many are ready enough in cutting out work for other people, and can tell what this man or that man should do; but the burdens they bind on others, they themselves will not touch with one of their fingers. Such will fall under the character of slothful servants. These men were not only to devise and to work themselves, but they were to teach others. Those that rule should teach; and those to whom God has given knowledge, should be willing to make it known for the benefit of others.
3. (Exodus 36:1) The making of the tabernacle The liberality of the people restrained.
Exod. 36:1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.â€
The readiness and zeal with which these builders set about their work, the exactness with which they performed it, and the faithfulness with which they objected to receive more contributions, are worthy of our imitation. Thus should we serve God, and our superiors also, in all things lawful. Thus should all who are in public trusts abhor filthy lucre, and avoid all occasions and temptations to covetousness. Where have we the representation of Godâ€™s love towards us, that we by love dwell in him and he in us, save in Emmanuel? Matthew 1:23 . This is the sum of the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18 , 19 . This was the design of the â€œtabernacle of witness,â€ a visible testimony of the love of God to the race of men, however they were fallen from their first state. And this love was shown by Christâ€™s taking up his abode on earth; by the Word being made flesh, John 1:14 , wherein, as the original expresses it, he did tabernacle among us.
4. (Exodus 40:12-15) The tabernacle is to be set up, Aaron and his sons to be sanctified.
Exod. 40:12 â€œBring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 40:13 Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. 40:14 Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. 40:15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come.â€
When a new year begins, we should seek to serve God better than the year before. In half a year the tabernacle was completed. When the hearts of numbers are earnest in a good cause, much may be done in a short time; and when the commandments of God are continually attended to, as the rule of working, all will be done well. The high-priesthood was in the family of Aaron till Christ came, and in Him, the substance of all these shadows, it continues for ever.
In the furniture of the tabernacle were emblems of a spiritual and acceptable service. The incense represented the prayers of the saints. The sacrifice of the alter represented the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. The golden pot with manna, or bread from heaven, the flesh of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the life of the world. The candlestick, with its lights, the teaching and enlightening of the Holy Spirit. The shew-bread represented that provision for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the gospel, the ordinances and the sacraments of the house of prayer, abundantly bestow. The exactness of the workmen to their rule, should be followed by us; seeking for the influences of the Holy Spirit, that we may rejoice in and glorify God while in this world, and at length be with him for ever.
In all ages of the church there have been some persons more devoted to God, more constant in their attendance upon his ordinances, and more willing to part even with lawful things, for his sake, than others. Some women, devoted to God and zealous for the tabernacle worship, expressed zeal by parting with their mirrors, which were polished plates of brass. Before the invention of looking-glasses, these served the same purposes.
The priestsâ€™ garments were rich and splendid. The church in its infancy was thus taught by shadows of good things to come; but the substance is Christ, and the grace of the gospel. Christ is our great High Priest. When he undertook the work of our redemption, he put on the clothes of service, he arrayed himself with the gifts and graces of the Spirit, girded himself with resolution to go through the undertaking, took charge of all Godâ€™s spiritual Israel, laid them near his heart, engraved them on the palms of his hands, and presented them to his Father. And he crowned himself with holiness to the Lord, consecrating his whole undertaking to the honour of his Fatherâ€™s holiness. True believers are spiritual priests. The clean linen with which all their clothes of service must be made, is the righteousness of saints, Revelation 19:8 .
Exod. 35:4 (35:4-39:43) For the most part repeated from chs. 25-28; 30:1-5; 31:1-11 (see notes on those passages), sometimes verbatim, but with the verbs primarily in the past rather than the future tense and with the topics arranged in a different order. Such repetition was a common feature of ancient Near Eastern literature and was intended to fix the details of a narrative in the readerâ€™s mind (see note on Ge 24:34-49).
Exod. 35:5 EVERYONE WHO IS WILLING. The voluntary motivation behind the offering of materials and services for the tabernacle is stressed (see vv. 21-22,26,29; 36:2-3).
Exod. 35:21 TENT OF MEETING. See note on 27:21.
Exod. 36:1 (36:1-38) See note on 35:4-39:43.
Exod. 40:2 FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH. The tabernacle was set up almost a year after the institution of the Passover (see v. 17; 12:2,6).
Exod. 40:16 MOSES DID. . . JUST AS THE LORD COMMANDED. Mosesâ€™ obedience to Godâ€™s command is a key theme of the final chapter of Exodus (see vv. 19,21,23,25,27,29,32). It was the people who provided all the resources and made all the components, but it was the Lordâ€™s servant Moses who was authorized to erect the tabernacle and prepare it for the Lordâ€™s entry.