Va-Yakhel (Exodus/Shemot 35:1 - 38:20)
For the week of March 21, 1998
23 Adar 5758
The Gathered Community
Last week we saw how Moses desired God more than anything. The Torah is more about God himself than about his directions. The purpose of God's commands was to bring people into relationship with himself.
The building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) is no exception. What was done there was to help the people to know God and be in right relationship with him. It was here the community would gather to get to know God better.
We will briefly look at the furnishings of the Mishkan and see in what ways they communicate something of God.
This was the centrepiece of all of the tabernacle's furnishings. In it were placed the tablets of the covenant and represented the very presence of God. It was to remind the people that God himself dwelt in their midst. He was the be central in their lives.
On the table were 12 loaves of bread, which were to be replaced each week. God is our source of life providing for our every need.
This was the only source of light in this part of the Mishkan. God is our light. He is the one that shows us how to live in a dark, confusing world.
The Incense Altar
The fragrance of incense filled the Mishkan. As the smell of incense is so pervasive, we are reminded that God is everywhere.
The Altar of Burnt Offering
Sacrifice was an essential part of the service of the Mishkan. Little was done without the shedding of blood. This shows us how our coming to God does not come without a price. Another's life must be lost, so that we could have relationship with God.
The priests needed to be wash with water before performing any other function. They had to be cleansed of the pollution of everyday life. This is a reminder of the distance that exists between us and God. We need to be cleansed before coming to him.
The courtyard shows us that the Mishkan was not about the priests and their ceremonies. It was about the people and their need to know God. It represents the gathering of the nations before the throne of God one day.
The Mishkan was a temporary institution designed to prepare Israel and the world for the coming of the Messiah. What the Mishkan illustrated through its furnishings, Yeshua has accomplished for us.
So let us gather together before God. Cleansed from the evil of this world, let us come through the sacrifice of the Messiah's blood to worship him, who is our light and fills our lives with his Spirit. May he be the very centre of our lives.