Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Tabernacle-pt. 1-Chosen

By Mary Vee

Exodus 35:4-36:3
Bezalel-
chosen by God 
and given wisdom and understanding in every kind of workmanship


A little while back, Moses called a meeting.  Everyone gathered outside the camp to a place we could see Moses at the same time.  Since he invited everyone and not just the elders, I knew it had to be an announcement for everyone. He told us about the commandments and showed us the tablets the Lord wrote.  It was good to hear God's laws, but to tell you the truth many of us had become bored.

There was nothing to do. We couldn't plant crops in the desert soil, besides we didn't know when the Lord would tell us to pack our things and move to a new place.  It'd been more than three months since we left Egypt.

If only we had some project to do, maybe the people would get along better.

After he finished teaching the commandments and talking about the feasts, Moses told us to bring an offering to the Lord. He said, "Whoever had a willing heart should bring an offering of gold, silver, or bronze; blue, purple, scarlet thread, fine linen, or goat's hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, or acacia wood; oil for the light, or spices for the anointing oil; onyx stones, or other precious stones."

Actually, we all had plenty of the things Moses wanted.  The Egyptians gave us so many gifts the night before we left we had to stack them high in our carts.  Masters and ladies of houses, Egyptian workers, even Egyptian slaves threw metal, threads, skins, wood, and oil at us then shouted, "Leave. Never come back."

That was before they changed their minds and sent the army after us, but your can read about that adventure here:  Egyptian Wealth

Anyway, after Moses' announcement to bring offerings he asked for gifted artisans to make whatever the Lord commanded for the tabernacle.  I can't believe it, we finally had a project!

I liked to work with my hands so I volunteered right away.  Just think, me, a builder of the tabernacle for the Lord. Something to do!

Of course, many others volunteered to help, both men and women. Moses didn't push anyone into helping. He always said, "Those who are willing..." each time he asked for something.  No one was forced to work or give at any time.

The next morning a large group of women gathered in one area of the camp. They talked and laughed as they spun yarn by hand.  When they finished making a large bundle, they took the blue, purple, scarlet and fine linen to those who would weave fabric.

The offerings grew.  It looked fantastic.  This Tabernacle will be great.

A few days later, Moses gathered everyone together for more instruction.  I ran to the front of the group, anxious to hear what we'd do next.  He silenced the people then looked at me. "People of Israel, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, the..."

Wait a moment, what did Moses say? The Lord named me? Out of all the Israelites, the Lord picked me?  A deep breath later I could listen to more.

"He has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting , in carving wood, to teach and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship."

The Lord chose me for this job? I'm not gifted.  I'm not special.  Before I thought another work, ideas filled my mind; I couldn't wait to get to work!

Moses then said:  "And the Lord called Aholiab from the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work as the engraver, designer, and tapestry maker, those who do every work and those who design artistic works.  You, Bezalel and Aholiab, along with every gifted artisan in who the Lord has put wisdom and understanding to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary shall do according to all He has commanded."

Moses took Aholiab and me to where the offerings had been gathered.  "Here are the offerings which the Israelites brought for making the tabernacle."

I looked at Aholiab smile and nodded. He did the same back. We both started talking at once, sharing our thoughts how to start the project.  We talked for several hours after supper. We never disagreed or argued.

I couldn't sleep....it was like the night before we left Egypt.

Aholiab and I were chosen to lead the building of the Tabernacle!

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1. Who all volunteered to help build the Tabernacle?
2. Who did the Lord chose to lead the building of the Tabernacle?
3. Where did the building supplies come from?
4. Why do you think the Lord chose Bezalel and Aholiab to lead the building of the Tabernacle?
5. If you had been there, would you have brought offerings? If yes, what would you have brought?
6. If you had been there, would you have volunteered to help? If yes, what would you have wanted to do?
7. If you had been there, would you have to give an offering or volunteer to help?  Why or why not?

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