February 13

Exodus 35:10-36:38

Exodus 35:10 (NKJV) “All who are gifted artisans among you shall come and make all that the LORD has commanded.”

We see the emphasis in this section on the artists God had gifted and now called to serve in the construction of the Tabernacle. A few He called by name, but for the rest it was a general invitation, “Calling all gifted artists, would you be willing to be part of this Tabernacle team?” 

There was also an invitation to donate the materials needed for the Tabernacle. There would be a window of time to give to the Lord in this way. There was a willing response.

Exodus 35:21 (NKJV) “Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.”

It’s fascinating to consider the things necessary for a congregation to “build” – the instruction from God, the opportunity from God, the Spirit of God, the call of God, the men AND women of God, the gifts of God, the willingness necessary and the hearts that had to be “in it,” – the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are all part and parcel of God’s plan in every generation, in every “body” to build. Today we aren’t building a literal Tabernacle for God to dwell in, but the Lord is using us to build up people, for God to dwell in.

Over the years I’ve noticed the responses of the sisters has been instrumental!

“They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart…” (Exodus 35:22)

“All the women who were gifted artisans…” (Exodus 35:25)

“All the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom…” (Exodus 35:26)

I’m also blessed with the way that Bezalel was not only gifted to work in all manner of workmanship, but God had put it in his heart the ability to teach others to do this work (Exodus 35:34). Many are gifted with special abilities, but not everyone has the patience and heart to teach others, to pass it on. 

How beautiful to see the response – “the people bring much more than enough,” (Exodus 36:5), so they had to be restrained from giving:

Exodus 36:6–7 (NKJV) “So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.”

Where God guides God provides, and they began the work – in detail – meticulously.

The curtains, the coverings, the loops, the clasps, the  boards, the materials, the colors, the design, it all has significance – nothing in any of our lives is in any way random. Take some time to look deeper.

The veil (Exodus 36:35) would separate man from God and only the High Priest could enter behind the veil into the Most Holy Place once a year (on the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur). Some say this veil was 4 inches thick (or more) but the Bible doesn’t provide those details. We DO know that it was 30 feet high and that when Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) for Jesus’ death has made a way for all believers to enter in…to His holy presence.

Matthew 27:32-66

The cross beam Jesus would be carrying would weigh close to 75 pounds, and after all He’d been through, it’s understandable that He needed help. It wasn’t the Roman soldiers – it was God who chose Simon to help bear that cross, no doubt this would lead to his salvation, seeing His Savior suffer, and Simon’s sons would be saved as well (see Mark 15:21; Romans 16:13). I can’t think of any greater privilege in the history of the world – imagine that…chosen to help Jesus carry His cross!

Jesus was led up to Calvary where they laid Him down, and we read in verse 35, “Then they crucified Him.” Four words that we will never fully understand. It’s easy to just keep reading, but it might be good to push, pause, and ponder.

This all-powerful, beautiful, wonderful, innocent, magnificent God, was nailed to a cross, hanging like a piece of meat by the side of the road. The soldiers were playing games below – oblivious to the perfect love above them, they were only interested in taking home His clothing for themselves (but this had been prophesied in Psalm 22:18). 

The killed Him for who He was, the King of the Jews, the King of kings, my King and yours. They mocked Him, blasphemed Him, tempted Him to come down from the cross, “Save yourself,” they said, but if He saved Himself, He wouldn’t have saved us. He chose to stay on that cross because He saw the joy that was set before Him – the redeemed in glory forever – that was His joy…you are His joy (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus quoted from Psalm 22:1 because it was the expression of His heart, but it would also point all people to this Psalm that predicted the Messiah’s death in detail, 700 years before crucifixion had ever been invented by the Phoencians. The Romans would later master this art of execution, that would induce the maximum amount of pain, over the maximum amount of time.

Psalm 22:16 (NKJV) “For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet.”

Jesus was crucified at 9AM the land was dark from 12Noon to 3PM for it was then that our sins were placed upon Him and He was forsaken, separated from the Father, for God cannot look upon sin with pleasure.

The loud cry of Jesus was His cry of victory, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30). He then yielded up His spirit (Matthew 27:50) (see John 10:17-18) for He had finished the work for our salvation. Debt paid in full.

Thank You Jesus.

The veil of separation was torn in two by God Himself and now all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have free access to the throne room, the very presence of God (Hebrews 4:16).

They laid Jesus’ body in a borrowed grave, but it would only be for the weekend. They set a guard to keep Him down, but nothing in all the universe would be able to stop Christ from conquering death.

Psalm 34:1-10

The background to this Psalm can be found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David put himself in a dangerous situation before the king of the Philistines, and in order to get out of it, he pretended to be a mad-man.

How low he had sunk, but God rescued him, again, delivering him from death and this Psalm was written in response to God’s “salvation.” David wrote in:

Psalm 34:6 (NKJV) “This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”

And isn’t this true for all of us? It will always be His way of merciful protection over our lives until that day when we’ve finished the race. In light of this, let’s magnify the Lord together (Psalm 34:3).  Let’s bless Him always, praise Him continually, let’s boast about Him, seek Him, look to Him, cry out to Him, let’s taste and see that the LORD is good. Let’s fear Him and trust Him and hold tightly to His promise:

Psalm 34:10b (NKJV) “…but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.”

Proverbs 9:7-8

May God grant us the boldness to correct others if needed, but may He also grant us the wisdom to know when not to.

A scoffer will hate us for it.

A wise one will love us for it.

Charles Bridges, “Solomon gives us here the rule of Christian prudence….Why should we correct and rebuke when more harm than good will be the result? Avoid irritations. Wait for the favorable opportunity.”

May we also be wise by being open to correction. May we love and appreciate those who have that special place in our lives, placed there by God to point out our blind spots.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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