Many of us grew up not knowing where our food came from or that our shoes were being made by kids our own age halfway around the world. Simply put, we were not connected to the things we utilized or consumed. This has led to the handcrafted craze. People are home-brewing their own beer, roasting their own coffee, and shopping locally. Some folks are realizing that there is a diminishing return on faster and more. There is a return to craftsmanship, creating value from time and attention. Today’s passage is a simple description of intricate craftsmanship designed with the greater purpose of connecting God’s people to himself.
- What adds value to our work?
- Does it matter why something is being created, or is it only the end product that counts?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 36:8-38 (ESV)
8 And all the craftsmen among the workmen made the tabernacle with ten curtains. They were made of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked. 9 The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. All the curtains were the same size.
10He coupled five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he coupled to one another. 11 He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain of the first set. Likewise he made them on the edge of the outermost curtain of the second set. 12 He made fifty loops on the one curtain, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set. The loops were opposite one another. 13 And he made fifty clasps of gold, and coupled the curtains one to the other with clasps. So the tabernacle was a single whole.
14He also made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle. He made eleven curtains. 15 The length of each curtain was thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. The eleven curtains were the same size. 16 He coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. 17 And he made fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain of the one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the other connecting curtain. 18 And he made fifty clasps of bronze to couple the tent together that it might be a single whole. 19 And he made for the tent a covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins.
20Then he made the upright frames for the tabernacle of acacia wood. 21 Ten cubits was the length of a frame, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each frame. 22 Each frame had two tenons for fitting together. He did this for all the frames of the tabernacle. 23 The frames for the tabernacle he made thus: twenty frames for the south side. 24 And he made forty bases of silver under the twenty frames, two bases under one frame for its two tenons, and two bases under the next frame for its two tenons. 25For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty frames 26 and their forty bases of silver, two bases under one frame and two bases under the next frame. 27 For the rear of the tabernacle westward he made six frames. 28 He made two frames for corners of the tabernacle in the rear. 29 And they were separate beneath but joined at the top, at the first ring. He made two of them this way for the two corners. 30 There were eight frames with their bases of silver: sixteen bases, under every frame two bases.
31He made bars of acacia wood, five for the frames of the one side of the tabernacle, 32 and five bars for the frames of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames of the tabernacle at the rear westward. 33 And he made the middle bar to run from end to end halfway up the frames. 34And he overlaid the frames with gold, and made their rings of gold for holders for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.
35He made the veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; with cherubim skillfully worked into it he made it. 36 And for it he made four pillars of acacia and overlaid them with gold. Their hooks were of gold, and he cast for them four bases of silver. 37 He also made a screen for the entrance of the tent, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework, 38 and its five pillars with their hooks. He overlaid their capitals, and their fillets were of gold, but their five bases were of bronze.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What was the purpose of the veil that was put together in verse 35 (see Exodus 26:31-33 and Leviticus 16)?
- What does the care and intricacy in construction exhibited in theses verses tell you about God?
- What in your life do you give attention and care to that might connect others to Christ?
RESPOND TO GOD
God gave precise specifications to specific people for the creation of the exact tabernacle he wanted built. After enslavement and wandering the desert, perhaps such direction and exactness felt like relief for the Israelites. This handcrafted tabernacle was for a greater purpose than just busyness or beauty; it showed the value God had connecting and dwelling with his people. He continues to have that same desire throughout time. Christ was called Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” When Christ ascended to heaven, he left with us the helper, the Holy Spirit who indwells each believer. God desires to dwell with his people and give the time and attention needed for such a connection.
- Meditate on God’s goodness and desire to dwell among his people.
- Pray that you will have a similar desire to love others with a love that is pursuant.