Has anyone ever thought about why the Lord told Moses to build a tabernacle in the desert? I mean really, traipsing around enduring the hot sun, lugging their possession’s, children, animals and Lord knows what else. Wasn’t that enough to deal with for the average Joe? On top of all that, they had to build a tabernacle to the exact specifications the Lord instructed. What’s that all about?
I’ve been studying Exodus for the past few years and I have to admit, I self-righteously thought “why don’t these people get it? Can’t they see all the provisions the Lord has given them?” Then I turned to Exodus 25:2 and it said, "Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.” This seemed very reasonable, until I read the rest of the chapter! God said to Moses, the contributions are everything from gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breast piece. Guess what? That’s not the end of God’s instructions or the end of the chapter. They were told to build a tabernacle, furniture, gold overlay for rings, and poles, lampstands, dishes, snuffers and trays all out of pure gold. Now do you get the picture? This type of undertaking was not for the faint of heart and spirit. This task was not for the weak, literally!!!!
I began to ponder the reasons why God would ask his people to perform such detailed, laborious and mentally challenging instructions. How could any person or group of people ever accomplish half of this stuff? It was then the light bulb went on in my brain. God was very clear in Exodus 25:2, asking only those whose hearts moved them to raise a contribution. This contribution was only to be raised for God, not for Moses, not for the tabernacle, not for the fellowship of the Israelites but for God and God alone. Could it be that God calls each of us to raise a contribution to him, not because he needs it, but we need it? God surely didn’t need the Tabernacle to commune with his children. He had the power to relate instantly with them. The problem is, they needed it to relate to him. Gods power and majesty go way beyond anything we can handle without his help.
When I think about the jobs that needed to be filled in creating the tabernacle, it boggles my mind. For instance, they were asked to do everything from forging iron, sewing, dying fabric, baking, creating special oils, hunting for the right animals and sea life, jewelry making, designing, candle making, tent making, the list goes on and on. Could it be that the Lord was giving each person the opportunity to use the God given gifts he created them to have? My answer to this question, after much prayer, became very clear. I believe God wants each of his creation to live within the purposes they were created for. I may be a seamstress or designer. Someone else may dye fabric or weave it. Another may forge iron or bake bread. Everyone has a gifting they gravitate to and when operating in it they experience peace, joy and contentment. That’s how God wired us!
With that said, I believe we must be careful not to confuse our God given gifts with our purpose here on earth. Our highest purpose, in my opinion, is to worship and obey our Heavenly Father. Worship represents falling on one’s knees and giving honor to the one who created us. Out of worship comes the understanding that God created our very existence and we are nothing without a relationship with him. When we understand this, our desire to obey him comes from pure gratefulness and a genuine fear to not offend the One we love, our Lord and Savior.