If we begin with the premise that “All Scripture is breathed out by G-d and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,..”(2 Tim. 3:16) then the portions with extensive descriptions such as Terumah would be a welcome opportunity for study. Within the measurements of cubits, and specific material for specific sections lies practical application and revelation of HaShem’s character. In addition, these schematics are G-d’s commandments and should be treated as such.

The first item of interest I would like to discuss is acacia wood.

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood.”  Exodus 25:10

Acacia wood is an important ingredient and is used throughout the construction of the tabernacle, but why does this particular wood have the privilege of being used? It must be a strong wood since it was used to support heavy weight. It must have grown in the wilderness or was at least easily accessible.  The acacia tree or shittah was also stricken with thorns.1 It is no mistake that G-d chose a tree with a thorny exterior yet a strong, durable interior. Look at what HaShem said in 1 Samuel:

“For the L-rd sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the L-rd looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Encoded here in the wood selection is a principle and practical application. First, G-d can use anyone or anything to accomplish His purpose. Even those with a rough appearance can be used for His glory! We are neither the judge nor the decision-maker. Second, when G-d commands something, even when the command contradicts our judgment, we must do it. Even if we don’t think acacia wood is the best, we must use it. Even when we don’t think a slanderous comment will cause damage we must remain silent. We are servants of the Most High, not consultants. Notice that there is no resistance to the commandments of building the tabernacle. Israel followed the measurements precisely and obediently. Only when we think we know better do we compromise and disobey. We should be humbled at the privilege to keep G-d’s commandments! Let’s approach the Bible with a humble heart and a desire to demonstrate love.

Every morning the following verse is recited during shacharit as an important reminder:

“Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.” Numbers 15:38

In Hebrew, the word for blue is techelet and the first usage of this word is found in this week’s parasha.

“And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair,..” Exodus 25:3-4

The first use of a word in Hebrew is significant and it may reveal additional meaning in future use. The word techelet debuts in the passage about Israel’s contribution to HaShem for the building of the tabernacle. Later in Numbers 15, the tassels with techelet are commanded to be worn so that we will “remember all the commandments of the L-RD..” (Num. 15:39) The connection between both passages is the description of our contribution to HaShem! The children of Israel brought an array of beautiful items for the tabernacle, but even without a tabernacle the contribution from our life is obedience to G-d’s commands to bring Him glory and further His kingdom. He desires holiness and if we truly love Him then we will keep His commandments. Yes, it is difficult to keep the commandments but the strength to do so is a gift from G-d! The gifts for the tabernacle originated from G-d. He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and had “given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians…Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” (Ex. 12:36) Similarly, when HaShem eternally redeems us through the blood of Yeshua (Eph. 2:13) His Spirit enables us to keep His commandments (Jn. 14:26).  Our G-d is abundant in mercy and He “who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Yeshua HaMoshiach.” (Phil. 1:6)

1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_seyal

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