Note: This is the last lesson in Exodus. We will be finishing the book and will start Leviticus after the Christmas break.
Also, most of this reading is a repetition of Exodus 25-31, which was Lesson 10. See links here for detailed summaries: Exodus 25, Exodus 26-27, Exodus 28-29, Exodus 30-31
Summary of passage: Exodus 35: Moses is giving more regulations to the people, saying the Sabbath must be holy and no work is to be done or face the penalty of death. No fire is to be lit on the Sabbath. All are to take an offering to the Lord of what they have in order to furnish the tabernacle or to use their skills to make all the furnishings such as the altar of incense, the table, the ark, the lamp stand, the curtains, the priests’ robes, etc.
All who were willing did as bidded–brought offerings of all kinds to furnish the Tent of Meeting. Bezalel and Oholiab have been gifted with the Spirit of God to make such items for the Tent and they are to teach others as well.
Exodus 36: All the items brought were given to the craftsmen and they discovered that the people were brining more than enough. So Moses ordered the people to stop bringing offerings. So the workers set about making all the items from the curtains to the frame for the tabernacle to the ark (Exodus 37), table, lamp stand, and altar of incense to (Exodus 38) the altar of burnt offering, basin for washing, and the courtyard. All the materials used were recorded by the Levites at Moses’s command.
Exodus 39: All the garments were made for the priests which were made sacred by the Lord. The ephod, breast piece, tunics, sashes, etc were woven.
3a) To work for six days and rest on the Sabbath.
b) So that the Israelites may have time to worship the Lord. Furthermore, it was the best way to ensure continued obedience of His people.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Our lives should revolve around worshipping God and we do that through our calling (our work, our purpose) and dedicating our days to His glory by setting aside time to come to Him and be with Him. Doing His work such as my writings and this blog is resting in Him. When I do His will, I worship Him. When I go to church I worship Him. When I open His word, I worship Him. We need to remember the importance of resting in Him and in His finished work. God wanted to make sure the Israelites realized the importance of this command.
4a) The people themselves.
b) The Lord chose Bezalel, son of Uri and Oholiab son of Ahisamach. Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God with the skill, ability, and knowledge of all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs for the work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work the wood, and to engage in all kind of artistic craftsmanship. Oholiab was gifted with the ability to teach others the skills to do all kinds of work as craftsman, designers, and embroiderers, etc.
c) “Every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work.”
d) Yes. They received more than enough (Exodus 36:5).
e) Personal Question. My answer: The people gave more than they had to and as they were able. God chose the leaders and gifted them. My prayers would be for God to imbibe His people with the talents He needs for the church. To imbibe me and my family with talents to fulfill His purposes for our lives.
5) God gave the commands to Moses in chapters 25-31 and Moses is repeating the commands to the Israelites in chapters 35-39. God told Moses to write down the commands twice when Moses was divinely inspired when he was writing the book of Exodus in which case God thought the details important enough to record twice so they wouldn’t be lost. Repetition in the Bible is because we humans need to hear things more than once to “get it”. Here, we get how important the tabernacle is to God when the instructions are recorded twice for our benefit.
Also, this demonstrates Moses faithfulness to us (those who came after Moses) so we see his faithfulness to God’s instructions and commands. It strengthens our faith when God gives us commands and gives us a great role model.
Conclusions: BSF combined all these chapters because they are a repetition of Chapters 25-31. Good emphasis on faithfulness to God, praying for His gifts in our lives and to use them for His purpose, and for the importance again of resting in Him.
End Notes: God could have created all the materials for the tabernacle Himself but the purpose was to teach His people to be cheerful givers and develop in them the quality of giving and generosity. And the people were asked to give according to what they were able–great lesson for us as well. What they were able to give and where God had moved their hearts to give. Some gave work as well.
The need was presented–Moses led the people in the need, which is what we need today. We need to be told the needs since often we don’t know them. Then we need to respond.
Note when the need was met, the giving stopped. As it should be today. We should expect organization and management of our resources given and not asked to give and give. Prudence reigned here.
Note how women gave up their mirrors to make the basin for ceremonial washing. They gave up what looking at themselves to look at God. Awesome!
The exact count of the money teaches us how accuracy is important when involving money and God’s work. Prudence again.
Fun Fact: Some commentators estimate that descriptions of the tabernacle make up the largest single subject covered in the Bible.