The LORD Accounts for the Gifts, the Givers and the Builders (Exodus 37-38)

Scripture reading – Exodus 37-38

To Israel, the visible presence of the Tabernacle became a constant reminder of God’s presence in the midst of His people. Because it was His sanctuary, the LORD named not only the principal builder, Bezaleel (37:1), but also gave precise details for its design and furnishings. There was no room left for uncertainty.

Exodus 37 – The design of the Tabernacle, and its furnishings

The construction and dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant are chronicled (37:1-4), and it served as the figure of God’s heavenly throne in the midst of His people (Psalm 80:1; 99:1). The Ark was designed to be portable, and was transported by means of staves (wooden rods overlaid with gold), and was carried by priests during Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness (37:3-5).  Gold overlaid the Ark, including the “mercy seat,” upon which two cherubim faced one another with outstretched wings (37:7-9). The gold reminds us of the purity, and holiness of God’s throne of judgment.

Other furnishings crafted and employed in the tabernacle are itemized (37:10-28), including a table, dishes, bowls, spoons, an elaborate candlestick, and an “altar of incense” (37:25-29), all overlaid with pure gold.

“Holy anointing oil” (37:29a) was made, and was used to anoint the tabernacle, all of its furnishings, and the priests when they were sanctified to serve the LORD before the people. Incense was made, and was dedicated and used in the Tabernacle (37:29b).

Exodus 38 – Preparation for the Tabernacle Courtyard

Though not named, the personal pronoun “he,” is a reference to Bezaleel who was  the LORD’s chosen builder (Exodus 31:1-5, 35:30-33; 37:1; 38:1).

Bezaleel “made the altar of burnt offering” (38:1), the “laver of brass” (38:8, a large bowl or fount used by priests for washing their hands and feet), and had the oversight of assembling the curtains that enclosed the exterior court around the Tabernacle and the brass altar (38:9-20).

Reminding us that nothing was left to chance, we are given an accounting of the gold, silver, and brass that was used in the preparation of the sanctuary and its furnishings (38:21-31).

Exodus 38:21-31 might appear as unimportant details to some; however, it reminds me that our tithes and offerings are accounted for by God, and should not be taken lightly. We also find the names of the men who used their talents and skills for the LORD; “Bezaleel the son of Uri” a carpenter (38:22) and Aholiab, son of Ahisamach” an “engraver…and an embroiderer” (38:23).

The tally of the gold, silver, and brass revealed the enormous sacrifice of the people, as they gave for the construction, and furnishings of the Tabernacle, the Sanctuary of the LORD on earth.

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith