God wants cheerful givers! A look at Exodus 25:1-27:19


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Parashah: “T'rumah” (offering) EXODUS 25:1-27:19

In this Bible study, we see that a request is made for a “free-will offering” so that the Tabernacle can be built and the articles of furnishings for the same. As we remember, when the Israelites left Egypt, they left with quite a treasure which the Egyptians gave them so that they would leave. We could consider this, “back pay” for all the work they had done for four hundred years.

Egypt had quite a wealth in gold, silver, gems, fine fabrics, etc., and now, Egypt remained poor and in ruins while “B'nei Yisrael” left with the “spoils of war” a war which YHVH fought against the gods of Egypt, and won. So, in a battle, the spoils of war belong to the victor. So, while the Israelites were protected, God fought against the demonic entities, in the guise of the “gods of Egypt” Pharaoh included. So, rightly, the riches and spoils of Egypt belong to YHVH, being carried by HIS people.

So, where in the desert are the people going to spend it all? they are just carrying it around, a lot of extra weight and burden, might as well put it to good use. The plan is to build a place where YHVH can come down and live with his chosen people. It isn't that YHVH can only live in one place, He is eternal, everywhere, yet He will “rest” with His people, minister to His people right there, visible by a cloud by day and fire by night. The “invisible God” will be “visible” in those two ways.

In “Yitro” The Torah was given to Israel, and the marriage “Ketubah”(marriage contract) was given in the form of the Ten Commandments, written in stone, In “Mishpatim” “justice” was given, and some more commandments (51) explained by YHVH through Moses, and now, YHVH is saying “Take ME into your life, make ME a place to dwell among you”

Yet first, the people have to gather the materials to make HIM a “Mikdash” (Sanctuary) yet more on this word later. The materials would be “freely given” The Word says; “Take for me an offering” (Terumah) yet at the end of the verse, the word is “Terumati” (my offering). Question, is it Israel’s offering, or God’s offering? It is BOTH. Israel gave and God made sure it was enough, and it was “more than enough”.

Remember in the New Covenant when the boy offered 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish? “He gave” and then, Yeshua multiplied the offering, “HE gave BACK”. In the days of Elisha, the widow gave a bit of wheat and oil to make some bread for the prophet, and then, GOD through Elisha gave back! Many pots of olive oil were left over, enough to sell and pay off the widow’s debt. Whatever we have to offer, Adonai will bless and double it in only a way that HE will be glorified.

We look at 25:8, “.and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them…” Thus said Adonai speaking to Moses. The word “to dwell among” is “Shakhn’ti” and it not only means “to dwell among” it also means “to dwell inside” and that is the way it is today, the “Ruach Elohim” the “Spirit of God" dwells “inside” of every born-again believer. God is our “neighbor”. The word “neighbor” in Hebrew is the word; “Shakhein” can see Also, the word “Mishkan” (tabernacle) and the word “Shekinah” (the Shekinah glory)contain some of those same letters. So, there is a relationship between, the words: "Tabernacle', dwell among, dwell inside, and neighbor. Today we know it as the Spirit of God, who dwells inside every believer. So, YHVH is our “neighbor” who dwells inside of us 24-7.

Another word “Tabernacle” is “sanctuary” (Mikdash) Something interesting about this word is that in Hebrew, the word has 5 consonants; “m” “k” “d” and “sh” (mem, qof, dalet, sheen) being the Hebrew letters. The letter “k” or “Qof” symbolizes “holiness” it is right in the middle of the word. Without the “Qof,” we would have the other 3 letters and if one puts the “Sheen” (sh) first, the word would be “Sh +m+d” (Shemed) which means “vanity”. What is the symbolism here? A sanctuary without holiness would be a vanity place. Without holiness, what else is there besides vanity?

Something else is here. The words "Mikdash" (Sanctuary) and "Mishkan (Tabernacle) are both used. We could say that the "Tabernacle" is the entire structure, just like a church building or a synagogue are the main structures. Inside the church or synagogue, there is the "Holy Place" or "sanctuary" where the worship service takes place.

The building project was, one could say, financed by Egypt. For 4 hundred years, Israel worked for a hard taskmaster, “Pharaoh and Company” building edifices dedicated to false gods, now, Israel has a new master, The Creator of the Universe, the Maker of Man, the future “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” A place will be built for HIM to minister to his people, and every piece of furniture will reflect who HE IS.

There are 13 general items for the building project; 1. Gold, 2. Silver, 3. Brass, 4. Blue, purple, and scarlet fabric, 5. Fine linen, 6. Goat’s hair, 7. Ram’s skins, 8. Sealskins, 9. Acacia-wood, 10. Oil, 11. Spices, 12. Onyx stones, 13. Other gemstones. The number “13” in Gematria is the sum of the letters in the word “Echad” which means “ONE in unity”. With those materials, the Mishkan/Mikdash was built, so that Adonai could be ONE with HIS PEOPLE, which now includes all believers. We are all ONE with Messiah Yeshua.

Gold, silver, precious stones, fabric, and wood. Now there is a question, where did the wood come from? Are there any Shitim and Acacia trees in the desert? If one looks at the desert of Saudi Arabia today, even through “Google Maps” or “Google Earth” one can see almost no trees, just bare mountains. But we are talking about a desert almost 4000 years ago, it was probably very different, it had to be, remember that the Israelites brought with them cattle and sheep, what are they going to eat? Sand? No, there had to have been vegetation, trees. They could have cut the trees down in the desert and fashioned them into boards for the “Mishkan” (tabernacle) or they might have brought them out of Egypt, already cut and fashioned, perhaps some of the Egyptian lumber yards just gave them all that, since not all of the Egyptians were rich in gold and silver (just an idea)

This is a “free-will offering” Moshe states, “of every man whose heart maketh him willing”. So it was not forced, it was “of free will”. We know that the people gladly gave, so much that later on, Moshe has to say, “Stop giving already, we have enough”. Can you imagine a pastor or rabbi from a church or synagogue that would say to his congregation, “OK brothers and sisters, we have enough money for all of our needs, you can stop giving?” I don't think that will ever happen, when one gives of his or her time, talent, and treasure, God gives back many times over. Money is like a conduit, it should flow like water through a pipe, to be spread out, not “backlogged”

Many hoard money like a squirrel hoards nuts in a tree, no amount in the bank seems to be enough. One rich man was asked, “How much is enough?' he said, “Only one dollar more...” and it never ends. Adonai has promised us that He would provide for ALL of our needs, through his abundance in grace, both in spiritual ways, physical, and material ways, if we will only trust Him.

We ask ourselves, what kind of “T’rumot” (offerings) can we “offer up” today? Gold, silver, and bronze? Yes, that would be money, from our paychecks, tithes, and offerings. Fine linen, blue, purple, and scarlet threads? Yes, that would be clothing. Some ministries collect used and new clothing to donate to the poor and needy. I would say, we can offer up almost anything of value to someone in need. But most of all, we can “offer up ourselves” as living sacrifices. We can offer up our abilities to serve, offer up our spiritual gifts since that is why God has given spiritual gifts, to edify the body of Messiah. The word "rum" in "T'rumah" is the Hebrew root word for "Up, or elevate" (not the drink!) Now, on to the building project;

So, the building project is started, with the “tent of meeting” (The tabernacle/Mishkan) with its wooden boards, bars, clamps, and curtains of linen, the furniture that would go inside; The brazen Altar, the brazen Laver, the Menorah, the table of shew-bread, the incense altar, and finally, the Ark of the Covenant, (Aron Ha Kodesh. Every one of these pieces reflects who Yeshua is and his finished work on Calvary's cross.

The Ark of the Covenant is mentioned first, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, both inside and out. Inside this box would be the tables of the Law, the “Torah” It symbolizes the purity and sinlessness of YHVH. The wood; the humanity of Yeshua who was YHVH in the flesh, both God and man. As it was covered with gold inside and out, it symbolizes that we also should be, through the Holy Spirit, “pure” inside and out, both physically, and spiritually, where people can see and where only God can see, inside us. The Torah, God's teaching and instruction to us, is inside the Ark, as the “Living Torah” who is Yeshua is inside of us, and also, his teaching, his “Torah” inside of us, to understand, learn from, and put into action in our daily lives.

The Cherubim that are on top of the Kaporet look down upon the mercy seat, and they remind us of God's Holy Angels that are around us and who protect us. The “Shekinah Glory” the “Holy Presence of YHVH” was on top of the “Kaporet” (the cover) and when the high priest would sprinkle blood on the cover, YHVH would see the blood. The blood on the cover symbolized (before Yeshua) that the sins of man were “covered” for one year, but after Calvary, the sins of all of us were “erased” “wiped away” and “blotted out” forever.

The 7 branch Menorah (candlestick) was made of pure gold, with 7 branches, the “perfect number of God” The six branches would extend from the center branch, just like we, believers, depend on the center branch, or “trunk” for our sustenance, there were “6” branches, (number of man) connected to the “7th” main branch. This Menorah symbolizes “Yeshua” as the “Light of the World” and the oil inside it as the “Ruach Ha Kodesh” (The Holy Spirit) We see the “wicks” that are inside the lamps as “believers” who depend on the “oil” (the Ruach HaKodesh) for our continuous growth, as part of the body of Messiah Yeshua.

The lamps on the Menorah would burn from evening time to morning. They would be the only light source inside the Tabernacle, while outside would be the pillar of fire, which would give light and warmth to the camp of Israel during the cold desert nights. All in all, light all around, inside and outside!.

The table of shew-bread symbolizes Messiah Yeshua as the “Bread of Life” with the 12 loaves of unleavened bread. The bread was to be there, “continuously” The priests would eat the bread on the sabbath and more bread was placed on the table, so that there would be “always the presence of “the Bread of Life” As believers, the living Torah is our spiritual bread, and we must partake daily of this bread. No wonder Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, yet in Hebrew the name is “Beit-Lechem” the “House of Bread” Again, the table was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the purity of the sinless presence of God and the humanity of Messiah Yeshua.

Then there is the table of Incense, also made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. This is where coals from the brazen altar were placed, and incense burned. The incense symbolizes our prayers, which go up to Heaven as the sweet-smelling incense smoke also goes up. This piece of furniture is mentioned in the next Bible study portion.

The curtains of the tabernacle were to be made of fine linen, with the colors, blue, purple, and scarlet. These colors remind us of “blue skies of heaven above” “purple” (the color of royalty, Yeshua the King), and scarlet, (the color of blood) reminding us of Yeshua's blood that was shed for all our sins, past, present, and future. And of course, the wooden planks that remind us of the humanity of Yeshua.

In the outer court of the tabernacle, there is the brazen altar, made of bronze and filled with water. This is where the priests washed their hands and feet. Bronze symbolizes judgment, imagine when the priests approached the still waters in the bronze laver, they would be able to see their reflection in the water. Imagine that is us looking into a mirror, what do we see? The image of a holy God, yet tainted with sin, we need to judge ourselves, and turn from our sinful ways, repent of our sins, like Yeshua said, “Your sins are forgiven, GO, and SIN NO MORE”.

Finally, there is the brazen altar, which is the first thing a person would see inside the tabernacle. It symbolizes Yeshua who was judged for our sins. It is made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. The bronze symbolizes the judgment that Messiah Yeshua went through to pay our sin price. The animal sacrifices were placed on the grills which were on top of the altar. The animals symbolize our Messiah Yeshua, their blood symbolizes HIS blood, and the fire symbolizes the “fires of judgment” that Yeshua endured on the cross of Calvary, once and only once. It was sufficient, for our sins, past, present, and future. Let not his sacrifice for sin be for naught. If you have never placed your faith in Yeshua as Messiah, Savior, and LORD, do it now.

The Golden Lampstand, Menorah.
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