Friday, March 24, 2017

The Glory of the LORD Fills His Tabernacle! | Parashat Vayakhel | By His EVERY Word


Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei

פרשת ויקהל־פקודי 


The Glory of the LORD Fills His Tabernacle! 

Torah: Exodus 35:1 - 38:20
Haftarah: I Kings 7:40 - 50 
B’rit Chadash: II Corinthians 9:6-11

Shabbat | 25 March 2017 | 27 Adar 5777

In Hebrew, Vayak’hel וַיַּקְהֵל literally means “and he assembled,” as our parashah begins with Moses assembling all the “congregation of the sons of Israel” for instruction from the LORD regarding the Sabbath, the Tabernacle, and congregational life.

The second Hebrew word in the title of our Parashah, Pekudei פְקוּדֵי is translated “accounts, sum” or “records.” This portion opens with an accounting of all the materials gathered for building the Tabernacle
—and a record of the stunning generosity of the assembly.

With these final portions we complete the book of Exodus. Adonai has formed His congregation of the sons of Israel, who have devoted their resources, gifts, and talents to preparing a dwelling place on earth for His Divine Presence according to the heavenly blueprint shown Moses. 

Upon completion of this holy enterprise, their efforts are rewarded as His awesome Shekhinah filled the Tabernacle, a celestial acceptance of their labor of love.
Adonai is still building His congregation until the final redemption when we will at last see the Heavenly Tabernacle, which is created by His eternal Presence. 

As we take the time to read through the Torah, Haftarah, and B'rit Chadashah, we see His plan and pattern—lovingly, painstakingly, and oft times heartbreakingly, wrought in flesh through the millennia—generation to generation.

Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant portion reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.
 



Exodus 35  The Holy Congregation—Assembled for a Holy Purpose

vv. 1-3 “Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, 'These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.'” 

The Hebrew word assembled is 'kä·hal קהל, meaning to assemble, to gather, to call together.

From kahal is derived the word kehillah, the Hebrew word for ASSEMBLY, SYNAGOGUE, or CONGREGATION. Kahal is also the Old Testament Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word ἐκκλησία ekklēsiaMost are familiar with its English usage in the New Testament: CHURCHan assembly or gathering of “the called” among the Jews or Gentiles who believed in Yeshua.
Most are familiar with the admonishment in James 2:2-4, regarding treating the wealthy better than the poor:

“...if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?”



However, very few realize that the described scenario—involving believers in Yeshuatakes place in a synagogue.
The word assembly in James 2:2 is συναγωγή synagōgē. It is the Greek word for kehillah from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Tenakh, the Old Testament). 

In the B’rit Chadashah/New Covenant/New Testament, synagogue generally refers to the assembling of the Jews, and ekklesia or church generally speaks to the assembly of believers—Jews and Gentiles. However, in first century lingo, ekklēsia and synagōgē were used interchangeably.
We find another very familiar verse in Hebrews 10:25 that most can quote by heart. Yet it may surprise some to find out it utilizes the word synagogue, not church:

“...not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” 


This is ἐπισυναγωγή episynagōgē, which also occurs in 2 Thessalonians 2:1: “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him...”
Many have a myopic view built around the word “church.” Even those who know the word church does not mean a building that people go to on Sunday, but rather the people who are called [out of the world, together for worship] assembling together, often have somewhat of a skewed or narrow view. This view paints a picture of the glorious church, birthed at Pentecost as an entirely new and unique thing, as contrasted with "the corrupt synagogue of the Jews," an idea graphically portrayed on the edifices of some of the grand cathedrals of Europe in the characters of Ecclesia and Synagoga.



There is no dispute that “the church,” the Body of Messiah, the assembly of believers is a glorious thing! 


Entirely new, however, not entirely.
For thousands of years, 
Adonai has been forming His Congregation. 
As we take the time to read through the Torah and Haftarah,
we see His plan and pattern—lovingly, painstakingly,
and ofttimes heartbreakingly,
wrought in flesh—generation to generation
.



Israel in the wilderness at Mt. Sinai is referred to as "the church" in Acts 7:38 in the KJV, again using the Greek word for church/assembly/congregation: ἐκκλησία ekklēsia.

Something Old, Something New


The believers were together “in one place” on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, oft noted as the “birth of the church.” The reason they were together was not a new thing—this was the ancient practice of the congregation of the sons of Israel.” (Exodus 35:1)

In the New Covenant, Shavu’ot is called by the Greek word, Pentecost, but it is the pilgrimage festival from Leviticus 23:15-22, when the men of Israel were called by Adonai to come up to Jerusalem fifty days after Passover. Paul continued to observe this rich festival as noted in Acts 20:16 and I Corinthians 16:8.

The believers were “...continuing with one mind in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)

The life of faith is meant to be shared, as exemplified in this week’s parashah. Each member, alone being limited, contributes an essential piece for the vitality of the “...whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)

In Exodus 35, we see Moses assembling the congregation together to hear the Word of the Lord:



Observe the Sabbath, Do Not Create Fire

vv. 2-3 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.” 

The issue of the Sabbath seems to be one of extreme importance to Adonai, as often as He revisits the subject! Embodied in the Sabbath observance is a weekly demonstration of TRUST for provision, thus recognizing and testifying to the world that the LORD God is a faithful provider. How many times do the Scriptures entreat, exhort, and admonish those who fear the LORD to trust the LORD, as in Psalm 115:11? 


It is also a reminder and testimony of His magnificent work of Creation. Why would Adonai command us not to kindle a fire on the Sabbath? 
Making light is an act of creation. God rested from His work of creation on the seventh day, and sanctified it for man to rest with Him. Therefore observant Jews prepare for the Sabbath, lighting their candles before sunset, turning on lights, preparing foods, etc., that they may rest with their Creator on this blessed day—His first appointment with His beloved in the Leviticus 23 list of mo’edim (appointed times).
No Fundraising Schemes ... Receive from Those Who Had a Heart to Give

vv. 5-9 “Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD'S contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and porpoise skins (or tanned skins), and acacia wood, and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.” 


Adonai must have had faith in His People and His plan, as He didn’t employ persuasive or clever fundraising principles to raise the resources needed to build His Tabernacle!

Let Each Joint Supply Accordingly and Liberally

vv. 10-29 “Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the LORD has commanded: the tabernacle, its tent and its covering ... the ark and its poles, the mercy seat ... the table and its poles ... the lampstand also for the light ...the oil for the light ... the woven garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests. 

“Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from Moses' presence. Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD'S contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the LORD.” 


Skinscloths of Tekhelet blue and scarlet were brought by every man who had them in his possession, and all who could contribute silver, bronze, and acacia wood brought it forth. 

Women whose hearts were stirred, spun fine linen, goats’ hair, and materials in Tekhelet blue, scarlet, and purple. The onyx stones, and precious stones for the ephod and breastpiece were contributed by the rulers. All that was needed, was given by a “freewill offering to the LORD. (v. 29)

vv. 30-33 Moses proclaimed that the LORD had called by name, Bezalel of the Tribe of Judah, filling him “with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work.” 

vv. 34-35 Not only was Bezalel gifted to do the work, but Adonai also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan,” filling them with “skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer...” 

Here we see a practical application of the Congregation working together—each one utilizing his skill, and teaching and equipping others—to build the earthly dwelling place for the LORD. Isn’t this an apt picture of Ephesians 4:16 where, “...every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part?”

This is the Body, formed by Adonai to build a habitation for His Divine Presence on earth ... then and now. In the time of Moses, His Glory would reside in the Tabernacle and then the Temple crafted by human hands—“the congregation of the sons of Israel.” Today, Adonai dwells in tabernacles of flesh and blood, who together form His Body for His Kingdom purposes on earth.

Exodus 36  Sufficient Unto His Purpose

Just as in verse 1, where we are told, “Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded,” each member of His Body performs an essential function for Adonai's eternal purposes.



There are those who seek to know what God has for them to enhance their own life, and those who conform the Scriptures to what is comfortable, palatable, culturally relative, or popular. There are those who “go to church” on Sunday and then live the rest of the week for themselves—although they may pray for theirs’ and others’ needs, and seem very "spiritual." 


God, however, is forming a Body for His purposes. A body that only puts forth a foot or an eye for serviceon its own termsand even then, only one day a week is seriously handicapped.
God is seeking a Holy Tabernacle from which His Holy Presence may penetrate this dark world as a beacon, exposing the deadly deceptions of wickedness, compromise, and rebellion. He is defining the Way that leads to Life. If we are conformed to the darkness of this age, we have dimmed that light. “If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mark 6:23)

As we are yielded to HIS purposes, HIS desires, and seeking HIS willnot ours, we will be sufficiently supplied to fulfill His purposes through us. 


And that chief purpose is this: that God be glorified—in His people ... in the earth.

Dayeinu! It is Sufficient!

v. 7 As suspected, Adonai knew what He was doing in taking an offering from His People “as stirred by their heart.” They gave ... and gave ... and gave! In fact, they gave sufficient materials for the entire Tabernacle, and even more than enough for all the work, to perform it.” 


Have you ever heard of such a thing? Without a fundraising strategy or clever gimmicks—the people gave more than was needed! 


Moses had to issue a command and a proclamation to circulate throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary” (v. 6) to restrain the people from bringing any more!

The Passover Seder (traditional supper) contains a song called Dayeinu (pronounced die-ā-noo), a Hebrew word דַּיֵּנוּ, meaning “it would have been sufficient.”

The song has 14 verses recounting the many wonderful things Adonai did for our people in the Exodus story, “If He had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them ... Dayeinu! It would have been sufficient! If He would have supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years, but not given us manna ... given us the Shabbat, but not brought before Mount Sinai, etc., etc. ...Dayeinu!
Dayeinu is formed from the Hebrew word dai די in verse 7: “they gave sufficient materials...” This is the same word translated as overflows in Malachi 3:10: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Exodus 37-39  The Tabernacle Constructed

According to Adonai’s meticulous instructions, with the over-abundant supply of
materials and willing craftsmen, the Wilderness Tabernacle is constructed.
An interesting insight from the Jewish commentaries on Exodus 38:8: “Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”


In keeping with the theme of consecration for the service of the LORD, it is thought these women sacrificed their mirrors—essentially renouncing their vanity—as a demonstration of their devotion to Adonai and His service. 

“So the sons of Israel did all the work according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses. And Moses examined all the work and behold, they had done it; just as the LORD had commanded, this they had done. So Moses blessed them. (Exodus 39:42-43)
Moses had been given a view of the Heavenly Tabernacle—the Divine Blueprints for Adonai’s dwelling place among His People. (Exodus 25:9) He was able to bless the congregation for their zealous dedication to the sacred task of preparing God’s Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

Exodus 40  The Glory of the LORD Fills His Tabernacle
































vv. 1-16 “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.’ ...You shall put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me. You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them; and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me; and their anointing will qualify them for a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.’ Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.” 


The Tabernacle had been scrupulously prepared for the Almighty.
The priesthood is now to be prepared with holy garments.

Holy garments represent consecration unto Adonai, being undefiled, and separated unto Him for His service and glory. 

“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.”

Psalm 24:3-4

vv. 17-34 “Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. ...He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. Thus Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 


Some may say that God is too demanding.
Why so many details?

But this was the reward for the generosity and months of dedication
 in the desert for the congregation of the sons of Israel—
the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle they had built for Him!


The awesome Divine Presence was His seal of approval on their completed work.

How many long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)

v. 35 “Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

Shekhinah
The Hebrew sages spoke of the manifest Divine Presence as the Shekhinah שכינה (Pronounced: sheh-kee-nah), which has been adopted by Christianity. 
The word Shekhinah does not appear in the the Bible, but is likely derived from the word, shakhan שכן, translated as settled in verse 35. Shakhan is also translated abide, dwell, tabernacle. 
Thus, in Judaic tradition, Shekhinah is defined as the Divine Presence of the Almighty.
Follow Me!

vv. 36-37 “Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up.” 

Thus the congregation of the sons of Israel would learn to follow the LORD in the wilderness. Again, we find  a parallel—something old, something new

And much like Israel, who had to learn to follow Adonai so many generations ago, we too, are called to follow. For Yeshua entreats us: follow me!” “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:26) Do you hear His voice today?

v. 38 For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”

When we finally see the Heavenly Tabernacle, which is the LORD Almighty Himself, we will finally walk perfectly by His Divine Light...

“The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)

With This We Complete the Book of Exodus!

Chazak! Chazak! Be strong, be strong! And let us strengthen one another! These are the words of the ancient warrior paraphrased from 2 Samuel 10:12, and customary to proclaim upon completing each of the five books of the Torah.

To be continued...



Haftarah Vayak’hel Kings 7:40-50

Well, here we are again with more information on the Tabernacle being given in our Torah portion of Scripture. That which we have already seen in Exodus is a preliminary to what God is going to do when He has Solomon build the first permanent Temple. In the Exodus 35:1-38:20 portion there are some things of note that reflect upon this week’s Haftarah and B’rit Chadashah. First though, some dissimilarities between the Torah (Tabernacle) and Haftarah (Temple) passages.

The first is that the opportunity to contribute to the construction of the Tabernacle was extended to all of the congregation. (Exodus 35:4-5) That’s everyone. “Moses spoke to all the congregation...”(v.4) With Solomon’s Temple there was no contribution of wealth from the people. David had either provided it prior to his death or it came from taxation. 

The second is that the giving for the Tabernacle was done willingly and not out of compulsion. “...whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring...” (v.5)  Moses was quite clear on both of these points when he spoke to the people. “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying, ‘Take from among you a contribution to the Lord; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze...’” (Exodus 35:4-5) Significant here is that the laborers on Solomon’s Temple were not voluntary, but conscript.

And the third dissimilarity is that this giving to the Tabernacle's construction seemed to just pour out of the proverbial horn of plenty. It just never stopped. “They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.” (36:3) This could be summed up by saying that with the Tabernacle God’s children were invited to participate and willingly did so; whereas with the building of the first Temple they were commanded to. They had no choice in the matter. Ouch, that must have hurt. And so...

I Kings 7:40-50 is the Haftarah selection of Scripture we are comparing the Torah with. While these verses deal solely with some construction issues of Solomon’s Temple there are unspoken points of similarity. What might some of them be? Why would the Sages have chosen these verses as a compliment—or substitutionary reading—to the Torah portion?

Perhaps the most obvious link the Sages saw between this and the Torah portion is that both speak of the collection of materials for, and the construction of God’s House. But beyond that, this process was to make a place for God to meet His people, and be a place from which God’s people would offer their sacrifices to Adonai.

We must not forget as well that both the Tabernacle and Temple reflected the best that could be given to the task of creating these structures at that time.

At this point, let’s hold off making any application for now and move on to our B’rit Chadashah portion. I think we’ll see it there.


B'rit Chadashah Vayak’hel-Pekudei
II Corinthians 9:6-11


As we move into our B’rit Chadashah passage of II Corinthians 9:6-11 we are introduced to a portion of the doctrine concerning New Testament giving. As you read these verses see if your able to find similarity and contrast with the previous Tabernacle and Temple passages. Here we go.

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ‘HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.’ Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.”
The Apostle Paul was on a mission. The believers in the Jerusalem church were in financial need and Paul was committed to meeting that need through offerings from other churches. So he writes to the Corinthian church regarding a commitment they had made to contribute to this circumstance. “So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.” (II Corinthians 9:5)
With the thought of an impending collection in mind Paul pulls out some of those Tabernacle giving principals. 

  • First of all, the opportunity to contribute was extended to all the saints in Corinth. In 8:1 Paul addresses the “brethren.” Paul has been speaking to the whole church in this letter and goes right on doing so as he launches into this portion on giving. No one was to be excluded from this opportunity. All were invited to share in the blessing.
  • Secondly, Paul wanted only what was going to be given willingly and not because one felt they had to. In 9:7 he says, ”Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

As the Holy Spirit brought these points to Paul’s thinking for the process of the divinely inspired act of pen to paper, this educated Pharisee’s mind had to leap back to the process whereby the Tabernacle was “funded.”  Both of these points must have reminded Paul of Exodus 35:4-5. Remember how... “Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying,  'Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze...’ ” And 35:21 then goes on to say, “Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.”

  • The third point could be no different in the Apostle’s thinking. He must have recalled how Moses, in recounting this Tabernacle event, wrote of those giving, “They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.” (Exodus 36:3)

These giving Israelites, one and all, were first, offered the opportunity to give. Then they were, instructed how to give. It had to be out of a willing heart. And lastly the fruit of this was that they just didn’t stop giving.

What a contrast we see when we consider the construction of Solomon’s Temple. Let’s first understand though, that the building of the Temple was of the Lord. God had instructed King David to prepare much of what would be needed. He just could not do the building himself. Solomon, his son and the next King, was to use what had been assembled along with other materials acquired largely from a foreign country. This was God’s plan. It was a blessed and divinely led endeavor. But there were major differences.

These differences centered around the interaction of the Jewish people with the project of building the Temple. 

  • First, there was no offer made to them to contribute goods or wealth to the project. 
  • And so, secondly, there could be no giving out of that willing heart so openly seen in the construction of the Tabernacle. 
  • This meant that, third, there was no continual giving and no consequential blessing in their lives which would have come as a result of that giving.

As we move on in the story of the Temple building we see that it was successfully finished and it was the grandest of structures. Not only had David planned and then Solomon erected the Temple, but they completed many other building projects in each of their respective reigns. 

The Temple itself was seven years in the making and then after that there was another thirteen years to build Solomon’s house. And after that there was more building.  


II Chronicles 8:1-6 tells us that Solomon built city after city. How this was accomplished was warned of by Samuel. Let’s visit that.

It is in I Samuel 8 that the children of Adonai come to Samuel and ask for a king to  rule over them. Up until then they had what would be called a theocratic kingdom. In other words, God was their King. He ruled over them through appointed representatives. But these Israelites wanted to be like all the other folks and do things the way everyone else did, the world’s way. Samuel warned them of the bad consequences of this desire. We find it in I Samuel 8:1-22, especially verses 9 and 16.

Here God says to Samuel, “Now then listen to their voice; however you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them” (v.9). And then Samuel says to the people speaking of these kings they want, “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work.” (v.16)

The people would be used to serve the king. But they insisted, and so God allowed the institution of the monarchy. This system was oppressive and was abused. When Israel finally divided into two separate  kingdoms the specific reason given for initiating its division was the oppressive labor forced on the people by Solomon.

You’ll see this in I Kings 12:1-16. In verse four, Jeroboam, soon to be the first king of the new Northern Kingdom, says to Rehoboam, at that point the next king of Israel after his father Solomon, Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you." Ultimately this agreement was not reached and Israel was thus divided into two separate kingdoms.

Suffice it to say that where the Tabernacle was concerned there was much blessing. Where the Temple was concerned that blessing which comes from giving did not exist. Two ways of building, two different outcomes when it comes to the blessing of giving or not giving. The way of blessing came because the process of building the Tabernacle was done under God’s rule, done His way. The missed blessing happened because the people were under a King’s rule and things were just done differently.
So where does all of this lead us? Hopefully as believers in Yeshua and therefore members of the Body of Messiah, it impresses upon us the necessity of giving in a Biblical way.
There are many gimmicks, schemes, programs, rallies, and the like to get believers to give.  Let's recognize them for what they are; man-made substitutes for giving God’s way. But God’s way, the right way, is found in Scripture—a bit of it in our II Corinthians passage.


Why don’t we just stick with that. The opportunity to give is open to all. Those that give willingly and not out of compulsion will be blessed. 

And our God will supply the need, even meet it with excess.




Have a blessed Shabbat!

In Messiah's Love,
His EVERY Word Ministries