Sunday, February 5. Exodus 25 – 28

Chapter 25 introduces us to the longest speech given by God in the book of Exodus.  It concerns the building of the tabernacle and is so minute in detail that modern readers get a little glassy-eyed.

The detail is not important, for you could not, from the details given in the book, reconstruct the tabernacle or any of its furnishings.  Indeed, this is not the point of giving the details.  God will show Moses a “master plan” of all that God has in mind.  In addition, God will give the craftsmen involved the ability to understand the plan and make the building and implements God desires.

So why have the detail?

The detail, along with the notion of a master plan and inspired craftsmen, is there to remind us that when it comes to God’s house, not just anything will do.  Not even the best we have to offer will do.  The only thing that will do is what God wants.

The Church is today the temple of God, where the Lord dwells through His Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22).  It is not now nor will it ever be a human institution, and when it begins to bear human marks that deviate from the divine order, it will become a desecration.

When you think about all these items described, hopefully you will get the point that the temple was to be impressive.  There was nothing ordinary about it, and the same is to be true of the Church.

Note that as God lays out all this, he does not begin with the plan and then, having inspired the people with its grandiose nature, call for them to give.  Moses is to ask for the gifts first, and these gifts are not just whatever folks want to give.  They are required to give what it takes to get the job done.

Note also that this is not a “clergy” matter.  The address is not to the priests, but to the whole community of Israel.  The erection of the dwelling of the Lord is a matter that involves the whole community of faith, not just the priesthood.  The care of the Church is likewise a community of faith matter for today, the Church is the community of faith.