Our reading today begins with episodes of renewed hope. First, the LORD calls Moses back up Mount Sinai. Imagine yourself standing on the mountain as the cloud descends and the voice of the LORD crashes through. Moses begs the LORD to restore Israel, and the LORD responds with a renewed covenant.
The purpose of this trip is for the LORD to inscribe His law on a new set of tablets. You’ll remember that Moses had destroyed the first set when he saw Israel worshipping the Golden Calf. These Tablets of Testimony seem to be the thread through this whole account. The author relates that God tells Moses to “cut two tablets of stone,” Moses took them with him up the mountain, he wrote on them what the LORD had told him; and then they were in Moses’ hands when he returned. Obviously, making sure that Israel had a permanent record of His commands was a high priority for the LORD.
Once Moses has reinforced, again, the Sabbath regulations with the Israelites, they get to work on building the tabernacle. This begins with a record of how joyfully the people responded to the call for donations.
As you read about this outpouring, remember the last night in Egypt, when “The Egyptians were urgent…to send them out of the land…The people of Israel did as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
Once the building materials are in hand, Bezalel and Oholiab oversee the work and teach the others how the craft is to be done. The building account reveals the same painstaking detail that was employed in relating the instructions. I’ll remind you, again, that if God stands behind the Bible, and if the Bible goes to such great detail describing the design and construction of His worship space, then there might be something to learn about Him through this.
Our verse for this week is Hebrews 11:24-25: By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
Exodus chapters 34 through 36. Now let’s read it!
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.