32 This is how all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the LORD had instructed Moses; they did it so. 33 Then they presented the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 34 the covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins, and the protecting veil; 35 the ark of the testimony with its carrying poles and the mercy seat; 36 the table with all its utensils, and the Face bread; 37 the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil to fuel the light; 38 the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; 39 the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand; 40 the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 41 the finely worked uniforms for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy uniforms for Aaron the priest, and the uniforms of his sons for their service as priests. 42 According to all that the LORD had instructed Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and see, they had accomplished it; as the LORD had instructed, so had they accomplished it. Then Moses blessed them.
a good start
Lots of people with good intentions of reading the Bible through get stuck just a few chapters into Exodus. It starts out reading like an epic novel, where the suppressed Israelites are rescued from the tyranny of Pharaoh by a supernatural power. Then, there is the adventure and promise of the new land, which keeps the pages turning. But then all of a sudden Exodus starts looking like a blueprint for an elaborate construction site. The eyes start drooping, and the pages stop turning so easily. What’s going on?
Exodus is about more than just getting out of Egypt. It is about getting Egypt out of us. The Israelites needed a new work to replace the work of oppression and bondage they had under Pharaoh. The construction of the tabernacle was a good start on that work. It kept the people occupied, producing something that was bigger than they were. It got them thinking about who their LORD was, and how they could serve and worship him. It helped them to redefine themselves in terms of their relationship with God.
The construction of the tabernacle is a kind of similitude to the sanctification process that believers go through this side of eternity. We are given the divine moral patterns in the Scriptures, and are called on to build our lives by those patterns. Even when we are finished with this life, and present that tabernacle to the LORD, it is not the ultimate end. It is just a start. We pray that we make it a good start.
LORD, give us the wisdom to build our lives after your instructions; to make a good start on the eternal lives you have destined for us.