Bezalel continues the work on the Tabernacle. We see that he makes it exactly as God had commanded Moses.
We are told that Bezalel made all the pieces for the Tabernacle. I have a feeling he shared the workload with the other craftsmen who were involved in the Lord’s work but everything was done under his direct authority. He probably left his “fingerprints” all over the project in one way of another. I expect he may have been the one to hammer out the cherubim and the lampstand. These two piece would take a vision from the Lord to actually see what it was He was calling for.
I have to admit that reading that Bezalel followed the specifications given by the Lord is NOT very exciting. We don’t get any insight into what was going on as the work progressed or what kind of detail was added to the projects. It’s pretty cut and dry throughout all the recording of the work.
I’m going to do something that I would not normally do. I’m going to go quickly through this building section. I feel we got a pretty good start on it in our last time together when we went into the story as the work was starting. I want to look at this bulk action from a different perspective. I have no doubt that the scenario I proposed last time, if accurate, would have continued throughout the rest of the construction process. But there is Someone else who wasn’t mentioned in that scenario; God. I want to take a moment and reflect on what He MIGHT have been going through during this process.
First of all, we know that God is patient. He doesn’t struggle with having to wait for something to be done. I remember as a child watching my mother as she sewed clothes for me. One outfit in particular I was SO anxious for her to finish that I don’t think I took my eyes off her or left her alone during the whole process. I don’t know how many times she had to tell me to “Stop leaning on the sewing machine” table. I can almost picture her saying it now. I’m have a feeling my excitement and presence probably extended her completion time and tested her patience. But she let me remain anyway, just not leaning on the table where she was working. We do not hear of God ever telling the craftsmen to “hurry up” or “get back to work” during this process.
Second, God gave specific directions as to how He wanted the projects completed. He saw it in His “mind’s eye” but the words given to Moses couldn’t completely convey that. He had to give those working on His project a visual representation to convey the fullness of what He was looking for. Again, back to my experiences. I have often had an image of something I wanted “made” that I tried to communicate through words. No matter how hard I try to share what is in my mind, it always comes out different than I imagined, even when I’m the one creating what it is I envisioned. I wonder how “different” God’s original vision was from the actual final product.
Third, God is perfect but we are NOT. No matter how hard we try or how careful we are, we make mistakes. I have NO DOUBT that the craftsmen ran into errors. One corner not being square, a skipped stitch, or a blemish in the metal. How did they handle these and what did God think about the mistakes and their attitudes. We touched on that in our last time together but I just wanted to throw it back out there. Did God demand PERFECTION with no exceptions or did He look at the LITTLE imperfections as “adding character” to the overall project? Was He more concerned with the attitude regarding the mistakes or the mistakes themselves?
So join me if you want as I look into Heaven and “watch God” as His temple is being built. Bear in mind that this is just my imagination talking and has NO grounding in scripture.
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God has moved the hearts of the people to contribute to His Tabernacle. He has watched as the stores have grown from one item to mounds. Each new morning brings more and more gifts from His children. It makes His heart swell with joy and pride. It looks as if they are FINALLY as committed to Him as He is to them.
“Is Moses ready yet?” asks Jesus.
“I think so. I just heard him talking with Joshua about how the tent of meeting is getting too crowded.”
“It’s about time. I was wondering when he was going to notice he was running out of room. He is so adaptable though that he would be happy meeting with You anywhere.”
“That’s one of the things I love most about him. He is open to whatever works for us.”
Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit listen in as Moses tells the people whom the Lord has chosen to do His work. God smiles as he hears the excitement and concerns of Bezalel. He is glad Bezalel didn’t puff up with pride instead.
All of the Godhead is pleased with the organization Bezalel and Oholiab put into place.
“You picked well Father. They seem to have things well in hand.”
“Yes they do, at least for now. Let’s see what happens when the real work starts. When they have to rely on each other and when they have to address their mistakes.”
All watch as progress is made on the simpler tasks. They approve of Moses’ excitement at the progress as well as his confidence in the craftsmen.
“I’m surprised that Moses has managed to turn loose of the reins so easily. It appears his instructions on delegation have really sunk in.”
“Jethro was a great help in that area. If it were not for those early lessons, he wouldn’t be able to leave the workers in peace. He would have tried to do it all himself.”
Work goes well for a few days. The looms are humming along and the sound of metal being hammered rings right into Heaven’s courts. Then the first problem hits. A loom breaks and many threads snap.
“Uh oh. Let’s see what is going to happen now. How will they handle this?”
“But Father, couldn’t You have kept this from happening?”
“I could have but then where would the lessons come from. They need these obstacles as much as they need the blessings.”
“You’re right. Let’s watch and see what they learn from this.”
Several weavers work together trying to fix the loom but it is has to be completely unstrung before repairs can be made. The piece is more than 3/4ths of the way done. No one wants to lose all this work but how can they save the piece? And is there someone who should take the blame for this disaster?
After two hours of brainstorming, careful removal and reinsertion of the piece onto another loom work resumes. No angry words were thrown about. No blame was assigned. And all the tears of frustration were wiped away and comforted.
“That was so nice of them to comfort the weaver who was in distress.”
“It was wasn’t it. That’s the spirit I like to see. Unity.”
MANY more issues arise over the lifetime of the project and the whole Godhead watches with anticipation. They love seeing the successes and “pray” for those struggling with their own failures. No, everything isn’t PERFECT in the process but learning to deal with failures is vitally important too.
The most exciting time comes when the Lord passes His vision onto the craftsmen. He knows how He wants each piece to look but that can’t be communicated through words. So He sends them His vision. Then it is in their hands to bring that vision to life.
“Is that the way You wanted the wings to look? That layered feather style?”
“That’s not exactly the look I had in mind but I think it’s beautiful that way. What do You think?”
“I agree. It looks very natural. I love how soft it looks. I almost want to reach out and pet it to see if it feels as soft as it looks.”
“Probably should hold off on doing that until no one is around. It would probably startle quite a few of them otherwise.”
“What about the lampstand? Those almond flowers look almost real!”
“They do at that. I knew Bezalel was an artist but this is amazing work!”
“There is some scroll work done on the sides of all the gold pieces. Did You tell him to put that in?”
“No, that came from his own imagination. I like it though. It really ties everything together and gives it a bit extra elegance.”
“This has taken quite a long time to complete but I believe it has been worth the wait. It’s almost done Father.”
“I’m excited to see what it looks like when they finally get it all set up. I wonder if they will notice that dropped stitch over there or the indentation in that pole. I wonder if they will try and correct those little flaws.”
“I hope not because I think it gives everything a little character. They are not perfect to expecting perfection from them is a bit lofty.”
“I agree. I like the LITTLE issues that no one even noticed. I’m glad they cared enough to fix all the big ones though. I wouldn’t want them to think they could just throw anything together and call it good. It shows they care enough to do their very best.”
“You know they are going to make some major mistakes later on though.”
“I know. But for now, I’ll enjoy that they have put their hearts into this today.”
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Father God, thank You for your patience and for accepting me, warts and all! You know how often I fail and how I deal with those failures. Today was one of those days where I had to decide what to do with “my failure.” You gave me a new direction instead. YOU are the one who brought the memory of waiting and watching my mom work to me. This gave me the inspiration for watching You watch the work being done on Your Tabernacle. I pray I didn’t sound disrespectful in my imagining the story. Forgive me for finding any part of Your word “dry.” Thank You for bringing it to life for me instead. No, I didn’t hit on all the specifics of the words recorded but I believe YOU let me look beyond them instead. Thank You for my imagination. And thank You for restraining it when need be. I look forward to seeing where You will take me next.