Today’s reading includes Exodus 37:1-38:31, Matthew 28:1-20, Psalm 34:11-22, Proverbs 9:9-10.
Today we follow the hard work of Belzalel as he built the Tabernacle, and we see the list of materials used for this great endeavor. Here is an inventory list of materials Belzalel gathered and used to create this mobile home for God.
Blue, purple, and scarlet thread
We have already studied the symbolism of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, but let’s take a look at some of the other materials used by Belzalel, as instructed by God. The first material mentioned is acacia wood. What was so special about acacia wood? Upon first glance, nothing, really. It was available. That was its significance. There were not many trees out in the desert wilderness, but the acacia tree grew throughout the desert climate. It was really just a shrub and at first observation, one would not guess it would be used for such an important work. However, its wood was a hardwood, and its very make-up was resistant to insects, as well as rot and decay. It was created to be very resilient. So, though it did not appear to be a luxurious wood, or even a very valuable wood, in the hands of the craftsman who was anointed by God, it became holy and valuable and had eternal significance. The fact that this ordinary wood held the presence of God is really astounding. And yet, is that not how God works in us? We are ordinary, and yet through the strength God offers us, we are made to be very resilient.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Yes, we are ordinary, and yet as long as we are available to being used by God, whose presence dwells within us, we can be used in extraordinary ways for His glory.
Next, we notice that God instructed the ordinary acacia wood to be overlaid with gold. Now, where did the people get the gold? Most likely, the gold used was remnants of the treasures of Egypt, which God told the Israelites to ask for from the Egyptians before they left that land of slavery.
35 And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. 36 The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!
Some of that treasure had been squandered by the Israelites during the building of the golden calf. But not all of it. And the remnant that remained was used for a holy job. In the same way, scripture is clear that there will always be a remnant of His holy people focused on His holy work. Isaiah 37:31 prophetically describes that a remnant of God’s people will always remain.
Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.
May we always be a part of the remnant!
Lest we have a twinge of misunderstanding of the plundering of the Egyptians, we must remember that the vast wealth of Egypt was gained through the wisdom and anointed leadership of Joseph. In reality, the riches were rightfully theirs. They merely asked for it back.
What does gold represent? Gold represents value and wealth and Deity. Here what scientists say of the makeup of gold. According to the Science and Engineering Sustainablity website:
Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable, and ductile metal. It is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79. Its symbol is Au. The melting point of gold is 1,948°F (1,064°C) and its Boiling point is 5,173°F (2,856°C). The atomic mass of gold is 196.96657 ± 0.00004 u. The density of gold is 19.30 g cm-3. Some possible reasons for its high value are its unique aesthetic and special properties.
The symbol of gold is Au, from the greek word aurum, which means glow of sunshine. The english word gold comes from the words gulb and ghel referring also to the color. It is the only metal of this color.
Gold, like no other metal, has a fascinating history and a special place in the world. For thousands of years it has been used as an ornament of kings, a currency and standard for global currencies, in competitions as symbol of victory and more recently, in a wide range of electronic devices and medical applications. Ancient civilizations used gold for the decoration of tombs and temples. In modern days FMI and WB suggested the use of gold as monetary reference, i.e., the value of a bill guarantees a given amount of gold. In sports the winner gets a gold medal. Other example of gold as symbol of power, health and prosperity is the gold mirror fish Mercedes Benz C63 AMG.
Even the scientific facts of gold shouts the truth of its value. And in today’s passage we see a wonderful truth. God lovingly takes something that is ordinary, yet available (me and you!), and He whittles away the rough edges
and He cuts out the parts that are crooked or damaged
and He forms us into a vessel worthy of holding the very presence of God.
He covers us with the golden symbol of His Deity and makes us a royal priesthood.
He makes us valuable and holy and resilient and everlasting and is willing to fill us with His Holy Spirit, all because of His great love for us. May this knowledge spark us to make ourselves even more available to Him for His glory and because of our love for Him.
And on this Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love, may we know for certain that there is no greater love than that which is freely given to us by God.