Fulfill Your Calling!
This week’s Torah portion is the final one from the book of Exodus and details the building of the Tabernacle (Heb: הַמִּשְׁכָּ֔ן – HaMishkan) The root of this word (שכנ ) is also present in the word שכינה (Shekinah) – which refers to the presence of God – esp. in the Tabernacle and in the Temple. First, God commanded Moses to ask the Israelites for an offering of building materials. Several times in the text the emphasis is made upon the ‘willing offering’: “The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD.” (Ex. 35:29a) The people gave so much that Moses gave a commandment to restrain their giving. (see Ex. 36:6) Remember they had been slaves in Egypt for over 400 years, yet they gave over $35 million (today’s estimated value) in goods that they “spoiled” from the Egyptians. God actually had ordained the circumstances so that the Egyptians gave the Israelites what they would need to give the offering back to Him to build the Tabernacle. They did not give anything that God had not first given them!
Not only did God give the children of Israel the materials for the Tabernacle, but He also gave them the wisdom to make it. First, He gave Moses explicit instructions on Mt. Sinai. And then, God gifted some very skilled people, lead by Bezaleel and Aholiab, to put everything together and actually build the Tabernacle. God told Moses that He had both called and qualified Bezaleel to build the Tabernacle: “And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” (Ex. 35:30-31) God specifically states that He has gifted Bezaleel to do this task with the necessary wisdom and skill. God gave Bezaleel help in the person of Aholiab and others described as the “hearts of all that are wise hearted”  (Exodus 31:6).  In Exodus 35:25-26, we learn that God also gave wisdom to the women of Israel to create the special fabrics of the Tabernacle.  So Bazaleel was the head craftsman and overseer of a group of dedicated and gifted men and women who together built the Tabernacle.
God called Bezaleel and his helpers to build the Tabernacle and gave them gifts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding to do the task. However, the Tabernacle was not built until they all did the work:”And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it.” (Ex. 36:2) Although necessary, the offering alone did not produce the Tabernacle. The calling and gifting of Bezaleel and his helpers alone did not produce the Tabernacle, but they had to actually do a lot of work before the Tabernacle was a reality. God calls people to many different tasks, but we can be assured that  whatever task God calls us to, He will give us exactly what we need to accomplish it.  However, the work will not be accomplished unless we fulfill that calling and do the work! Has God given you a special calling? Let’s be sure to fulfill it!