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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 8, 2019

How is construction proceeding?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Knowing Israel's history, we are aware of the fact that Israel did not fulfill God’s will and purpose for the nation. God calls the Israelites of the Old Testament a stiff-necked people. In my sermon in Schluchsee I talked about the "third temple" and mentioned Israel's failure to remain loyal to God after Solomon had built the first temple.

By contrast, it is surprising to see the Israel’s response to a special building project – the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Remember that this was shortly after the incident with the golden calf, which occurred while Moses was on Mt. Sinai getting instructions from God about building the tabernacle.

In Exodus 35:1-3 we see Moses assembling the people and reminding them of their special commitment to God via the Sabbath day. Then he announces a building project. In verses 5-9 donations were requested for the materials needed for construction. Beginning in verse 10 a request was made for skilled laborers to participate in the construction.

Once Moses had finished making his announcement, the Israelites departed from him (verse 20) and everyone willing to participate returned to work or to bring the requested materials. The following verses make clear that anyone who had any of the requested materials was willing to donate them. Skilled craftsmen were appointed to direct the work of the laborers, and the Israelites "continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning" (Exodus 36:3). In fact, there were so many donations that Mose had to announce that it was enough (verses 4-7).

In a matter of months the tabernacle in the wilderness was completed.

That tabernacle – and later Solomon’s temple – are a symbol of the spirit-led church of God. We individually and collectively are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:19-22). God dwells in us via His holy spirit.

With the help of that spirit, we can be different than the stiff-necked Israelites of old.

God's temple is being prepared for the return of Jesus Christ. We are being prepared individually and collectively. We have a responsibility for our individual spiritual welfare and for that of the entire temple – the whole church.

The Israelites of old invested their time, material possessions and talents to build the tabernacle.

What are we doing today to build God's temple?

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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