These final chapters of the Book of Exodus relate the details of the Tabernacle, how everything was done exactly as Moses had directed, which God had shown him, and when it was all done, Moses blessed the people.
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God tells Moses to erect the Tabernacle (also known as the Tent of Meeting) on the first day of the first month, which was in the second year after leaving Egypt and 9 months after coming to Mount Sinai. The work on the tent took 4 months.
The High Priest, Aaron, is anointed and so are his sons, and after the work was all done and the Ark of the Covenant placed in the Holy of Holies, the shekinah glory of the LORD filled the tent, so much so that Moses was not able to enter it.
As we always say at the end of a book of the Torah:
Chazak, Chazak, v’nit Chazek!!
(Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened).
There is much in this book to wonder about.
Did the Jews really see the glory of God on Sinai, or was it just a meteorological event?
Did Moses’ face really shine?
Did the Red Sea really split open or did the tide just go out?
Were the Jewish people really ever enslaved in Egypt?
Many people can look to the events in Exodus- in fact, throughout the Bible- and doubt that they occurred as stated. It is very easy to view the Torah miracles with modern “eyes”, now that we are all knowledgeable in science. So, using science to explain events, people may be able to say, in a scholarly manner, that the Nile turned to blood because of a silt deposit issue that happened upstream. That then caused the fish to die, causing the frogs to leave the water, causing the flies and other insects to gather, and those insects would bite the people and cattle causing the boils and sores, etc.
It is easy to discard the miracles that God performed by explaining them away with scientific reasoning.
But does explaining how a miracle could have happened make it any less of a miracle? After all, even if we know why the Nile turned red, didn’t something, somewhere have to happen first?
If the Nile turned red because of something that happened upstream, such as an abundance of silt being dislodged and travelling downstream changing the color of the water, or some fungus or algae growth turning the waters red, didn’t something have to send the silt or put the algae there?
Where did the algae come from, in the first place?
This is the problem with science- it explains how things happen, but it doesn’t explain how the thing happening started.
The Big Bang Theory about the universe was proven by the discovery of radio waves coming from space, which represented an extreme release of radioactivity (as from a gigantic explosion) after billions of years of half-life decomposition. So, does that mean God didn’t create the universe? I mean, someone had to light that fuse for the explosion, right?
Look at life on earth. We have fossil proof that there have been lower forms of life that have gradually, over millions of years become more advanced. Science calls it evolution, which in plain English means accidental mutations that have increased the survivability of the species.
But why not Intelligent Design? My belief is that God created different life forms, at different times, and has allowed some to die out and others to remain. In order to make the remaining species capable of living in a changing environment, he “tweaked” their DNA a bit.
Doesn’t that better explain how so many different life-forms have succeeded in surviving? How many times have you heard of a mutation, other than the X-Men, that actually made the mutated animal stronger? How many mutations that we have seen in modern times have been beneficial?
None that I know of.
Anyone can argue against the Bible, and make it sound reasonable. The issue really isn’t about whether or not everything stated in the Bible is absolutely accurate, although the Bible has been proven to be an accurate historical document, with much of its narrative being verified by archaeological evidence.
No. The issue is not biblical accuracy or definitive proof of the events that are related in the Bible. The issue always comes down to one of faith.
James says that faith is believing in things that are unseen and unproven (Hebrews 11:1), and I have often stated that faith is a choice.
I was unsure for most of my life- the first 40 years or so, and when I finally decided I was going to make up my mind about God, his messiah, and all that stuff, after listening to people and reading a Messianic New Covenant, I chose to believe that what I read is true. I chose to believe in God; I chose to believe that Yeshua is my Messiah; and I have since chosen to remain faithful to my Jewish upbringing by remaining obedient to God’s instructions in the Torah, rejecting much of what traditional Christianity has taught about the Torah being only for Jews and not for those who are Born Again. .
And I choose to be this way, despite the fact that my fellow Jews say I can’t be Jewish if I believe in Jesus and Christians tell me I can’t be saved if I still do all that “Jewish” stuff.
So read Exodus and revel in the miraculous ways that God saved his people, giving them the way to live and worship in order to walk the path of righteousness.
Or, read it with a skeptical and cynical mindset, explaining the miracles away with scientific hoo-hah and denying the divine interventions.
As for me, I choose to believe in God, to believe what I read in this book of the Bible to be accurate and true, and to faithfully maintain this position no matter how “sensible” arguments against it may sound.
And I unwaveringly choose to be a Torah observant Jew while proclaiming and accepting that Yeshua is my Messiah.
To me, with Jews on one side denying me my Jewish heritage and Christians on the other side denying me my salvation through Messiah, I must be on a very narrow path leading to a very skinny gate.
And if so, then I am on the right path.
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That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!