Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Parashat Vayak’hel / Pekudei

Parashat Vayak’hel / Pekudei

Vayak’hel – “And He assembled" Exo. 35:1-38:20

Pekudei – “Accountings of …” Exo. 38:21-40:38

This week not only do we have a double portion, but we will also have a special Sabbath before Passover called Shabbat Parah (Shabbat of the Red heifer), with the Torah reading of Num 19:1-22 in preparation for Passover.

The noticeable thing in this week’s parashat is that Hashem is giving us the instructions for the building of the Mishkan/Tabernacle for the second time. We have the first set of instructions for the Mishkan in Exo. 25-28 and again we see the instructions here in this parasha. Why is that? If we, Messianic believers, understand that the Mishkan is a representation of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, then we can conclude that the reason it is mentioned twice is to portend the two advents of Yeshua. This is just a side note from a general view of this parasha.

I would like to give a brief comment regarding the last reading (Aliyah) of Pekudei found in Exo. 40:34 “The cloud covered the Communion Tent, and God’s glory filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not come into the Communion Tent, since the cloud had rested on it, and God’s glory filled the Tabernacle” Why is it important that a cloud is seen resting on the Tabernacle?

In last week’s Torah portion, we have the sin of the golden calf (Cheit ha-egel), which is considered one of the darker moments in the Torah. The entire nation worshiped a golden image. It was serious enough that Hashem wanted to strike them all down and start all over. By Moses’ supplication to God’s mercy, we see that not all of them were killed. But God did say that He would send an angel ahead of them, however, that He himself would not go with them into the Promised Land, Exo. 33:1-3. In other words, the glory of God has departed from them. This is also a sign that the covenant that was established at Mt. Sinai has been broken by the Israelites.

It’s by God’s loving kindness and mercy that he refrains from doing evil to that of what He had planned for His people after that terrible sin. And after the repentance of the Israelite people, it’s when we see God reestablishing the covenant with them, with the confirmation of His presence or Shikinah Glory resting in the completion of the Tabernacle. The same cloud or presence of God that was with the Israelites at the crossing of the Red Sea and later in Num 9:15-23 is evident here in this last reading of Pekudei.

So not only can the Israelites now advance forward into their destiny of concurring the land ahead of them, but we should also desire and seek to have God’s presence with us, to lead us as well. We can truly say that we serve a God who will rather restore us unto Him rather than destroy us, and for that we should be thankful. In conclusion; having God’s presence with us is important and never disregard that disobedience to God won’t go unpunished to the point of Him removing His presence from us. May we continue to grow in the truths of His Word and be empowered to live through His Spirit!

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