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Parashat Terumah opens with the free will contribution the people were to bring for the construction of the Tabernacle. The descriptions of the construction of the sacred things come from the gifts brought by the people. We are also told, the Lord had a specific design for the Tabernacle, which is related to the manner in which the people approach the Lord both physically and spiritually. We are told the tabernacle is to be wrapped in a wall made of curtains hooked together (similar to clothing), and the Ark of the Covenant is to be made of wood but yet covered in gold. The less precious (wood) was clothed in what is more precious (gold). These descriptions are analogous to sanctification, the process of making holy for the purpose of God. This may be paralleled to what the Lord is doing in our lives which is described at the beginning of the Torah, we are told, Bereshit / Genesis 1:26 Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NASB) These Scriptures draw out this concept of the preciousness of mankind, as the Lord’s having made man after His image. Due to the nature of man having been made after God’s image, Paul wrote, in 2 Corinthians 3:15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 3:16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (NASB) Paul wrote that those who turn to the Lord are in the process of being transformed into His image, as it says “from glory to glory” based upon the giving of God’s Spirit which is rooted in our freedom from sin. We are told in his letter to the Ephesians, 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (NASB) These things draw us back to the Torah portion, Parashat Terumah and the descriptions of the construction of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the altar, the fire pans, all of these things were carefully crafted for the work of the Lord. Based upon the Scriptures, we know the cloths we wear are analogous to the righteous works of God. The Scriptures portray the proper clothing as being used for specific situations, as we see in the priestly garments. As a result of these things, proper attire is also repeatedly portrayed in the Scripture as a parallel to the righteousness of God’s people. Consider, When a generation of people move towards immorality they always become lax about covering themselves. (i.e. The debased condition of the Roman Empire is a well known example.) Such people eventually rebel against all restrictions, or moral law, and move toward wanton fleshly pleasures and activities. It is in this sense that one becomes addicted to the tickling of the ears to hearing a theology that is enabling the pleasures of the body. Such a person becomes enamored with their loose life style and will attack anyone or anything that gets between them and their fun. It is within this context that Christians are necessarily obligated to obey God’s Law as it is portrayed in the Scripture. Unfortunately, too many professing Christians do not know what the Scripture teaches and do not really care. The theologies of today provide the benefits of blessing and entrance into heaven, while at the same time enabling the believer in not having to comply with God’s law. Based upon the Torah’s descriptions on the construction of the Tabernacle, clothing is used to distinguish those of high office or those who have other special positions within the service of God. One’s clothing was meant to set them apart and reduces confusion on behalf of the Priesthood. The scriptures this week provide us with insight into the construction of the Tabernacle, and likewise, these Scriptures also give insight into who we are in the Messiah.

 

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