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Parashah 23: P'kudei

by Michael Bugg

Torah:  Sh’mot (Exodus) 38:21-40:38

Haftarah:  M'lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 7:40-50 (S), 7:51-8:21 (A)

B’rit Chadasha:  1 Corinthians 3:9-23

The Theme

There comes a time when preparation and construction must cease, the furniture must be set in place, and the Tenant must move in, or else the building has no purpose.  When the Tabernacle was completed, the Holy One moved in and filled it with His Sk'khinah, His Divine Presence.  Likewise, when Solomon had completed the First Temple, the same happened. 

Sadly, this wasn't the case for the Second Temple.  The building was completed, and then built into an even greater structure, with furniture and implements of gold, silver, and bronze that were exceedingly beautiful in their construction, but God never moved in.  As the rabbis noted, the Second Temple lacked the Ark of the Covenant, the Divine fire, the Holy Spirit, the Sh'khinah, and the Urim and Thummim--the evidence that God dwelled among His people.  For centuries, Israel prayed for God to return to His Temple "as in days of old."  How sad it is that when He sent His Sh'khinah in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth, they did not receive Him.

Individual people are much the same.  Some pray for God to reveal Himself to them, but turn away when He does.  Some welcome Him in, but then fall into sin and a form of idolatry, just as Solomon's Temple did.  Let us, then, be like the Tabernacle, both welcoming His Presence and keeping ourselves clean of idols in our outer courts, for "What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people'" (2Co. 6:16).




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