In Exodus 35, we see a community coming together to build the tabernacle of the Lord. The writer mentions “everyone” several times, and other times specifically mentions the women and their specific contribution. These women remain nameless, but are known for their abundant generosity(v5,) the stewardship of their God-given skills (v 10 and v25,) their stirred/moved hearts (v21,26,29,) and their willingness to work for the Lord (v29.)
To give context, if we back up in Exodus to chapter 34, we read God has just renewed His covenant with His people. He’s given the ten commandments to Moses to give to his people on Mt. Sinai. Moses saw the glory of God and his face shone as a result. He gives them instructions for how to practice Sabbath. Afterwards, God commands them to set up a tabernacle where He would meet with them and the place where He would accept sacrifice for their sin and restore them to Himself.
I see in these women the hope of glory Paul talks about in Colossians 1:27. The tabernacle gave opportunity for God’s people to meet with Him. They saw the hope of God’s glory etched in Moses’ very face. So they worked with everything God had given them, and out of their stirred, moved, willing, and generous hearts, they brought glory to God through their obedience.
In John 1:14, we read, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The word “dwelt” literally means “tabernacled.” Jesus came to tabernacle with us.
God has built His tabernacle within us. He is IN us! This is our hope of glory…
In the Old Testament, these women worked to build the tabernacle for God’s glory. Now, God has built His tabernacle within us. He is IN us! This is our hope of glory, and it is in this hope that we do the same as these women did. We generously give what we have been given. We allow God to move and stir our hearts. We are willing to obey. We use our skills and gifts and resources to glorify God. Why? Because it is the natural outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the tabernacle of our hearts. We have the hope of glory, and we want others to see our lives and to share in this hope.
So this passage begs these questions. Are we willing? What has God given us, and how are we using it? In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul instructs us to do everything to the glory of God. Like these women mentioned in Exodus, are there ways in which we could join our gifts together with God’s church to glorify God?
I love how this account is found after God’s instructions for rest. We, too, work to the glory of God from our rest---rest in the gospel! Let’s remember the work on the cross is finished, and now, we work from a place of a great hope in the good news of Jesus! We “get to” glorify God, together, as an offering of worship for what He has done for us. So let’s say “yes Lord!” and get to work!
Jillian Vincent loves Jesus. She's a wife, a mother of boys, and a Dayton enthusiast. Jillian currently is a stay at home mama and spends nap times jotting on her blog and discipling other women. She would (almost) die for an avocado, a cup of coffee made by her husband, a novel that makes her cry, and a bouquet of sunflowers.