Parashah: “T'ruma” (offering)
EXODUS 25:1-27:19............. 1 KINGS 5:12-6:13.......... MARK 3:1-4:41
Gut Shabbos, in this Parashah, we see that a request is made for a “free-will offering” so that the tabernacle can be built and the articles of furnishings for the same. As we remember, when the Israelites left Egypt, they left with quite a treasure which the Egyptians gave them so that they would leave. We could consider this, “back pay” for all the work they had done for four-hundred years.
Egypt had quite a wealth in gold, silver, gems, fine fabrics, etc., and now, Egypt remained poor and in ruins while “B'nei Yisrael” left with the “spoils of war” a war which YHVH fought against the gods of Egypt, and won. So, in a battle, the spoils of war belong to the victor. So, while the Israelites were protected, G-d fought against the demonic entities, in the guise of the “gods of Egypt” Pharaoh included. So, rightly, the riches and spoils of Egypt belong to YHVH, being carried by HIS people.
So, where in the desert are the people going to spend it all? they are just carrying it around, a lot of extra weight and burden might as well put it to good use. The plan is to build a place where YHVH can come down and live with his chosen people. It isn't that YHVH can only live in one place, He is eternal, everywhere, yet He will “rest” with His people, minister to His people right there, visible by a cloud by day and fire by night. The “invisible God” will be “visible” in those two ways.
In “Yitro” The Torah was given to Israel, the marriage “Ketubah” was given in the form of the Ten Commandments, written in stone, In “Mishpatim” “justice” was given, some more commandments explained by YHVH through Moshe, and now, YHVH is saying “Take ME into your life, make ME a place to dwell among you” There was even a musical band to play, the thunder and shofar sounds. There was even a wedding canopy, the Glory Cloud
Yet first, the people have to gather the materials in order to make HIM a “Mikdash” (Sanctuary) yet more on this word later. The materials would be “freely given” The Word says; “Take for me an offering” (Terumah) yet at the end of the verse, the word is “Terumati” (my offering). Question, is it Israel’s offering, or God’s offering? It is BOTH. Israel gave and God made sure it was enough, and it was “more than enough”.
Remember in the New Covenant when the boy offered 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. “He gave” and then, Yeshua multiplied the offering, “HE gave BACK”. In the days of Elisha, the widow gave a bit a wheat and oil to make some bread for the prophet, then, GOD through Elisha gave back! Many pots of olive oil were left over, enough to sell and pay off the widow’s debt. Whatever we have to offer, Adonai will bless and double it in only a way that HE will be glorified.
There is also an interesting word in verse 2; “meiet Kol ish” (of every man). Each man would give and offer, a free-will offering. The word “meiet” is really the letter “M” with “ET”. “ET” carries the symbolism of “God of the Covenant” or the “Alef and the Tav”. So, what can we see here? It is that since every man would give a free-will offering, we are reminded that Yeshua, who is the “Alef and the Tav” gave HIMSELF as a free-will offering for sin, once and only once on Calvary’s cross for ALL MANKIND, (Kol ish!). The letter “m” (mem) can mean “of” or “from” it also symbolizes “Mashiach” and “water”. Messiah who is the “Living Water”.
We look at 25:8, there is something interesting; “.and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them…” thus said Adonai speaking to Moshe. The word “to dwell among” is “Shakhn’ti” and it not only means “to dwell among” it also means “to dwell inside” and that is the way it is today, the “Ruach Elohim” the “Spirit of God dwells “inside” of every born-again believer. God is our “neighbor”. The word “neighbor” in Hebrew is the word; “Shakhein” and we can see those letters in the word “shakhn’ti” the three main letters in the word “Shakhein” are “sheen” “kaph” and “nun” “sh” “k” “n” we can also see those letters “inside” the word “Mishkan” (tabernacle) and the word “Shekinah” (the Shekinah glory) today we know it as the Spirit of God, who dwells inside every believer. So, YHVH is our “neighbor” who dwells inside of us 24-7.
Another word “Tabernacle” is “sanctuary” (Mikdash) Something interesting about this word is that in Hebrew, the word has 4 letters; “m” “k” “d” and “sh” (mem, qof, dalet, sheen). The letter “k” or “Qof” symbolizes “holiness” it is right in the middle of the word. Without the “Qof” we would have the other 3 letters and if one puts the “Sheen” (sh) first, the word would be “Sh +m+d” (Shemed) which means “vanity”. What is the symbolism here? A sanctuary without holiness would be a place for vanity. Without holiness, what else is there besides vanity?
The building project was, one could say, financed by Egypt. For 4 hundred years, Israel worked for a hard taskmaster, “Pharaoh and Company” building edifices dedicated to false gods, now, Israel has a new master, The Creator of the Universe, the Maker of Man, the future “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” A place will be built for HIM to minister to his people, and every piece of furniture will reflect who HE IS.
There are 13 general items for the building project; 1. Gold, 2. Silver, 3. Brass, 4. Blue, purple, and scarlet fabric, 5. Fine linen, 6. Goat’s hair, 7. Ram’s skins, 8. Sealskins, 9. Acacia-wood, 10. Oil, 11. Spices, 12. Onyx stones, 13. Other gemstones. The number “13” in Gematria is the sum of the letters in the word “Echad” which means “ONE in unity”. With those materials, the Mishkan/Mikdash was built, so that Adonai could be ONE with HIS PEOPLE, which now includes all believers. We are all ONE with Messiah Yeshua.
Gold, silver, precious stones, fabric, and wood. Now there is a question, where did the wood come from? Are there any Shittim and Acacia trees in the desert? If one looks at the desert of Saudi Arabia today, even though “google maps” or “google earth” one can see almost no trees, just bare mountains. But we are talking about a desert almost 4000 years ago, it was probably very different, it had to be, remember that the Israelites brought with them cattle, sheep, what are they going to eat? Sand? NO, there had to have been vegetation, trees. They could have cut the trees down in the desert and fashioned them into boards for the “Mishkan” (tabernacle) or they might have brought them out of Egypt, already cut and fashioned, perhaps some of the Egyptian lumber yards just gave them all that, since not all of the Egyptians were rich in gold and silver (just an idea)
This is a “free-will offering” Moshe states, “of every man whose heart maketh him willing”. So it was not forced, it was “of free will”. We know that the people gladly gave, so much that later on, Moshe has to say, “Stop giving already, we have enough”. Can you imagine a pastor or rabbi from a church or synagogue that would say that to his congregation, “OK brothers and sisters, we have enough money for all of our needs, you can stop giving?” I don't think that will ever happen when one gives of his or her time, talent, and treasure, God gives back many times over. Money is like a conduit, it should flow like water through a pipe, to be spread out, no “backlogged”
There are many who hoard money like a squirrel hoards nuts in a tree, no amount in the bank seems to be enough. One rich man was asked, “how much is enough?' he said, “only one dollar more...” and it never ends. Adonai has promised us that He would provide for ALL of our needs, through his abundance in grace, both in spiritual ways, physical, and material ways, if we will only trust Him.
We ask ourselves, what kind of “T’rumot” (offerings) can we “offer up” today? Gold, silver, and bronze? Yes, that would be money, from our paychecks, tithes, and offerings. Fine linen, blue, purple and scarlet threads? Yes, that would be clothing. There are ministries that collect used and new clothing to donate to the poor and needy. I would say, we can offer up almost anything of value to someone in need. But most of all, we can “offer up ourselves” as living sacrifices. We can offer up our abilities to serve, offer up our spiritual gifts since that is why God has given spiritual gifts, to edify the body of Messiah. Now, on to the building project;
So, the building project is started, with “tent of meeting” (The tabernacle/Mishkan) with its wooden boards, bars, clamps, and curtains of linen, the furniture that would go inside; The Brazen Altar, the Brazen Laver, the Menorah, the table of shew-bread, the incense altar, and finally, the Ark of the Covenant, (Aron Ha Kodesh. Each and every one of these pieces reflects who Yeshua is and his finished work on Calvary's cross.
The Ark of the Covenant is mentioned first, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, both inside and out. Inside this box would be the tables of the Law, the “Torah” It symbolizes the purity and sinlessness of YHVH. The wood; the humanity of Yeshua who was YHVH in the flesh, both God and man. As it was covered with gold inside and out, it symbolizes that we also should be, through the Holy Spirit, “pure” inside and out, both physically, and spiritually, where people can see and where only God can see, inside us. The Torah, God's teaching and instruction to us, is inside the Ark, as the “Living Torah” who is Yeshua is inside of us, and also, his teaching, his “Torah” inside of us, to understand, learn from, and put into action in our daily lives.
The Cherubim that are on top of the Kaporet look down upon the mercy seat, and they remind us of God's Holy Angels that are around us and who protect us. The “Shekinah Glory” the “Holy Presence of YHVH” was on top of the “Kaporet” (the cover) and when the high priest would sprinkle blood on the cover, YHVH would see the blood. The blood on the cover symbolized (before Yeshua) that the sins of man were “covered” for one year, but after Calvary, the sins of all of us were “erased” “wiped away” “blotted out” FOREVER.
The 7 branch Menorah (candlestick) was made of pure gold, with 7 branches, the “perfect number of God” the six branches would extend from the central branch, just like we, believers, depending on the center branch, or “trunk” for our sustenance, there were “6” branches, (number of man) connected to the “7th” main branch. This Menorah symbolizes “Yeshua” as the “Light of the World” and the oil inside it as the “Ruach Ha Kodesh” (The Holy Spirit) We see the “wicks” that are inside the lamps as “believers” who depend on the “oil” (the Ruach HaKodesh) for our continuous growth, as part of the body of Messiah Yeshua.
The table of shew-bread symbolizes Messiah Yeshua as the “Bread of Life” with the 12 loaves of unleavened bread. The bread was to be there, “continuously” the priests would eat the bread on the Sabbath and more bread was placed on the table, so that there would be “always the presence of “the Bread of Life” As believers, the living Torah is our spiritual bread, and we must partake daily of this bread. No wonder Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, yet in Hebrew, the name is “Beit-Lechem” the “House of Bread” Again, the table was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the purity of the sinless presence of God and the humanity of Messiah Yeshua.
Then there is the table of Incense, also made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. This is where coals from the brazen altar were placed, and incense burned. The incense symbolizes our prayers, which go up to Heaven as the sweet-smelling incense smoke also goes up.
The curtains of the tabernacle were to be made of fine linen, with the colors, blue, purple, and scarlet. These colors remind us of “blue skies of heaven above” “purple” (color of royalty, Yeshua the King) and scarlet, (color of blood) reminding us of Yeshua's blood that was shed for all our sins, past, present and future. And of course, the wooden planks that remind us of the humanity of Yeshua.
In the outer court of the tabernacle, there is the brazen altar, made of bronze and filled with water. This is where the priests washed their hands and feet. Bronze symbolizes judgment, imagine when the priests approached the still waters in the bronze laver, they would be able to see their reflection in the water. Imagine that is us looking into a mirror, what do we see? The image of a holy God, yet tainted with sin, we need to judge ourselves, and turn from our sinful ways, repent of our sins, like Yeshua said, “Your sins are forgiven, GO, and SIN NO MORE”.
Finally, there is the brazen altar, which is really the first thing a person would see inside the tabernacle. It symbolizes Yeshua who was judged for our sins. It is made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. The bronze symbolizes the judgment that Messiah Yeshua went through to pay our sin price. The animal sacrifices were placed on the grills which were on top of the altar. The animals symbolize our Messiah Yeshua, their blood symbolize HIS blood, and the fire symbolizes the “fires of judgment” which Yeshua endured on the cross of Calvary, once and only once. It was sufficient, for our sins, past, present, and future. Let not his sacrifice for sin be for naught. If you have never placed your faith in Yeshua as Messiah, Savior, and LORD, do it now.
1 KINGS 5:12-6:13
The tabernacle was used for many, many years. It followed “B'nei Israel” when they crossed over the Jordan,
but 480 years later, it was replaced by the first temple which Melech Shlomo (King Solomon) built. It must have been magnificent. The Ark of the Covenant and the furniture that were inside the Mishkan were transferred to the new temple. Yet many years later, after the death of Shlomo, the priesthood corrupted themselves, the kings as well. The temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, and the furniture was taken away.
A believer can walk away from God, we can go astray, and the Ruach HaKodesh will call for us, to invite us back into fellowship, yet for how long? Will the Spirit of God call us back indefinitely? Or...like the Spirit of God that finally, “Left” the presence of the Temple, leaving it “Ichabod” just an empty building, can we become like an “empty vessel? Just walking around empty and lifeless?
But just as a believer is capable of going astray and walks away from the presence of God, the believer can also return, and be received with open arms by the Father. One day, the third temple will be built, and the presence of YHVH will be there, and Yeshua will be back to rule the earth. We will be there too, to share in this rule for one thousand years, and then...into eternity.
Here we see Yeshua on the Sabbath, and he heals a man with a withered hand, yet receives criticism from the Prushim (Pharisees). Yet Yeshua explains, “doing a good deed on the Sabbath is permitted” so, YES, if one works, doing a “mitzvah” on the Sabbath is permitted, if it is to bless another, help another, be it to bring medicine for someone who is sick, help repair a hole in a roof (if you see the rain clouds a comin!) .
Yeshua went down to the Lake and more people came to be healed. The Sea of Galilee is a peaceful place to swim in. Just stand in the water and feel the fish nibble at your feet, quite an experience. I swam down about 10 feet in the lake at Tiberias and brought up a ceramic dish. Still have it, a free souvenir. But just looking at the Lake brings back thoughts of Yeshua there 2000 years ago, healing those with illnesses. He still does, and he heals our souls as well.
Shabbat Shalom. I thank God for giving me 65 years of life, fulfilled today.
I would like to honor the memory of our departed brother in Messiah, Tommy Chauvini, who offered himself as a “Terumah” to serve in “God’s chosen House” the “House of Yeshua” He served with love and unselfish devotion to make the sanctuary secure and safe, and to help clean and lift heavy things. He also shared his knowledge in natural health-science areas. He will be remembered in our hearts and is still alive in Heaven. He is not a jewel that has been lost, only a jewel which has returned to the Master Jeweler. Where he is we will be someday.