Weekly Parashah Articles

Vayakhel

The main theme of this Weekly Torah portion is people’s offerings and construction of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle, its utensils, and the priestly ministry graphically illustrated the way of blessing and peace.

And the most important thing that one can see by studying the Tabernacle, and later - the Temple, is the character of God.

God as the Center

The book of Revelation contains a very important text,

Rev 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.[1]

This does not mean that the Temple in heaven does not exist because previously John was shown the real heavenly Temple and the real Ark of the Covenant,

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

I suggest that the Heavenly Temple exists and that God is portrayed as the quintessence of it. God is the essence, center, and cause of cleansing and forgiveness. Without God Himself, all attempts to purify sinners will fail.

God Cooperates with Humans

Importantly, the Tabernacle in the wilderness was built using the offering of the Israelites.

When God commanded to make offerings for the Tabernacle, He probably allowed a possibility of cooperation with Him. Bringing the tithes to God, making voluntary offerings and giving their best cattle, Israelites gave God an opportunity to act through that. Individuals who worshipped God were highly rewarded with holiness, which fulfilled God’s commandment, 

Lev 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 

There was number of things and rituals related to holiness including food (Lev 11:43-44), compliance with the Law of God (Lev 20: 7-8) and keeping the Sabbath day (Lev 19: 2-3). But no doubts the Temple was the center of sanctification and holiness, because the Lord Himself dwelt in it, and because the entire temple ministry was aimed at sanctifying the worshipers. The Temple was the holiest place on earth, the gateway to the heavenly realm.

Restoration of the Image of God 

In the beginning God created man and woman in His own image and likeness. Is a person the image and likeness of the Temple where God dwelt? The answer is positive. Paul writes,

1 Cor 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

According to the plan of the Most High, every human should reflect Divine holiness and image today and in eternity. 

 

Daniel Gordan

 

Image: Photograph by Ruk7 released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. 

[1] Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org unless other translation is indicated.