The time has come for all the work to find completion. The design and construction work have been completed and inspected, and now is the time for the assembly and final work to be done. This appears to be a work that Moses, himself does, or in the very least that Moses directs. He anoints it all with oil and puts everything together. Piece by piece and part by part, the work gets done and the tabernacle is erected, “just as the LORD commanded him.”
There is something fascinating to me about the process of anointing oil and anointing with oil. I know that anointing oil and anointing with oil (among other things) are used to represent YHWH’s spirit being poured out as well as being anointed or consecrated for a work. This is what is being represented here. It is a preparation of these materials for the work that YHWH has for them. They are set apart for a holy purpose, and somehow anointing them with oil helps to do this.
Anointing with oil is something that some churches and denominations do, and some do not. It serves the same purposes, it is anointing in preparation of materials for the work of service. It is also to set something / someone apart as holy for God’s use and purpose. The third primary purpose of oil / anointing oil is for healing. Oil used to be used to cleanse wounds to prevent infection and other problems. As such, it is also used to represent the supernatural healing work of God’s Holy Spirit. This can be physical healing as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. It’s a beautiful image of some of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Overall though, the real beauty of this chapter comes in the last verses of the chapter; “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” The work is completed. The tabernacle has been anointed and erected, and now the reason and purpose of not only the work and the tabernacle but the very book of Exodus and the Bible is here. The LORD… YHWH, and His glory (weight / presence) fill this place. His is the true anointing presence.
Thus ends the book of Exodus.
All the work that needed to be done to finish making the tabernacle has been completed. The last, and extremely important task of making the priestly garments has been finished. All the work and weaving. All the fine linen and twisted woven work is done. Even all the pure gold threads individually cut from a sheet of beaten gold have been woven in among the blue, purple and scarlet threads. It must have been amazing to have seen! Oh, how jealous i am to have missed it.
The work has all been completed by the workmen and they brought it to Moses to inspect. Moses looked it over and found that it had been done exactly as YHWH had commanded. Every piece was there and every part done. Nothing was missing that was needed, and all was ready.
Oh, how i wish i could have seen it, but then again i have also seen the completion of the scripture, and the fulfillment of the law. That is something that the Israelites of the time never saw.
The plans are in place! The blueprints are being written up. The details are set. Life as we know it is changing. There are three constants in the world: Death, Taxes, and Change. The people of Israel are used to living surrounded by other gods. Gods of the Egyptians, gods of the Canaanites, and the gods of everyone in between. All of these other gods have temples and alters and rules of worship, but the Israelites seem to not have anything that they can use to identify with their God. The God of the Israelites doesn’t want statues to be made of Him. He hides His name from them. They have no established alter or temple to bring sacrifices to. How do you connect with a God like that?
Well, that’s all changing. God has just given Moses the plans for the tabernacle, and is now giving him the plans and blueprints for the alter and courtyard as well. The people of Israel are well on their way to having a place and way to worship that is all their own. No more having to watch all of these other nations and people worship their gods in all their ways, and not to be able to show their devotion to the God of their fathers. Finally, there is a more complete identity in what it means to be an Israelite and to serve their own God. The people of Israel are starting to become a more cohesive unit with all that YHWH has done for them, and now a way for the circle to be completed… a place to honor and serve Him in return. They are finally able to fulfill their lives and purpose.
We sometimes lose sight of the fact that we have been place on this planet and in this world for a purpose outside of ourselves. Our culture attempts to push us to accept that we are here to serve ourselves, and that other people are here for me. But the reality is that we are here to serve Him. When we are not serving Him, or worshiping Him in what we do and say, we will always have a sense of loss… of being incomplete. It’s only in honoring and worshiping God in our lives, actions, and words that we are able to be complete in who we are. These ancient civilizations had so much of a better grasp of these concepts than we do. We are continually trying to rebel from what some would call “oppression”, but what is in reality a core part of who we are… To serve a greater God. And now, with the plans in place, the Israelites are finally going to get what they need. A place and way to serve the one true God, the alter and court of the tabernacle.
John J. Camiolo Jr.