Updated: Oct 11
22nd &23rd Portion
[3-9 & 10-16 March 2024]
Theme of the Book of Exodus:
About pursuing the instructions in order that we can build a dwelling place for Yeshua.
Meaning of "vayakhel" = "and he assembled"
Meaning of "pekudei" = "accounting of"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Exodus 35:1-29
Monday: Exodus 35:30-37:16
Tuesday: Exodus 37:17-29
Wednesday: Exodus 38:1-39:1
Thursday: Exodus 39:2-21
Friday: Exodus 39:22-43
Shabbat: Exodus 40:1-38 & 1 Kings 7:40-8:21
1 Corinthians 3:11-18
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
This is the last portion of the book of Exodus. And it's a double portion - Vayakhel & Pekudei. These are two separate portions but are both read in one week. Remember that the Hebrew calendar does not work on the Gregorian calendar of the world. The Hebrew calendar are dependent on the moon and the harvest cycles. Some years have 12 months and others have 13 months - each consisting of 29 or 30 days, depending on the moon. Thus in order to make the Torah portions fit into the Gregorian calendar for our weekly readings - these two portions are combined. There are 7 double portions like this week's. This is the first double portion and the others are still to come, later in the year.
The portions which are combined are selected according to themes - in other words two portions which almost have the same theme to them would be combined.
In this portion (Vayakhel) returned from the mountain with the second set of stone tablets (remember that he broke the first set). In the previous portions we've read about the instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle - it was God who spoke to Moses and gave him the instructions. Now in this portion, Moses calls everyone together (he assembled) and told them that God desires to dwell among them and that they should build the tabernacle.
Through this portion (and the ones before) we are reminded about the importance of keeping Shabbat. This tabernacle was not only so that God could dwell amongst the Israelites, but to REST (Shabbat) amongst them. Shabbat is about harvest and harmony. And Abba's heart is for us to live in harmony with Him. And we can only do this when we are living according to His instructions. Just like the Israelites had to follow Abba's instructions on how to build the tabernacle. In the same way, we have to follow His instructions so that we can create a dwelling place for Him inside of us.
In parashat Vayakhel, Moses assembled the people together and gave them instruction of what they had to do. In parashat Pekudei, the people came back to Moses and gave account for what they brought and did as per the instructions. Hence why these two portions can so easily be combined for our yearly readings.
We read in the Bible how the Israelites gave so much things for the building of the tabernacle that Moses later on had to tell them to please stop giving! Remember that these people were living and surviving in the dessert! They were not living in towns with access to shops and able to replace things which they give away. Yet their hearts were in right standing. They choose to be obedient to Abba's instructions (yes they became apostate later on again, but not in this portion). This on it's own is enough of a lesson for each one of us today. We are so quick to say that we don't have enough. Enough is never enough in today's society. Which is rooted in a spirit of poverty, not trusting that Abba will provide for us sufficiently. Yet in the middle of the desert, they were so content with what they had that they were even willing to give more away.
Remember that we read in the former parashot (plural for parashat) how the Israelites moved out of Egypt - but before they left, they demanded items from the Egyptians. And they didn't leave emptyhanded. From this we can also learn that every season in life serves a purpose - even those small things which we might think was pointless. In God's Kingdom nothing is ever pointless. And He can use any and all situations and turn it into something good. Just like He did with the Israelites. They were stuck in slavery in Egypt - which didn't seem like the ideal conditions (and truthfully it wasn't). Yet, still from that conditions, Abba made something good come forth from it. They didn't leave empty handed. They had so much that they were willingly giving away their stuff for the building of the tabernacle.
When we go through tough times like the Israelites did in Egypt, it's not worthless or of no purpose. When our hearts are inclined to Abba's heart - he can use the tough seasons as preparation for what's to come.
In this parashat we also read that the physical construction of the outside of the tabernacle was created as well as the items which were in the outer court.
As you know, for these Torah Reading blog posts I use the Daily Bread for Busy Moms podcast - they read the actual Torah portion Scripture as well as the corresponding portions and through the entire Bible every year.
Along with DBFBM's podcast, I use what I have learned from Kol Kallah's teachings regarding the meaning of the Torah Portions as basis for these blogs. Kol Kallah is a sub-division of Hebrew People, a family ministry and the online community whom we belong to. And the people who have made a massive impact on our faith walk, discovering the Biblical truths. If you are looking for Biblical sound teachings - Kol Kallah is the place to go! Seriously!
Having said that, in the late Gerrit Nel's (Kol Kallah) teaching about this portion he takes it all together by saying that the tabernacle was never the work of only one person. It's a joined (not individual) intention to walk in Abba's ways and rhythm. With this portion we are reminded about the importance of community. We have to be on a joined mission to pursue life and to live in God's rhythm. We can't pursue life fully, as Abba intended for us to, when we try to do it on our own. When we try to do life on our own, we'll burn ourselves out. Because God called each and everyone of us for a specific purpose. My calling and yours are not the same. But we are both equally needed to glorify God's Kingdom. We need to work together so that God's plans & purposes can be accomplished. We all have to ask ourselves "what it is that God's requiring from me?" So that I can add to the bigger picture and do my part alongside others.
When we realise the responsibility which we all carry, we also realise the importance of who we are surrounding ourselves with. Our community matters. We have to surround ourselves with like-minded people who are also committed to building a tabernacle / dwelling place for God amongst us. We have to align with people who have the same values and vision for life.
That was parashat Vayakhel! Now we'll take a look at parashat Pekudei.
In this portion the construction of the tabernacle was completed and the people came to give account of how the materials that were brought were put to use in the building of the tabernacle. The Israelites brought everything which they have made to Moses for his approval. Moses gave them the instructions on what and how things had to be made so they brought it to him so that he could check and see if they were according to the instructions.
After everything was inspected and found to be according to Abba's instructions - the tabernacle was completed on the 1st of the month Nisan. So it was almost a year since they have left Egypt. They left Egypt on 15 Nisan, the day after they had to slaughter the lambs and apply the blood to their doorposts (14 Nisan). Which of course is where Pesach comes from.
The theme of the book of Exodus is about pursuing the instructions of God - in order for us to build a dwelling place for Him amongst us. Now that we are in the last portion of the book of Exodus, this theme is drawing to a close.
At the end of this parashat, we read how Abba's Presence came down to dwell with them. And He only came once the instructions He set out, were adhered to.
So what we can learn from this portion is that we have to take responsibility to do our part and to keep ourselves and those in our community accountable. Just like the Israelites brought what they have made to Moses to account for it. In the same way we have to bring our lives (since we are the tabernacle) to Yeshua and give account for how we have (or haven't) lived according to His instructions.
We all have received a gifting from God. And we'll have to give account for what we have done with what God has given us and has instructed us to do. And we can only be accountable when we are open and honest about our callings and the journey which we are walking.
The Bible says in Luke that those who are faithful with little (which is money and earthly things) God gave them on earth, then God will bless you with the true riches, which are the spiritual gifts. If we are not willing to give and bless in the flesh, will never be able to harvest in the spirit. If we can't give or struggle to do so, it's because of our own selfish fleshly desires. Which means that we are anchored in the world and haven't died to ourselves, hence our own desires is prioritised. If we can't even bless others in the flesh, how can we expect God to bless us spiritually?
Vayakhel reminded us about the importance of community and that we have to work together. But when we are unable to give, it means that our individual goals and priorities are more important to us than the goals and priorities of the community. And God won't bless that, because it's not according to His will and instructions. We have to be givers for us to be able to be entrusted with the gifts of God.
One day we'll all have to stand before God and give account for what we have done with the life and the gifts which He entrusted us with. It's not about being able to stand between people and tell them how wonderful you are. Before God we are all an open book and He already knows whether we are living our lives according to His instructions or according to our own fleshly desires.
We are all called to be a light unto the nations. Yeshua is The Light. And we are supposed to be a reflection of who He is. Our willingness to submit to His instructions will be evident in how well we carry His light into the world. If my light in this world is a dim light, it means that I'm not that willing to submit my life to Him and His instructions. But when I am a willing vessel - my light would shine bright for all to see - to the benefit of His Kingdom and not my own.
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Portion 22: Vayakhel & Pekudei (This blog you are reading now)