These are precious metals for sure. The work that went into the tabernacle wasn’t second-rate. Everything was done well, and with the finest materials.
I remember my experience buying an engagement ring for Mary, nearly 20 years ago now. I was a poor college student, and I couldn’t afford to buy much of a ring. On top of that, it was the first time I had been inside of a jewelry shop.
The salesman educated me on diamonds. There are a variety of cuts, and there are a variety of kinds of clarity when it comes to diamonds. And, of course, there’s the size – also known as the “carat.”
Without much money in my pocket, I had to let go of something. I couldn’t afford a huge, clear, finely cut diamond. So I let go of the “huge” factor. Instead, I selected a tiny diamond that rated well for its clarity. I think the “cut” was pretty good, too, but I can’t remember all the details now.
I remember being proud of that tiny diamond. But Mary and I chuckle now when we look at her wedding ring. It is not the most impressive thing in the world. You aren’t likely to snag a piece of clothing on it, so it’s safe in that way at least.
At the time, it was the best I could do.
Israel did its best, I believe, as they were constructing the tabernacle. They had all the precious materials they needed to follow God’s instructions. They didn’t cheat the system. They didn’t downscale anything. They could afford to do all God asked of them.
What has God asked of us?
I don’t believe he’ll ask for more than we can give in terms of our service or our stewardship. But he doesn’t want anything that’s second-rate. He is our Creator and our Redeemer. We give him our best.
And we do this as we build up his church.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13).