The people of Israel did the work. They followed the commands of God.
Here was a picture of perfect obedience. “And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”
The people had built the tabernacle, the place where God would dwell with his people. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t cheap. But it was done. They had done it. It was perfect obedience.
However, this wasn’t a perfect people. They’d shown their flaws, and they would show them again. The perfect obedience involved in the construction of the tabernacle would, in short order, turn into a slow drip of rebellion.
God was showing the people the way to a robust and fulfilled relationship with Him. The people wanted it, so they said. Their actions, while excellent at times, would leave much to be desired.
And so God provided his people – and the faithful of the world – with a better tabernacle. It’s a house not built with hands.
As we approach Good Friday, we ought to spend some time in Psalm 22, which Jesus may have recited in full from the cross. He quoted at least part of it (Psalm 22:1).
The end of that psalm reminded me of the end of Exodus 39. Here’s what it says:
“Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it” (Psalm 22:30-31).
What did Jesus do? Well, I think this points us back to the same thing the Israelites did with the tabernacle – “as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it.”
Perfect obedience. Only Jesus did it his whole life, all the way to the cross. “He has done it.”
What we cannot do, Jesus did for us. And we have a new tabernacle, a better One.