This week we finished reading through the book of Exodus - and it comes to an end with a dull roar. Reading seemingly arcane descriptions of furniture, clothing, structures and jewelery don't do much for me. I'm not much of a detail guy, and I'm not good with making stuff by hand - so it's hard for me to appreciate all the detail contained in the last 15 chapters of this book. How about for you? Maybe if the Bible provided pictures of this stuff, we'd better appreciate it...it is so hard using my imagination.
Okay, here are some pictures to help those of you like me who need to see some pictures to make sense of this stuff...
A artists rendering of the Tabernacle:
A picture of Mount Sinai, part of the mountain range...
An artists rendering of a priest in his sacred attire:
An artists recreation of the seven-branched lampstand:
A beautiful re-creation of the Ark of the Covenant (not the one borrowed in the Indiana Jones movie!):
A picture of the Torah in scroll form:
Why did all these details get preserved in the Torah? Several reasons: the items to be created are sacred, thus the descriptions and instructions for their creation are sacred and to be preserved; another being that God as Creator pays great attention to detail - we get more details about the creation of the Tabernacle and its items then we do about the creation of the universe...hmmm...maybe there is something to be gleaned from that observation.
Whatever we do, make, say about, for, to God is sacred. God - Yahweh - as reavealed to the Hebrew people through Moses was in the beginning phases of his nation-building work. Nation-building is not easy, and God, Yahweh is his Hebrew name, needed to establish ground rules for how the people would relate to him, to Moses, to each other, and to the nations. 613 laws were given to the people, from which they are to use logic and mercy to judge and rule.
Reading through the second half of Exodus wasn't the most exhilirating experience, but insightful once one gets enough perspective. Which is how most of life works anyway.