Parashah VaYakhal (“And he assembled”)
“Va’yakhal Moshe et-col-adat bnei Yisrael v’yomer aleihem eileh had’varim asher-tsivah ADONAI la’asot otam.”
“And Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel and said to them, These are the words that ADONAI has commanded you to do.” (Exodus 35:1)
John J. Parsons notes that this is the third major assembly of the people at Sinai. It followed the giving of the Torah and the incident of the Golden Calf. It occurred after the first Yom Kippur celebrated by the people.
The words had to do with continuing free-will offerings by the people who were moved in heart to provide for the further construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. This tabernacle was eventually set up in Shiloh after the conquest of the land. It served through that time into the time of Samuel (who founded the school of the prophets and who became the king-maker of the Israelite Monarchy) and until the reign of Solomon who built the permanent Temple in Jerusalem.
God promised that his Shekinah (Manifest Presence) would occupy the Mishkan (Tabernacle) so that He would be with them continually—even though they had sinned grievously. Later, the Presence moved into the first Temple and dwelt permanently between the Cherubim above the Mercy Seat inside the Holy of Holies. Now it abides in our hearts since Yeshua has cleared the path for the Holy Spirit to enter human temples through the Redemption in his blood. Thereby God’s Manifest and Resident Presence is scattered throughout the world through us, “as the waters cover the sea!”
What a glorious thing it is to receive the words of divine in-dwelling! What a joy to prepare for his abiding Presence a clean and consecrated spirit-soul-body in which to Tabernacle with us! (Revelation 3:20) Therefore, let us enact in our lives the exhortation of Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the LORD.”
Grace and Peace, my Beloved,