Today’s reading begins with the explanation of Sabbath regulations and concludes with crafting of the furnishings for the Tabernacle.
The Sabbath is reiterated over and over again as a day of rest for the people of Israel. The beginning of Chapter 35 reiterates the importance of the Sabbath and that it is to be adhered to by the people.
The time had now come for the people of Israel to begin making contributions for the construction of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Gold, jewels, fine fabrics, animal skins were all brought to Moses for a contribution to the construction of the Tabernacle. Skillful women spun yarn and fabric for use in the construction of the Tabernacle. Skillful men constructed the various parts that made up the structure of the Tabernacle. All of these willing people worked under the instruction of Bezalel and Oholiab to construct the Tabernacle and its furnishings.
Even after the people had brought sufficient supplies for the crafting of all the things God required for His Tabernacle, the people continued to bring supplies to make the Tabernacle. It was at this time that Moses was informed by Bezalel and Oholiab that the contributions were enough and Moses put out word that the contributions to the work of the Tabernacle should cease. The scripture at this point speaks to the willingness of the people to give when it explains “So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.” Exodus 36:7
The remainder of today’s passage describes how Bezalel and Oholiab followed the LORD’s instructions to the letter in constructing the Tabernacle along with the Ark, the Table, the Lampstand, and the Altar of incense.
The story of the people of Israel time and again mirrors the faith of my own life. Sin, followed by repentance, followed by exuberance. It’s only the mere fact of my own arrogance that I would look down on the Israelites for their lack of faith in obeying the LORD when I have the same story, the same predisposition to rebel against what I claim to be the truth by which I order my life. God is truly forgiving and in spite of the judgment rendered earlier in the Exodus upon the rampantly disobedient, God has mercy on the people at large.