Text Box: Richard

The Glory Comes
When the Job is DoneAS we read through Exodus chapters 25 to 39, we plow through the descriptions of how the Israelites were to construct the Aron HaKodesh (Ark of the Covenant), the golden menorah (lampstand), the Ohel Mo’ed (Tent of Meeting), the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the Mizbe’ach (Bronze Altar), the garments of the kohanim (priests), the consecration of the kohanim, the various sacrifices to be offered, the altar of incense, and the craftsmen who will assemble everything.

All othese instructions for the Mishkan were given to Moshe while he was on Mount Sinai. This might seem like dry reading for a Tabernacle that no longer exists. However, much of what is described was also important for the building of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), of which there were two: Solomon’s Temple and the Second Temple, commonly called Herod’s Temple as a result of Herod’s massive enlargement of the Temple. However, both of these Temples were destroyed, the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE,[1] and the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.[2]

Ezekiel chapters 40 to 49 describe a future Third Temple which will someday come into existence. Therefore, this information will be very important for the construction of Third Temple.

Then after all these instructions for the building of the Mishkan, etc., were given, we have a rather nasty intermission where we learn of the sin of the Golden Calf. The Israelites had grown impatient with Moshe for being on the mountain for so very long, and so they had Aharon (Aaron) build the Golden Calf, whereupon the people descended into gross idolatry.

HaShem was very angry with the people, and threatened to destroy them all and make a great nation of Moshe. However, Moshe interceded for the people. They were not destroyed. However, as punishment, they would wander the wilderness for 40 years before being allowed to enter the Holy Land.

The construction of the Ohel Mo’ed and the Mishkan could now begin. First, they had to gather all of the needed materials as voluntary offerings (Exodus 35:21), which included gold, silver, various jewels, cloths, etc. The people were so generous in their offerings that Moshe was forced to restrain them from giving anything more. Then the construction could proceed. God prefers that we give with a joyful heart, as seen in 1 Cor. 9:7. However, we should be willing to at least give a tithe, which is 10% of our income. In Judaism, people give 10%. It might not all go to the synagogue. It can be spread out to other charities as well.

On the first day of the first month[3] the Israelites began the construction of the Ohel Mo’ed and the Mishkan. On the first day of the second month (Iyar), the Ohel Mo’ed and the Mishkan were completed (Exodus 40:17).

“Then a cloud covered the Ohel Mo’ed of the congregation, and the glory of Adonai filled the Mishkan. And Moshe was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of יְהֹוָה filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35).” Please note that the glory of the LORD did not fill the tabernacle until the job was completed.

The Dedication of the Temple

We see the same pattern when the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) was completed in 2 Chronicles 5:11-14:

11And it came to pass, when the kohanim were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, without regard to courses): 

 12And all the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them 120 kohanim sounding with trumpets.

13It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one voice, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Adonai; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Adonai, saying, “For he is good; for his mercy endure forever,” that then the House (Temple) was filled with a cloud, even the house of Adonai; 

14So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the House of God. 


     Please note: This all happened after the construction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) was completely done. There was also a careful liturgy, with the Levitical singers were singing in one voice, with 120 priests blowing the trumpets.[4]

     We also see the glory of God being poured out after the ordination (s’micha) of Aharon. However, first there were sacrifices for sins as well as peace offerings. It was only after these sacrifices were made that “the glory of Adonai appeared to all the people. Then fire came out from before YHWH and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portion on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces (Lev. 9:23-24).”

     Perhaps we should also note that when God’s spirit fell on the people, you never see them fall backwards on their backs. They very commonly fell on their faces.[5] This is very different from what we see today with many supposedly being “slain in the spirit” and falling on their backs. I’m not saying that God can’t make people fall backwards. However, that would be truly exceptional, as I never see that in the Bible. There was, however, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in 2 Kings 19:35 who were “slain in the spirit.” However, they never got up again, as they were truly “slain.”

The Healing of Naaman

We have the interesting story of Naaman, a captain in the Aramean army who was afflicted with tzara’at (usually translated incorrectly as leprosy). Naaman’s Israeli servant girl had been taken captive by Naaman. She heard of Elisha, and the healings that he had done. She recommended that Naaman go to Elisha to be healed of this disease.

Naaman went expecting Elisha to perform some supernatural wonders for him to be healed. Instead, Elisha told him to immerse himself in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman was furious! He said, “Are not the rivers of Abanah and Pharpar of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel?” This is undoubtedly true. The Jordan River looks like a creek compared to rivers in other countries.

However, Naaman’s servants prevailed upon him to listen to the prophet and immerse himself in the Jordan River. He immersed himself seven times, and after coming out the river after the seventh immersion, he was completely healed. I don’t believe he was being gradually healed with each immersion. He was expected to finish the job before the miracle occurred. And when he finished the job, he was completely healed!

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

God gave Joshua specific instructions for conquering the city of Jericho. The Israelite army was supposed to march once each day around the city carrying shofars (ram’s horns) for six days. Then on the seventh day they were to march around Jericho seven times, and then blow the shofars.  (Joshua chapter 6)

I imagine that the people of Jericho were terrified on the first days that the Israelites marched around their city. By the fifth day of the Israelites marching around the city, it was probably an amusing spectator sport.

     However, on the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times, and then blew the shofars and shouted, and as the song goes, “And the walls came tumbling down.”

     It should be noted that these walls were huge. As an example, Rahab had her house in the walls of the city. Like many cities, the outer walls were primarily for protection against marauders, but were also roads for traveling. Two-way traffic of people and animals occurred on the outer walls. If the wall had merely fallen to the ground sideways, it would still have been a formidable obstacle to the Israelite army, being 15 to 20 feet in width. When the wall came down, it came way down, into the earth. Then the Israelites were able to march over the tops of the walls into the city of Jericho. Presumably the only part of the wall that didn’t come down was the home of Rahab the harlot, who had protected the Israeli spies.

Yeshua, Our Example

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Therefore, seeing that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race set before us, looking to Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”          (Hebrews 12:1-2)

     We believe that Rav Sha’ul (Paul) is the author of the Book of Hebrews. But even if not, this is an amazing book. He reminds us that we surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses.” We are never truly alone. He reminds us to lay aside every sin, and asks us to run the race set before us. Paul sometimes uses athletic symbolism in some of his teachings. He reminds us to “run the race.” In any race, it is important to finish (or complete) the race. There is no prize for those who quit the race before it is finished.

     He then compares this to Yeshua, “the author and finisher of our faith.” Yes, Yeshua came to Planet Earth and gave us many teachings. However, the Father did not send Him to Earth to merely be a great rabbi, which He was. Those who attack Rabbinic Judaism need to be reminded that Yeshua was also a Rabbi, and was called “Rabbi,” even by those who opposed Him. And He never corrected those who called him “Rabbi.” (John 1:38,49; 3:2,26; 6:25.) However, if He had merely remained a great rabbi, his calling would have been incomplete.

     His assignment on Planet Earth would have been incomplete if He had not gone to the cross, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In doing this, He fulfilled the prophesies of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, both of which graphically describe the crucifixion of Yeshua, who died a horribly painful death on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. In doing so, He was in complete obedience to the Father.

However, Yeshua was resurrected after three days, and will be returning as King Messiah. When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” we are praying for the Messianic Kingdom to be established on this planet, with the capital city of this planet being Jerusalem, where Yeshua will reign throughout Planet Earth.

The Imminent Death of Sha’ul

Prior to his death, Rav Sha’ul knew that his death was imminent. He also had confidence that he had accomplished the job set before him. In his letter to Timothy, he wrote, “For I am already poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:6-7).”


All these events are set before us as examples to follow or learn from. We all know the satisfaction in seeing a job completed. We have the satisfaction of experiencing the results when the job is done and done well, even simple little things like shoveling the driveway from the snow that comes onto the driveway. Sometimes I go out with the intention of just shoveling part of the driveway, just so we can at least drive on it. But once I get the entire driveway done, I get a certain amount of satisfaction in having a job well done.

However, the most important job is in serving God, something that all of us are called to do. It might not be as important as writing books of the Bible, as was done by Moses and the Prophets. However, we can do what God expects of us. This includes walking in obedience to the mitzvot (commandments), not forsaking the assembly of believers and encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:25), raising our children to love and obey God, being good husbands or wives, being witnesses on the job or with our neighbors, giving to charities, acts of kindness, being faithful in our employment (doing our jobs as unto God), and a host of other things. Simply being wise steward of our time is important. There are so many things competing for our time. Use your time fruitfully. “Even so faith, if it has no works is dead (Ya’akov–James 2:17).” I don’t believe a dead faith can save anyone.

[1] Before Common Era, equivalent to B.C.

[2] Common Era, equivalent to A.D.

[3] The first month would be according to the calendar change instituted in Exodus 12:2, where the month of Nisan (also spelled Nissan) became the first moth of the year. Biblically, this month is called Aviv (or Abib), and occurs in early Spring. This replaced the Creation Calendar, in which the first month was in the early Fall, with the month of Tishrei. Modern Jewish calendars still begin each year with the Creation Calendar.

[4] It is interesting to note that there were also 120 talmidim (disciples of Yeshua) in the upper room of the Temple (Acts 1:15), as they awaited the day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Once again, the glory of God appeared with these men being filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, whereupon they spoke to Jews and proselytes who had come to Jerusalem for this pilgrimage holiday. They spoke to them supernaturally in the actual languages of these visitors, languages that they never learned.

[5] For some examples of this, see Gen. 17:3; Joshua 5:4; 1 Sam. 20:41; 2 Sam. 9:6; 1 Kings 17:7; Mat. 26:39; Luke 5:12, etc.