Welcome to Pekudei (Accounts) this week’s Parshat (Torah Portions).
This Shabbat also falls during the time of 'New Moon' and is called Shabbat HaChodesh! Since this year is a leap year, the 13th month of the Hebrew calendar, Adar II, is observed. This only occurs on leap years.
· Torah Portion: Exodus 38:21-40:38
. Haftarah: 1 Kings 7:51-8:21
· Hebrews 8:1-12
In Parasha Vayakhel, the people donated the required materials for the building of the Mishkan in such abundance that Moses had to tell them to stop giving.
In this Parasha, Pekudei, an accounting is made of those materials, and the eight priestly garments are made according to the specifications in Parasha Tetzaveh.
The Mishkan is also completed and a cloud appears over it; the Glory of YEHOVAH's Divine Presence has come to dwell within it.
The Glory of GOD’s SHEKHINYAH (RUACH HAKODESH)
“Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as YEHOVAH had commanded. So Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:43)
Parasha Pekudei addresses the mystery of how an unlimited, eternal GOD who transcends all time and space can possibly take up residence within the limitations of a man-made building.
Once Moses and the people finished the work of constructing the Mishkan, the Glory of YEHOVAH filled it, SHEKHINAH, the RUACH HA KODESH.
“So Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the meeting and the glory of ELOHIM filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:33–34)
The word for glory in Exodus 40:34 is ‘kavod’; it is related to the Hebrew verb ‘kaved’, which means to ‘honor’, to ‘be honored’, and to ‘be heavy’.
When we give someone ‘kaved’, it means we give them to honor or respect — we treat them as a person of substance, importance, of great value. This same word is used in the Ten Commandments, “Honor (kaved) your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20:12)
In this Torah reading, YEHOVAH chose to place His Glory (Kavod SHEKHINAH) into the finite space of the Mishkan (Sanctuary). His Presence was unmistakable and of great substance. It was heavy and inspired reverence.
The Presence of ELOHIM’s SHEKHINAH was so weighty, in fact, that Moses himself was unable to enter.
"Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of YEHOVAH filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:35)
As the children of Israel moved on from the foot of Mount Sinai, where they received the revelation of the Torah, the manifestation of RUACH HA KODESH in cloud and fire that hovered over the mountain now moved with them to cover the Tabernacle.
This sign reassured the people of His continual Presence and guidance throughout all the rest of their journeys.
“For the cloud of YEHOVAH was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire therein by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” (Exodus 40:38)
Similarly, YESHUA will always be with us. He promised, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
As Believers in YESHUA, we do not need to drift aimlessly upon a storm-tossed sea of trials and tribulations alone; the RUACH HA KODESH has been sent to lead and guide us and to be with us forever.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” (John 14:16)
The Glory of ELOHIM Falls on Solomon’s Temple
“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of YEHOVAH. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.” (1 Kings 8:10–11)
In the Haftarah (Prophetic portion) for this week, the SHEKHINAH, Glory of YEHOVAH, filled the Temple in Jerusalem once the work had been completed – just as SHE had filled the Mishkan in the wilderness when the work was completed.
As in the Parasha reading, it was the end of the work that brought the supernatural outpouring of YEHOVAH’s presence, not the beginning.
Starting any kind of project is usually relatively simple if accompanied by zeal and enthusiasm, but the true blessing comes upon finishing the work. This requires patience, diligence, and endurance.
Like the Israelites, Believers have also been given a job to finish:
“My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the LORD YESHUA has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of YEHOVAH's grace.” (Acts 20:24)
The Author and Finisher of Our Faith
When YESHUA died on the Roman execution stake, His final words were, “It is finished.”
He knew that He had completed the work He had been sent to this world to accomplish.He had fulfilled His calling; He had glorified YEHOVAH, which was His heart’s earnest desire:
“I have glorified You on the earth; I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4)
That work involved being the author and FINISHER of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)
He is the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end. HalleluYAH!
We can be secure in the knowledge that YEHOVAH always finishes what He starts. He did not just begin the work of creation; He finished it:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” (Genesis 2:1)
YEHOVAH is faithfully at work in each one of us, as well. He will bring the work He began in us through to perfect completion.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Messiah YESHUA.” (Philippians 1:6)
When we come to the end of our lives, even if it seems like there is yet much work to be done here on earth, may we be able to declare like the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
From Slavery to Freedom
Those who follow the Master, YESHUA HAMASHIACH, have personally experienced freedom from slavery.
Before we knew YESHUA, we were enslaved to sin, longing to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness.
Now His Torah is written on our hearts and His RUACH HA KODESH dwells within us, transforming us into the people He has called us to be.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of ELOHIM, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
"He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our LORD YESHUA HAMASHIACH." (2 Thessalonians 2:14)