Welcome to this week’s Parasha (Torah Portion), which is called Pekudei (Accounts).
· Exodus 38:21–40:38
· 1 Kings 7:51–8:21
· Hebrews 8:1–12
Last week 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.
This week in 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 YAHUVEH'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 YAHUVEH 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 YAHUVEH filled it, SHEKHINYAH, the RUACH HAKODESH.
“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 honor or respect — we treat them as a person of substance, importance, of great value. This same word used in the Ten Commandments, “Honor (kaved) your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20:12)
In this Torah reading, YAHUVEH chose to place His Glory (Kavod SHEKHINYAH) 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 SHEKHINYAH 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 YAHUVEH 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 HAKODESH 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 YAHUVEH 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, YAHUSHUA 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 YAHUSHUA, we do not need to drift aimlessly upon a storm-tossed sea of trials and tribulations alone; the RUACH HAKODESH 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 YAHUVEH. 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 SHEKHINYAH, Glory of YAHUVEH, 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 YAHUVEH’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 YAHUSHUA has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of YAHUVEH's grace.” (Acts 20:24)
The Author and Finisher of Our Faith
When YAHUSHUA 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 YAHUVEH, 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 YAHUVEH 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)
YAHUVEH 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 YAHUSHUA.” (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, YAHUSHUA HAMASHIACH, have personally experienced freedom from slavery.
Before we knew YAHUSHUA, 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 HAKODESH 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 YAHUSHUA HAMASHIACH." (2 Thessalonians 2:14)