Commentary on Parashat Vayakhel (And He Assembled)

In my previous blog, Parashat Ki Tisa (When You Lift Up), I wrote that whatever God asks or requires of us, He will also give us the tools by which to do it.

During the past few weeks, I was teaching in various places and felt the need to encourage people to look in the mirror (spiritually speaking) to see the areas where we need to repent and surrender to God. In our Scripture reading this week, we see a continuation of last week’s portion regarding what we are to do with the treasures that God has entrusted to us. First, the LORD addresses the “physical” treasures:

“And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the word which the LORD has commanded to say, Take from yourself a contribution to the LORD; every generous heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and porpoise skins, and acacia wood, and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and setting stones, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.” Exodus 35:4-9

The important principle here is that each person is to give that which he has on his heart. Our motive for giving should not be what we will receive in return, but rather simply to honor Him, as we understand that everything is from God and belongs to Him anyway. And honoring Him will bring us great joy!

The second thing that He addresses is each person’s talent:

“And every wise heart among you shall come, and make all that the LORD has commanded” Exodus 35:10

What are you passionate about? What are you good at, or gifted in? What talent has God blessed you with? Are you using it to advance the Kingdom of God and His name or your own?

In our portion we can see and learn that God has blessed each of us with a treasure; it can be a literal treasure, or it can be a talent. The question is, what are we doing with that which God has entrusted us?

I love to read the way the Israelites responded to God’s call!

“And all the wise men who were doing all the holy work came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.” Exodus 36:4-7

Isn’t this simply amazing? Because the Israelites understood that the LORD had given them everything, they gave back to Him from their hearts, and when we do something from the heart, the results are always incredible.

My dear brothers and sisters, what has God entrusted you with? What are you doing with it?

This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, March 22, 2017, and reposted with permission.