Exodus 26-27 It’s Curtains For You

Questions: Why spend so much time on curtains? Does God love engineering? Does physical reality really matter? “Read More” to pursue answers.

Lord, speak to me through your Spirit and your Word, your Body and your Blood;
that I might know you as you are, and manifest the image of Christ in this world,
and the world to come. Amen.

Exodus 26:1-27:21

Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle [with] ten curtains [of] fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: [with] cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them

The idea of “cunning work” (“skilled craftsmen” in the NIV) permeates these two chapters. Which, on the face of it, seems pretty bizarre: God appears to be spending way more time on the details of His house than on, say, precepts of morality or explaining His character. Is this just a testament to the existential pleasure of engineering* Is God merely trying to demonstrate the value of interchangeable parts and standardized measures*

and every one of the curtains shall have one measure

Um, maybe. In fact, maybe this whole exercise is another manifestation of God’s character:

It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.

As He works through these details with Moses, God is implicitly communicating multiple ideas, perhaps including:

* the importance of following directions
* how seriously God takes this habitation
* the value of consistent craftsmanship
* the joy of creation

Not, I hasten to add, in some artificial pedagogical sense. Rather, God spends time on these kinds of things because that is the kind of person He is. And by working on this project with Moses, God inevitably communicates something of His character to Moses — and indirectly to the rest of the people, who either share in or benefit from the work.

This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.

As someone who works on Engineering (and Engineers) for a living, it is very humbling to think that we are following in the footsteps of God Himself. And that by implication we ought to manifest His character (as well as our own) in everything we do.


God, I pray today for my work, for all the presentations, product requirements, webcasts, and emails I will be producing. Father, I ask that my work would reflect my character, and that my character would reflect yours. Thank you that you love us — and this world — enough to invest yourself in it. Teach me to glorify you in and through and with everything I do. In the name of Jesus my tabernacle, Amen.

About the Title:

Today’s title is an Edward G. Robinson line famously parodied by Bugs Bunny.