Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW), Page 1108

ideas of sacrifice had been largely molded by the ideas of the Egyptians who had themselves learned from Israel when they first went into Egypt, but who had mingled with truth the falsehood of idolatry. They had most indecent practices in connection with the worship at their heathen altars. The law given in Eden and repeated on Sinai was essential for the Israel of God; for during the bondage in Egypt the claims of God and His commandments had been lost sight of. This is why the Lord uttered His holy law with an audible voice in the hearing of all the people. He desired that they should hear His commandments and obey them (Manuscript 58, 1900).

Chapter 31

1-6 (1 Timothy 5:13). Meddling Punished by Death—The Lord loves to see His work done as perfectly as possible. In the wilderness, the Israelites had to learn to accomplish with exactness and promptness the work connected with the order of the camp and especially the work of the tabernacle, its ornaments, and its service. All had to learn before they could accomplish this, to them new work. They had to be trained before they could do it as God desired. There were men there ready to give counsel and advice and to meddle with the work of mounting and dismounting the tabernacle; and those who neglected their special work to meddle with the work of others, thinking they had special wisdom and knew how it should be done, were put to death. Each one had to be taught the value of promptness and exactness in every position of trust. The memory had to be taxed, and they had to realize the responsibility of doing everything in due time.

This is the discipline which the Lord anciently gave to His people, and it is the discipline which should exist in our missions, our colleges, our publishing houses, our sanitariums. God likes to see men understand their weak points, and instead of closing their eyes to their defects, they should make persevering efforts to overcome them (Manuscript 24, 1887).

How Could the Work Be Done?—Israel had been held all their days in the bondage of Egypt, and although there were ingenious men among them, they had not been instructed in the curious arts which were called for in the building of the tabernacle. They knew how to make bricks, but they did not understand how to work in gold and silver. How was the work to be done? Who was sufficient for these things? These were questions that troubled the mind of Moses.

Then God Himself explained how the work was to be accomplished. He signified by name the persons He desired to do a certain work. Bezaleel was to be the architect. This man belonged to the tribe of Judah,—a tribe that God delighted to honor (Manuscript 29, 1908).

2-7. Did Not Depend on Skilled Egyptians—In ancient times, the Lord instructed Moses to build Him a sanctuary. The people were to provide the material, and skillful men must be found to handle the precious material. Among the multitude were Egyptians, who had acted as overseers for such work, and thoroughly understood how it should be done. But the work was not dependent upon them. The Lord united with human agencies, giving them wisdom to work skillfully. [Exodus 31:2-7 quoted.]

Let the workmen in the service of God today pray to Him for wisdom and keen foresight, that they may do their work perfectly (Manuscript 52, 1903).

13 (ch. 25:8). Sabbath Kept During Construction—God directed that a tabernacle should be built, where the Israelites, during their wilderness-journeying, could worship Him. Orders from heaven were given that this tabernacle should be built without delay. Because of the sacredness of the work and the need for haste, some argued that the work of the tabernacle should be carried forward on the Sabbath, as well as on the other days of the week. Christ heard these suggestions, and saw that the people were in great danger of being ensnared by concluding that they would be justified in working on the Sabbath that the tabernacle might be completed as quickly as possible. The word came to them, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep.” Though the work on the tabernacle must be carried forward with

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