Exodus 40 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Moses did everything just as the L_rd commanded him. The Tabernacle was set up in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month. Moses set up the Tabernacle: he laid its bases, positioned its planks, inserted its crossbars, and set up its posts. Then he spread the tent over the Tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, just as the L_rd had commanded Moses.” Exodus 40:16-19
In most “Christian” & Messianic circles, “tent making” is synonymous with “not charging a fee for preaching the gospel.” The reason for this saying is because the rabbi Saul (apostle Paul) chose to support himself by making tents. Acts 18: 2. He didn’t want anyone to accuse him of preaching for profit.
“So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way . . . And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.” 2 Corinthians 11:7-12
We also know that Paul was a highly trained and qualified Torah teacher.
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for G_d just as you all are today.” Acts 22:3
“I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees…” Acts 18:2
Of all occupations to support his ministry, why would Paul choose “tent making”? For that matter, why would G_d call a “tent maker” to expand His Messianic community, preaching salvation to the Gentiles, alongside his ministry to the Jewish community? I don’t believe Paul’s occupation was an arbitrary coincidence. In a similar way in which G_d chose shepherds (Joseph, Moses, and David) to “shepherd” His people, Israel; G_d also chose a tent maker to “stretch-out” the Gospel’s influence.
If you look at a map of Paul’s missionary journeys, you’ll notice that Paul was planting congregationss…laid-out like tent panels, radiating around Jerusalem. In the same way as in the days of Moses, (where all of the tent panels came together to form a single unit, called the Tabernacle) Paul was laying-out the early Messianic congregations. Today, millions of congregations, built on Paul’s foundational teaching of Messiah Yeshua, are fit together as a single unit, forming the greater Messianic community…literally “canvassing” the World with the “Tabernacle” of Messiah.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, April 10, 2014