Read Exodus 39
Focus on verse 42-43
Back home on the farm my father would often assign me the task of driving the tractor when it was time to do the cultivating in the fall. I discovered an interesting principle from this task. I noticed that when I first started working on a field the progress was fairly obvious as the strip of earth that I had cultivated grew wider. This was also true when the field was nearly complete as I could observe the strip of uncultivated soil grow narrower. What seemed to take unbearably long was that big section in the middle when it seemed like the uncultivated section was getting no smaller and the cultivated section was getting no wider…at this point the task seemed endless.
Finishing a project is not possible if one does not persevere through that boring, unrewarding middle section where progress is not as visible. It is relatively easy to be excited and motivated at the beginning of a project when everything is new and exciting. It is also relatively motivating to be part of a project that is nearly complete. The tough slugging is that long, unrewarding middle section. My father used to call this ability to slug it out “finitiative”. He would remind me that a lot of people have “initiative” which is what it takes to get a project started, but not many have the “finitiative” it takes to stick with it to its completion.
In today’s reading Moses describes the end of the tabernacle project. The tabernacle was a complicated project. It took many people, many hours of work to get it all done. I’m sure that there was much excitement in the beginning, and perhaps even more at the end, but I suspect there was also a lengthy time in the middle when some of the people working on it wondered if it they would ever see the end it.
According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them. (v. 42-43)
They had finally completed everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses. It was all done. When Moses saw that it was done he blessed them… that’s it? Hey – bless you guys! Great job! I can imagine that there was also a general corporate feeling of satisfaction of having completed the mission God had laid out for them. They were to fabricate a tabernacle (essentially a portable temple) and they completed everything to the specifications set by God through Moses. Apparently Moses was one of those rare individuals that not only had the initiative to start a daunting building project with an inexperienced group of people, but he also had the finitiative to motivate that group to bring it to its completion.