Where did they even get hides of sea cows? They must have brought them with them from Egypt. As well as the fabric or yarn, the gold, silver and bronze for the bases. What about the acacia wood? I've always pictured the Israelites wandering in a desert similar to the American Southwest, or endless sand dunes with only an occasional oasis with a trickle of water.
It turns out that there are two theories in Rabbinical teaching for where the trees came from. One theory is that Jacob prophesied the building of the tabernacle and instructed his sons to bring trees to Egypt and to carry them away with them when they left. The second theory is that there was an acacia grove near Mt. Sinai, that God planted a grove where it would be needed at a later point in history.
Isn't that just like God? How many times have I arrived at a point in life and realized that something God had done years before was absolutely essential for this moment?
When we read a few chapters back that God told the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, it seemed a little materialistic or spiteful, right? Yet God didn't have them plunder the Egyptians just out of revenge or to make themselves wealthy, but in order to construct the tabernacle and its contents. God provided for them what they would need in order to worship Him as He instructed.
That really resonates with me today. God has provided all that we need to worship Him, too.
How about you? Have you encountered a need, only to discover God has already provided for It? Share your story In the comments below.