God Speaks Directly to Us!

Yael Eckstein  |  February 2, 2022

Yael Eckstein praying at Western Wall, illustrating Three Weeks message

Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. — Exodus 25:10

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Terumah, which means “contributions,” from Exodus 25:1–27:19.

Jewish tradition teaches that all the souls of the Jewish people throughout all the generations until the end of time were at Mount Sinai when God spoke the Ten Commandments. When I heard this in school as a child, I raised my hand and asked my teacher “What difference does it make if I was there, if I don’t remember anything?”

My teacher’s answer was that even if we are physically distant by thousands of years, we were spiritually a part of the experience just the same. As far as I was concerned, my question hadn’t been answered. But as I have gotten older, I have come to my own explanation of this beautiful idea that we were all there at Sinai. I’d like to share it with you today.

God Speaks Directly to Us

In this week’s Torah portion, God gave Moses instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle and many of the objects that were in it. Over and over, in almost every verse of the Torah portion, God tells Moses to “make” all these things. Although Moses was not the one who actually did all the work, the instructions are all stated in the second person singular, as though Moses himself was commanded to make these things.

The one exception is the Ark of the Covenant. When it comes to the Ark, God told Moses, “Have them make an ark of acacia wood.” This is the only item in the Tabernacle for which God’s command was stated in the third person plural, “Have them make…”

This got me thinking. Almost everything in the Tabernacle was meant for use in the sacrificial offerings or other rituals that were done only by the priests and Levites. The ark’s purpose was to house the two tablets that Moses brought down from Sinai with the Ten Commandments on them.

What if we didn’t have the written text of God’s Word? What if all we had was what other people had told us? The fact that I can open the Bible and read for myself the very words that God spoke at Sinai means that there is no intermediary between me and God. God speaks to me directly when I read His Word. It’s as if I was there.

And the same is true for us, whenever we open His Word and read from His Holy Bible, God speaks directly to us!

Your Turn:

Next time you are reading the Bible, stop and think about how God’s Word was written for you personally, for God to speak directly to you. What is His message to you today?