The ingredients that go into the construction of the Tabernacle can be grouped into the following seven categories:
I would like to focus on the “fabrics” part of this list and talk about a point that may seem insignificant now but actually plays quite an important role in understanding how God’s Holiness works.
The importance of this will become even more apparent once we get into the Book of Leviticus.
Okay, so the point is this.
Some of the fabrics used in the construction of the tabernacle will consist of a MIXTURE OF WOOL AND LINEN.
The reason this is important is because this type of fabric mixture is in many cases PROHIBITED by God.
For instance, in most cases, normal clothing is NOT to be made out of material containing this mixture of fibers.
In Hebrew, the word used to describe a piece of cloth that has been woven out of two different materials is SHA’ATNEZ.
However, what’s really interesting is that while in most cases the use of this type of mixed fabric is prohibited by God, there are special instances when it is okay.
Actually, let me rephrase that.
There are certain instances when the Lord COMMANDS the use of SHA’ATNEZ (mixed fibers of wool and linen).
The veil that separates the Holy of Holies from the rest of sanctuary must be SHA’ATNEZ.
The curtain at the entrance into the Tent Sanctuary must also be SHA’ATNEZ.
And there are certain parts of the High Priest’s clothing that must also be SHA’ATNEZ.
So what’s the big takeaway here?
The big takeaway is that there are certain things the Lord has reserved for the most holy.
In certain God-ordained circumstances, their use is good and holy but outside of their God-ordained context, it is NOT ALLOWED and would be the cause of sin and defilement.
Sex is actually a good example.
When used within its proper God-designated context, which is marriage, it is beautiful, holy, and a live-giving (and life-producing) activity.
However, outside of its God-ordained context, it becomes ugly, unholy and DESTRUCTIVE to life.
Come to think about it, the same could be said of many things we use in our lives such as money, guns and food etcetera.
Used within their proper context, they provide abundance to our lies, when misused, the unfortunate opposite results.
And that’s why we need to study the manual of life, the Torah, that our Creator has provided us, so that we can understand the principles we need to abide by in order to have abundant lives.
This brings us to another important point I need to make.
There is nothing inherently impure or unholy about mixed fabrics (and of course, the same could be said for sex, money etcetera).
Weaving together wool and linen doesn’t somehow magically create something unholy or perverse.
Let me say that again.
Mixed fabric or SHA’ATNEZ is NOT inherently UNHOLY, ABNORMAL, and PERVERSE.
The reason I’m harping on this so strongly is because understanding this point is key to properly grasping many important Torah concepts (especially as concerns ritual impurity) we’re going to be learning moving forward.
It will enable you to comprehend the principles behind kosher versus unclean foods and clean versus unclean animals etcetera.
It is a mistake to assume that any food or animal in and of itself has some kind of inborn holiness or purity to it while another type of food or animal has some kind of inborn unholiness or impurity to it.
See, here’s the thing and I think this is where many folks trip up.
More often than not, there is ONLY ONE THING that determines whether a certain thing is Holy or not.
And that one thing is God’s sovereign AND IN MANY CASES inscrutable decision on the matter.
And that’s it!
The Lord for His own good purposes has determined the “whats” and “hows” concerning proper worship of Him.
However, for His own good reasons, in many cases He hasn’t given us the “whys“.
I don’t know.
And my point is that sometimes it’s okay not to know why.
Per the Lord’s sovereign decision, in some matters we are not meant to know why but we are to OBEY.