This is a rich little verse, from the descriptions of Bezalel making the tabernacle:
1) There were women ministering at the tent of meeting? That’s where people used to go to take their problems to Moses. I wonder how the women were ministering – it could have been through praying for those waiting in the queue, or maybe for caring for their physical needs (or both). Whatever, it seems they had a heart and a calling to be close to God’s presence, serving him with their gifts.
2) They gave up their mirrors for the tabernacle. (I didn’t even know they had mirrors in those days.) The gifts given for the building of the tabernacle were costly – this was sacrificial giving. Tim Keller has written a book called ‘The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness’ that I think this exemplifies. Once we are caught up in love for and worship of God, those things that once seemed so important – like making sure we look good – fade away. Seeing ourselves matters less than seeing God and pouring ourselves out for him. These women gave up something of their very identity in worship.
3) And they gave this precious gift in order to make a way for others to enter God’s presence. The bronze basin was for Aaron and the priests to wash their hands and feet in before approaching the altar or the tent of meeting, or offering sacrifices (see Ex 30:17-21). The priests would then perform the sacrifices on their behalf, and on behalf of all the people, and these women were making that possible. We were talking last night at my Bible study group about making sacrifices and not necessarily immediately seeing the blessing. These women could have felt resentful about giving of themselves but never getting to enter the tent of meeting, only facilitating others to do so, but through their selfless generosity they did ultimately benefit, and more importantly, they made it possible for the whole nation to benefit!
What a wonderful verse!