“You shall make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red and a covering of porpoise skins above.” (Exodus 26:14 NASB)
There’s a passage in the book of Exodus that I find intriguing. As God gives Moses detailed instructions on how to build the tabernacle, he tells him to make “a covering of porpoise skins above”. The tabernacle was the tent where the ark of the covenant would be placed and which the presence of God would fill. It was the most sacred location as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness to the promised land. And it’s covering was to be made of porpoise skins.
Where would they even have gotten these skins to make the covering? Remember, that the Israelites passed through a parted Red Sea. They walked on dry land as the sea parted before them. Fish and other aquatic life (including porpoises) would have laid at their feet. The Israelites could have easily picked them up and taken them with them as they began their journey. They would have used what they gathered for food as they began their journey and their skin for coverings and clothing. The porpoise skin, which would have been water resistant, would have provided an excellent covering to keep the sacred items in the tabernacle safe from the elements of nature.
Why did God instruct them to use porpoise skins? It would have kept the contents of the tabernacle dry and safe, but I think there is a deeper and more personal meaning. Every time that a person entered the tabernacle and looked up, they would be reminded of the providence of God. They would be reminded how God led them out of Egypt and brought them across the Red Sea. They would be reminded that God is faithful, He cares for them and that He is good. They would be reminded that God is with them in the wilderness.
We need to be reminded of God’s goodness especially in seasons when we are in the unknown and uncertain. Let me encourage you, this week, to remember of God’s faithfulness to you. Some of you have been healed from an ailment that once threatened your life or well-being. God delivered you. Some of you were caught up in an addiction that was destroying your life. God freed you from it. Some of you have experienced a crisis in your marriage or suffered the pain and confusion of divorce. God healed your marriage or healed your heart as you recovered from your divorce. Some of you have seen your children struggle and there was nothing you could do. God was faithful to them and you and has guided their way. We all have all experienced troubles, conflict, spiritual attack and the other difficulties of life. Our God is faithful, and He has provided.
Our God is faithful. Our Father is with us. The Israelites could look at the porpoise skins and remember his goodness. We can look at events of our own life and see where God has been faithful and good to us. In this season of the unknown, He remains with people. He is good to us. Thank God for his faithfulness.