The people are free and doing all they can to figure out just what that means. In today's reading we were given a glimpse of how that freedom plays itself out. It is my belief that when humans excercise their God given creativity on God honoring projects we get a sense of what freedom really is, real freedom seems to only begin with intentional direction and purpose. So, God gives them the tasks that we have seen in the last few chapters. These tasks are detailed and specific in many ways. At the same time there's loads of room for human creativity and involvment. For example, the people are told to provide offerings of materials and precious metals so that the tabernacle can be constructed, but at least twice we are told that only those who are willing should do it.
Turns out so many were willing that they had to tell the people to stop! Too much freewill offerings, sounds like a problem I'd like to struggle with. ;)
Then we meet Bezalel and Oholiab who are given instructions but also it seems to me are left to use their own creative skills in decorating. For example, no one told them how to do the cherubs--they used thier skills and creativity. These skilled creative craftsmen then taught others their skills and all of this was led and approved of by God.
It seems to me if you've never known freedom you might need this sort of guidence. Human freedom without some purpuse or direction always gets sefish, ugly, even divisive and competative. But what does it mean to be free? Do we learn freedom in steps?
Coud all of this structure be providing a group that lacked clarity and liberty as slaves opporotunities to exersize their new freedom in small needed doses?
I rode a bike before I drove a motorcyle, I was ridding motorcyles for years before I learned to drive a stick shift. Each level informed the next and each allowed me to use an ever expanding freedom. That freedom came in the midst of structure. My parents gave me the freedom to learn to ride the bike, but resitricted my longing to steal my neighbors bike. Was that limiting freedom? Training me to experince freedom? Both? Thoughts?