This week, our Torah reading is Exodus 30:11-34:35. This is a very important section, where we have final instructions concerning the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the contribution of the half shekel for the sanctuary and the sin of the golden calf. G-d had already given instructions concerning the Mishkan in the two previous parashiot and this week marks the conclusion of those directions.
There are many lessons to learn from this section of the Torah, but a couple of things we can learn is to wait upon G-d’s instructions for our lives and also, there are consequences to sin, even if we repent of it (Exodus 32:35). Many times people believe that if they repent of their sins that’s the end of it. G-d does indeed forgive us of our sins, but there are still consequences. If possible, we should pay restitution. We should ask the offended for forgiveness. We should correct the situation as much as possible.
Finally, it is interesting to note that immediately after the sin of the golden calf, G-d lists the feasts to observe, the redeeming of the firstborn, the Shabbat, and various other commandments. All of these have to do with recognising the preeminence of G-d and turning away from idolatry. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, I think it is important for us to read through each of these verses carefully to see how G-d may use them in our lives to keep us focused and obedient to Him. Shabbat Shalom!