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Recently I have been studying the Old Testament Sanctuary and came across this interesting chapter in a book, entitled “Beq’a Foundations”. Regarding the furnishings of the Sanctuary (tabernacle) in the time of Moses, the Lord had given command to levy a tax of a silver half-shekel on every man twenty years old and over (Ex.30:11-16; 38:25-31). This piece of silver was called a beq’a, meaning simply “a half” (Ex 38:26).
This directive that “every man” should individually provide his own ransom money was given three times in Scripture. It was to furnish “a ransom for his soul” and that “no plague be found among them, which will inevitably fall on the impenitent”.
This recompense or ransom came from the loving Father’s provision as a ‘gift’ not only to each Israelite in type, but to all people who would accept “The Gift” -- “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 12:8) in after generations. Because God so loved…He gave, in order for His people to accept “His benefits gratefully and use them faithfully.”
This silver token of one’s freedom would later be melted with all the other half-shekels and used in the foundation of the Tabernacle. This in type conveys two lessons: 1) it indicates that all must receive the “heavenly Beq’a” (the Redeemer) in order to be ransomed and 2) the idea that one day God’s people collectively will make up the spiritual house of the Lord, being made “pillars in the temple of My God” (Rev 3.12)
So what does this “Beq’a” business have to do with the ministry of grief and suffering? Here is the connection. In the chapter, I came across this thought and passage: “At the final day of salvation God will declare of His people, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave: I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plaques: O grave, I will be thy destruction.” (Hosea 13:14).” This passage has much meaning to Mary and I for it was the text we chose during our daughter’s memorial service and is the same text we placed on her grave stone, with one slight variation. This change made it more personal. “I will ransom “Brianna” from the power of the grave: I will redeem [her] from death”
October 5th made it 21 months since we buried Brianna at 19. As a pilot, preparing for mission service, a scuba diver, a photographer and violinist, people over the course of time since her loss have come up to us and wondered how we have been able to endure this horrendous loss. If it weren’t for the fact that our daughter had a loving Redeemer who provided that “Beq’a” to ransom her from sin who she trusted and one day will ransom her from the ‘power of the grave’, we would be without hope and full of despair.
God sees what we do not and through this tragedy permitted, He would bring about a greater good in eternity than if she were allowed to live. Though our pain and grief remain till that Day, and we still struggle with the loss, our gracious Jesus identifies with us in our suffering and comforts us with His presence that soon the war will be over.
Until then, we will keep in search of souls who also need the comfort of His Spirit, especially those who grieve and mourn the loss of their loved ones who have been laid to rest prematurely. On that great resurrection morning, all will be glad and rejoice who have built upon that ‘Beq’a Foundation’ and will receive their inheritance so long awaited.
It is our hope and prayer that what has been shared here will give you a greater appreciation of the redemptive efforts of our God and thus you’ll be more willing to share this hope with those who still need it.
Adapted from “With Jesus in the Sanctuary” by Lesilie Hardinge p. 65-66