A Generous Heart
So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. (Exodus 36: 6-7 ESV)
The building of the tabernacle was an amazing feat. The exodus from Egypt has been compared to moving the population of Philadelphia. There were over 600,000 men 20 years or older, plus women and children, out in the desert and God asked them to build Him a tabernacle. The children of Israel are primarily known for their grumbling and complaining but they also showed they had very generous hearts. In Exodus 35, Moses asked them to give a contribution to the Lord: a free will offering of gold, silver, bronze, yarns, linen, animal skins, acacia wood, oil, spices, incense and precious stones.
This offering was truly a time of worship for the people. In verse 21 we see the phrase everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him… In verse 22 we see all who were of a willing heart… In verse 29 we see again whose heart moved them… and once more in chapter 36 verse 2, whose heart stirred him… It is a beautiful thing when God’s Spirit moves in His people. The end result of this outpouring of the Spirit is seen in 36: 4-5 , … all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came … and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” In 36: 6 we see that the people were restrained from bringing anything more. We don’t know all that was brought, but in chapter 38 we see that about 2,200 pounds of gold, 7,500 pounds of silver and 5,300 pounds of bronze were brought. At the beginning of 2010 their combined value was close to $ 37 million. The Israelites’ giving was not limited to gold and silver but they also gave freely of all their possessions, their time and their abilities. In 36: 2 we see …every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. They not only gave their money but they gave of themselves.
All that we have is from God and should always be at His disposal. When God’s Spirit stirs our hearts we need to respond not out of a feeling of obligation but out of our love for Him. Allen E. Beltle is CFO of America’s Keswick. You can write to Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keswick, America’s (2012-12-13). Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 1636-1661). . Kindle Edition.
Think About This: We will never run out of new discoveries to make about God and his glorious purposes. Christians ought to be the world’s greatest Explorers…. The moment you quit being an Explorer–the second you identify yourself first as a “pastor,” “businessman,” “house-wife,” or “hairdresser,” you degenerate. When your earthly occupation trumps God’s deeper design in you to explore and discover, your earthly occupation will lose its fire and direction, and you’ll degenerate. Justin Buzzard
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6