After Moses returned from Mount Sinai and the people of Israel recovered from his radiant appearance, Moses assembled the people and re-gave them God’s Ten Commandments and then shared with them God’s instructions for building the Tabernacle. Remember, these were instructions God gave Moses back in Exodus 29-31. However, the Israelites never got to hear these instructions because of their idol worship and rebellion.
Now, after a couple months and the death of thousands of their number, the Israelites finally get to hear the message God gave Moses for them. A message of hope and comfort, since God renewed His covenant with the people and promised to be with them through their journey. But God did ask one thing of the Israelites. He asked them to build Him a dwelling place and to contribute to it as their heart led them. Moses was not going to take a mandatory collection, but the people were to give freely and as they felt led. The result was an amazing outpouring of generosity from a previously rebellious people.
“And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the LORD. And every one who possessed blue or purple or scarlet yarns or fine linen or goats’ hair or tanned rams’ skins or goatskins brought them. Everyone who could make a contribution of silver or bronze brought it as the LORD’s contribution. And every one who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work brought it. And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair. And the leaders brought onyx stones and stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastpiece, and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense. All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD.”
I know that was a long passage of Scripture, however, by including it, I wanted you to see an important point: God sees and knows everyone’s contribution, no matter how small. The small piece of acacia wood one man brought might have seemed insignificant and unimportant, but God saw it and included it in the Bible. The hours the women spent spinning and weaving to make yarn and cloth may have gone unnoticed by many, but God saw the gift and recorded it.
God was not concerned about the size or quantity of gifts, but rather the attitude in which it was given. Everyone needed to give freely. It was not a tax or something everyone must donate to, but a gift. God wanted His people to give to Him a dwelling place out of the abundance of their hearts. He didn’t want it from compulsion but for them to give freely from a heart of love. And the children of Israel did respond with great generosity and enthusiasm. In fact, later on in chapter 36, Moses had to tell the people to stop giving, because they had enough.
So how can we apply this story to our own lives? What is something we can learn from this account?
The biggest lesson is that everyone has a role in the building of God’s house, and everyone’s part counts. While most the Israelites were not the master craftsmen God specifically assigned to building the Tabernacle, each person had the opportunity to give to the project and see their contributions be used for the building of God’s house. Likewise, you might not be the master craftsman or the one gifted with this job or that job, but the thing that you can do counts. Don’t let Satan tell you otherwise! God sees you and your contributions, and welcomes your freewill offering, no matter how seemingly small.
Therefore, don’t let feelings of insignificance or obscurity keep you from contributing to God’s house and building God’s Kingdom. Rather, remember this account in Exodus and the fact that everyone’s contribution was important and seen by God. May we also remember the exhortation and promise God gives in Malachi 3:10, and may we not be afraid to give generously to the One who provides for us.
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
View the About page for more info on the author.
Receive Posts via Email