March 3, 2021
Rachel and I deeply appreciate your partnership and participation in prayer each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. God is always looking for people who are willing and eager to do His work. The late Vance Havner once said, “Too many are willing to sit at God’s table but not work in His field.”
When it came time to build the tabernacle, the people were ready and willing. They had been on the desert road for many days. They had seen God’s greatness in deliverance many times. They had miserably failed most of their tests, but now God expressed a desire to dwell among them, and they were eager to make it happen.
The story of Exodus thirty-five and thirty-six is heartwarming and inspiring. If God’s house was going to be built they needed supplies, hard-work, and lots of heart. These people were “all in” for God and these days were happy ones for God’s people. They were not focused on themselves; they were focused on the Lord’s sanctuary and His presence among them.
Moses spoke to the people and said, “Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution” (Ex. 35:4-5). God had provided and blessed His people with abundance. They had precious metals like gold, silver, and bronze. They had blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen. They had animal skins. They had leather, oils, incense and spices. They had valuable stones and gems. What they had was exactly what God needed for His dwelling, and the people were generous with their giving. They had a heart to give.
While the command came from God to give, it was directed to those who were willing. God was not forcing them to do what they didn’t want to. God could have performed a miracle and brought the necessary supplies into existence, but He chose to use the free will offerings of people who wanted to give. Their possessions made the place where He would dwell. This is such a beautiful concept.
They were also willing to give their talents and time. “All the women whose heart stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair.” These women were gifted seamstresses in artistic needlework. Some of the men, like Bezalel and Oholiab, were blessed and filled by God to design the items of His house. It is delightful to see them focused on God’s things and also to see them working together to make it happen. They didn’t all do the same thing, yet they were all working together for the same purpose. This is true unity!
The way this section closes is a magnificent tribute to the work of God in their lives. The craftsmen said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do…So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more” (Ex. 36:5-7). They were giving so much that there was a surplus, and they had to be withheld from giving more. These are great words, “The people bring much more than enough” This was a good problem to have - the people of God giving more than was needed. Their generous giving reflected hearts that were “all in.”
May God give us hearts like this!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel