In Exodus chapters 25-32 God gave Moses specific instructions for the building of the Tabernacle and the offering of sacrifices. God then instructed Moses to go to the people and request offerings of silk, jewels, gold, precious medals, spices, oils, colorful threads, animals skins and other luxurious items to use for its construction.
Now, besides the fact that any wealth these former slaves possessed was only because God had instructed their masters in Egypt to give them everything they had as a parting gift, the people Moses makes the request of are the ones whom God spared from his wrath after they built the golden calf to worship while Moses was on the mountain receiving these instructions (Ex 32:27-28).
So, you would think that out of gratitude for being allowed to live despite their egregious sin that every single person would have been clamoring at the chance to give all they have. But the Bible says, “All who’s hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings…both men and women came who’s hearts were willing.”- indicating that not everyone gave to the service of building the Lords Temple.
Like the Israelites, we have all been spared God’s wrath over our sins and we have all been given the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, but what are we doing with that gift? In gratitude, do we give our all to the God who spared us his wrath by sending his Son to die in our place? And every single thing we have is from God and yet when He asks us to lay it down as an offering for His service more often than not, we hesitate.
What talents have we been given that we are not using to glorify his name and build his church? Do you still see it as your time, your money, your comfort, your job… or is it God’s? We can sit back and criticize the Israelites for their unwillingness to give up their gold and jewels but in these uncertain times how tightly would you hold on to that roll of toilet paper you’ve got if it was possibly your last?
The Bible is a window into the human condition, revealing in timeless fashion how the sicknesses of the soul that kept people from God back then are the same ones we struggle with today. In order to avoid being the parable of the seeds that fell amongst the thorn we have to give up all of our own, ambitions, hopes, dreams, and desires in order to pick up our cross and die to self.
It is not an easy feat and Jesus warned us many times that the straight and narrow way was difficult. But He went before us to show us the way (1 Peter 2:21) and promises to help us carry the burden (Matthew 11:28-30), to intercede for us (Romans 8:34) and to be our comfort along the way (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). If Jesus stirred you heart, don’t hesitate to give your all to the service of the kingdom. Give back freely to the One who gave His all.