“The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. Exodus 25:1-7
The Lord commands Moses to tell the Israelites to bring Him an offering. An offering? Where would slaves traveling through a desert get an offering to bring? Let’s look back at Exodus 12 and a previous post, “The God of the turn around.”
35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:35-36
It is a reminder that our offerings to the Lord are always something that we have already been given. In our church, we pray a simple prayer after the offering and singing of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” The offering is raised unto the Lord and we pray together, “We thank You, Lord, for these gifts.” Such an elementary truth that many struggle with, even what we offer to God has, first, been a gift from Him. Just in case you didn’t get it, that’s a “Shout now – Hallelujah!” “What we offer to God has, first, been a gift from Him.”
I am reminded of the prayer David offered the Lord when preparing for the temple that Solomon was going to build. So much to receive from this prayer in regards to the Lord Himself, His people, our hearts, worship, possessions, and offerings. We see God’s desire that our offerings would come from our hearts.
10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
You are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from You;
You are the ruler of all things.
In Your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give You thanks,
and praise Your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in Your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to You. 17 I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly Your people who are here have given to You. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” 20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord Your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.
The Lord worked in the hearts of the people so much that Moses had to ask them not to bring any additional offerings.
“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, 7 for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.” Exodus 36:6-7
He tells Moses in today’s passage, “You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give (Exodus 25:2).” May we so love God with all our heart and all our soul and our mind and all our strength that our hearts will always prompt us to give to the work of His Kingdom…and do so with great joy!
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”