11 Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name. Psalm 97:11-12
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9
“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.”
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you His faithful people; praise His holy name.
5 For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may
become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped
and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars
in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16a
The testimony of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot has been a blessing to the glory of God in many lives. It is one of God’s amazing love and grace to grant man hearts of forgiveness and unconditional love. Elisabeth was born in Belgium to missionary parents. She met Jim Elliot at Wheaton College and both went to Ecuador as young missionaries, fell in love, and married. Jim and 4 other missionaries sensed a call to share the Gospel with the Aucas, an unreached people group in the eastern Ecuadorian jungles.
What began as a friendly encounter became tragic when Jim and his group were speared to death due a lack of understanding by the Aucas people. Absolute amazingly, Elisabeth and the other widows remained in Ecuador and continued the ministry and work their husbands began, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elisabeth stayed with the Aucas for two years after her husband’s death and the village was transformed.
The Lord brought Elisabeth to my heart recently. I was reminded of how powerfully the Lord spoke through her to others…so today, I share some quotes on Wisdom Wednesday. It is an encouragement to be faithful and grow not weary in well doing. God is able to use our lives even when we have departed to live with Him in glory! How amazing is that…be encouraged and “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:5-8
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.