5 From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze;6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.
29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.
Exodus 35:5-9, 21-22, 29 (New International Version)
The time had come for the building of the tabernacle of the Lord. In Exodus 35, God instructed Moses to call for a donation of materials that would be used to build the Lord’s house. The people heeded the call, and with a willing heart, they gave all that they had for the work of the Lord. There contributions were so great that Moses had to command the people to stop giving for they had more than enough for the tabernacle’s construction.
All Gifts Come From God
It is clear in this chapter, that the children of Israel were blessed with great abundance. Where did the people acquire so much wealth? The world would have us believe that we get the things that we get because we earned them with hard work. However, what if the things that we receive are not the result of work? The Bible is very clear about where the source of all good comes from: it all originates from God.
World’s View on Wealth
Why does God give us good things and what are we suppose to do with them? As I mentioned earlier, the world says that we get good things because we earned them. What we ought to do with this wealth, the world says, is put it away for safe keeping, lest we lose it unexpectedly. However, the problem I see with this philosophy of hoarding is that it produces in a person nothing but worry and anxiety. That is because when we try to store up our treasures, we become afraid of someone or something trying to take our treasures away from us.
God’s Purpose for Wealth
When God gives us good things, it was not to have us live in constant fear. The Lord gave us these gifts because He loves us and wants the best for us. Furthermore, He gave us these things so that we in turn give them back for the service of the Lord. This giving back usually comes in the form of presenting an offering to the church. The church in turn, uses our gifts to expand the kingdom of God through various ministries that meet the needs of people.
Beware of Bitter Giving
The good things which God gives to us comes in various forms. Some come in the form of material wealth, while others are immaterial like extra time, new relationships, or skills. With each of these gifts, we are called to give them back for the service of the Lord. Now as we give these things to the Lord, it is important that we don’t offer them with a heart of bitterness, for such thankless giving does not honor God.
Let us consider how the Israelites gave to God. They gave willingly because they loved God and wanted to give back to Him; after all, the Almighty had already given them so much. We must have this kind of mindset when we give; for God has also giving us so much, most of all, salvation from sin through Jesus Christ.
Benefits to Giving
Therefore, let us give back to the Lord with a willing and joyful heart. When we do so, we receive a blessing because we know that our gift to the ministry will bring others closer to the Lord. Furthermore, such giving draws us closer to God and helps us to understand the joy that God has when He gives good things to us. With that in mind, let us draw close to the Lord and give generously.