Our Offering, His House

Alec Motyer

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From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. (Exodus 35:5 NIV)

Truth repeated is important: if Israel wanted the Lord to live among them, they had to give and build, making his tabernacle themselves in obedience to his word. Likewise, if we are to know the Lord’s full, real, and effective presence we must give of our possessions (commanded three times in Chapter 35 (vv. 5-9, 22-24, and 27-29) and dedicate every talent we possess to him.

Bezalel and Oholiab, the Hebrew craftsmen, are mentioned as hugely gifted and talented (36:1-6). But the call went out to bring every talent to the Lord (35:10, 25-26; 36:1, 4, 8): the specialized work of the goldsmith, the homely activity of the seamstress plying her needle, the precious stones from the rulers, the curtain material from the housewives—and all in an abundance which proved the peoples’ zeal to have the presence of the Lord among them (36:3-5). Every stone and every stitch counted; the drabness of goat’s hair as much as the splendor of blue, purple, and scarlet (35:6).

But all their giving and all their talents were offered within the parameters of God’s revealed will for the details of his work (35:10; 36:1) and without breaking his Sabbath rules (35:1-3). Giving is great; service is wonderful; obedience is essential.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, that I can give something to you. (Ephesians 2:22 NIV)