The Wealth of the Nations

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Exodus 35:20-29

So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought . . . all sorts of gold objects . . . (v. 22)

In the infamous episode of the golden calf, the Israelites pool their wealth to fashion an idol. The Lord now gives them the chance to redeem themselves by offering their gold at God’s dwelling place, the tabernacle. But where did all this gold come from? Were the Israelites not destitute slaves in Egypt?

Part of God’s promise to Abraham was that his descendants would not only escape slavery, they would exit Egypt with “great possessions” (Gen. 15:14). Indeed, during the exodus the Egyptians are so desperate for God’s mercy that they offer the Israelites the best of their material wealth. Instead of hoarding the plunder, the Israelites now offer it as a tribute at the Lord’s tabernacle.

This is the only right response to the living God: offering up the best of what you have and what you are. The collection for the tabernacle anticipates a greater tribute still to come. Isaiah envisions such a moment as this: “Your gates shall be open continually . . . that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession” (Isa. 60:11).

Through Jesus, God opens the gates of heaven to us continually. He gathers us from every tongue, tribe, and nation. He invites us to offer ourselves in worship. He offers himself in return. Exchange your worldly wealth for the riches of his love in Jesus Christ. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, thank the Lord for the wealth of his love.