Imagine A Pastor Saying: “Stop Giving…You’ve Given Too Much!”

Monday, May 29, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Exodus 33-36

God called Moses to go up to the Mount and gave him His Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, His governing Laws in Exodus 22:22-24:8 and His assurance He would be with His chosen people when they went up to the land He had promised them for an inheritance (Exodus 23:20-33).  God also gave instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle, the Ark and the altar for sacrifices (Exodus 25-27).   God established the Aaronic priesthood (Exodus 28:6-30), consecrated Aaron and his sons as priests (Exodus 29:1-37; 30:22-33) and defined the robes and ornaments the priests were to wear. 

While Moses was in the mount with the LORD and away from the tribes of Israel, the people rebelled, returning to the ways of Egypt, they demanded for Aaron to make a golden calf for them to worship in Moses’ absence (Exodus 32).  Angered by the sin of the people, God vowed to judge them in His wrath (Exodus 32:7-8), but Moses interceded for them (Exodus 32:9-14).   There were consequences for the sin of the people and God did judge them; however, in answer to Moses’ prayer, the Lord did not destroy them altogether (Exodus 32:12-34:28).

With God’s judgment past, Moses directed the construction of the Tabernacle, the temporal dwelling that symbolized God’s presence in the midst of His people, according to all the plans God had given him (Exodus 35:4-36:38).

I close this brief devotional commentary with an observation concerning the manner of people enlisted to construct the Tabernacle, the Ark and its implements and the spirit with which the people gave and served.

The condition and attitude of the hearts of the people was important to the Lord.  Those who gave of their possessions and those who labored in the construction of the Tabernacle were “wise hearted…stirred…willing…willing hearted” (Exodus 35:10-29).

Exodus 35:10 – 10  And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;

Exodus 35:20-22 – 21  And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22  And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.

Exodus 35:25-26 – 25  And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
26  And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair.

Exodus 35:29 – 29  The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

God called, inspired and employed the most skilled workers in Israel to build the place He would meet with His people (Exodus 35:30-36:2).

Exodus 35:30-35 – 30  And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
31  And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
32  And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
33  And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
34  And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35  Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

Exodus 36:1-2 – 1  Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.
2  And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:

The offerings the people gave so exceeded the need that Moses “restrained” them from bringing any more (36:5-6).  We read; the people gave “too much” (36:7).

Imagine being a part of a congregation where the hearts of the people is so stirred to give and serve the LORD that the pastor tells the people, “Please, stop giving! You have given too much already!”  Such is the manner of a people when they are “wise hearted…stirred…willing…and willing hearted” (Exodus 35:10-29).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith