“Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, ‘The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do.’” (Exodus 36:4-5 NKJV)
There are times when I read something in the Bible, and I stop and do a double take. Today’s Old Testament passage caused a double take today. The children had left Israel and God had given them instructions on building the tabernacle which would be used in worship. Moses called on the people to give voluntarily to build this tabernacle and the people gave in overwhelming fashion. (That’s the important part, not my double take, but I’m still going there.) They gave so much that they finally had to tell the people to stop giving. Then it dawned on me: where did all this stuff come from? Seriously, I’d always thought that because they left in haste (unleavened bread and all) they’d packed one suitcase to check and one carry on bag, so to speak, and high-tailed it out of Egypt. They apparently had gold left, even after they made the golden calf and Moses burned and ground it to dust. Oh, I know they got a bunch of stuff from the Egyptians, but it’s hard to believe that they had so much stuff with them, and that there was still so much to give that they had to stop the people from giving.
The key isn’t found in how much stuff they had though. The ultimate key was that they had willing and giving hearts to accomplish the task that God had given them to do. In today’s world, the accumulation of stuff seems to be the eleventh commandment for Christians and non-Christians alike. The New Testament reading for today included the well-known verse about serving God and Money. There are so many things we need to do in our world today, that we have a lot of places asking for our help. It’s easy to shut down when we’re confronted by the overwhelming needs of our world. So start with your church, then pick one or two causes and find people working in these causes. Support them to the best of your ability, and use the wealth that God’s given you, whether it be great or small, to make a difference and change the world.
Lord, You’ve given me far more than I need. Open my eyes to the needs where I can support those working to make a difference. Move among Your people that we would give so much to make a difference that we would have to stop.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.