“Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.” (Exodus 35:21)
The Hebrews, while enslaved in Egypt, worked for their cruel taskmasters because they were forced to do so. They “gave” to their Egyptian slave-drivers because they had no other choice. But now they were free people, slaves to no one. In the Wilderness of Sinai, the Children of Israel were now servants of the Most High God. Yet their new Master was nothing like their old. God called His people then, just as He calls them now, to serve Him voluntarily.
Those whom the Lord had gifted for the construction of the Tabernacle were called to make all that the Lord had commanded (Ex. 35:10). There was no crack of a whip or striking with a rod, but a stirring of the heart and a moving of the spirit which compelled both the workers to work and the people to contribute to the work.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
God has never wanted those who serve Him to do so passionlessly or out of a sense of duty. Neither does He wish for those who contribute materially and financially to His service to give half-heartedly or out of guilt and obligation. God wants us to serve and to give to His service cheerfully, passionately, and without grumbling. The Lord desires for us to serve Him with a glad and grateful heart compelled not by necessity but by love.
“So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.” (Exodus 36:6-7)
When was the last time your church turned away financial offerings or volunteers for service? I wonder what would happen if we all really listened to that stirring in our hearts and gave cheerfully and generously to the work 0f the Lord. It seems nowadays budgets go unmet, volunteer positions remain vacant, and there is never enough money or workers to accomplish everything we set out to do for the Gospel. But it was not so in the construction of the Tabernacle. They had more than was needed.
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?”]