Exodus 35 & 36
Are you willing?
More than Enough
Several things in these two chapters caught my attention. First in chapter 35:
22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORD’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 26 And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, 28 and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.
And in chapter 36:
2 Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. 3 So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.
And the result:
4 Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, 5 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.” 6 So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.
Do you see the combination? God gives the gifts and abilities. He stirs our hearts, and then all who are willing serve and give.
And the result is more than enough.
I wonder what our churches could do today if all, or even most, of the members were willing to use the gifts and talents God had given them and to give freely of the resources God had provided.
There would be no need of long-term building programs and no shortage of opportunities to provide ministry to a hurting world!
Today’s Other Readings:
He Was Forsaken So We Could Be Accepted
Verse 1, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?”
While David, as a type of Christ, may have experienced some of the feelings expressed in this psalm, it was completely fulfilled in Christ as He experienced, not only, the physical reality of death, but separation from His Father.
He was forsaken so that we could be accepted as His beloved (Eph. 1.6).
Wisdom is the Better Thing
Yesterday we saw that wisdom is available to anyone who desires it. But even though it is readily available, it is not an invaluable or common thing.
Verses 10-11, “Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”
A person can have all the gifts and talents, all the resources, and all the opportunities in the world, but without the wisdom to use them wisely, they will come to naught!
He’s Not Surprised by Our Failures
It was night and Jesus had gone with His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He had warned them that He would be betrayed and that all of them would desert Him. I love Peter’s and the other disciples’ responses in verses 33-35:
33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.
What I love about it is not that the disciples were sure they wouldn’t desert Him, but that He knew beforehand that they would. Yet, He still lovingly taught and instructed them and then, immediately after the resurrection, went to them. He even sought Peter out personally to restore Him.
Meditate on that for a minute. When you and I fail, it is not a surprise to Him either. He is just as ready and just as available to restore us, as well! Hallelujah!
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