Stop Giving! It’s too much!

“…Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.”  Exodus 36:6

God gave Moses instructions for building the Lord’s first physical dwelling place, The Tabernacle.  The instructions were lengthy and heavy with many skills and materials needed.  The Tabernacle was to be built with extreme detail and the highest quality materials.  Moses put out a request to the people for those wishing to help build and for those who wanted to donate supplies.

  • “Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the Lord has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.”  Exodus 35:4-8
  • “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded:”  Exodus 35:10

To our surprise (and probably Moses’ too), the Israelites responded more than favorably with all participating in this glorious task.

  • “Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.  Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or the other durable leather brought them. Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it.  Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. The leaders brought onyx stones and other gemstones be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.”  Exodus 35:20-29

In fact, they responded so favorably that Moses had to issue an order for them to stop giving.

  • “Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”  Exodus 36:6-7

What a wonderfully, amazing problem to have.  The people were so generous, it was too much.

  • “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”  Deuteronomy 15:10

How is your generosity?  Does it match that of the Israelites?

Father God, we ask for more generous hearts, generous with not only our money and resources, but all of our time.  Give us even greater hearts of joyful service to you.  Thank you, Lord, for entrusting us with resources that we can share with others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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