In order to build the tabernacle and all of its furnishings, many materials were needed. “‘Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and porpoise skins, and acacia wood, and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and setting stones, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.'” ~ Exodus 35:5-9
“And 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
“and they said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.’ So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let neither man nor 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 36:5-7
Imagine that. The people were of willing hearts, and they gave so much, freely, that there was more than enough. They “were restrained from bringing any more.” Wow!
Did God need them to give? I don’t think so. He created the universe. I think He could have provided the materials any way He so desired. Did the people need to give? Absolutely! What a joy is in our heart when we obey and give to God! Paul reminds us to “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” ~ Acts 20:35b
We need to have willing hearts, ready to give, even when it might “hurt”. Remember the long list of items that were requested of the people? There were many different ways they could give. If someone didn’t have gold, they could give silver or bronze. No precious metals? How about some fabrics, animal skins, wood, gems, spices or oils? Whatever we have, if God asks it of us, we need to be willing to give. What happens if we don’t give? God will move someone else’s heart to give, and the blessings that would have been ours will be theirs instead. And we will miss out on the joy that comes from sacrificial giving.
In Exodus 38, the amounts of precious metals used for the construction are recorded. They are astonishing: approximately 2,800 pounds of gold, 9,600 pounds of silver, and 6,700 pounds of bronze. The people freely gave to their God, Who had freely given so much to them.
I want to be willing to freely give to my God Who so freely gave His Son, Jesus, for me.