Saturday, December 19, 2015

Giving God What He Wants and What We Value


Exodus 25:2-7: “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. And this is the contribution which you are to raise from them; gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones, for the ephod and for the breast piece.”

God wants to communicate to us through our leaders. He has done so through the ages and continues to do so.  Our job is to make sure that our leaders, like Moses, have been to the mountain and have waited patiently on God.  How is your leader doing?  Is there evidence in his/her life of such a journey?  How would you even know?  Have practices been established to keep him/her spiritually accountable?  For your own sake, and for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom, do not follow a leader who is one in title only.

In our passage here, God tells Moses to pass on another instruction or message to them.  They are to “raise” a contribution or take up an offering for Him. This offering is to be provided by “every man” and although the word ‘man’ can signify ‘everyone’ in its broadest sense, there also is an emphasis here on the ‘man’ of the household, the husband, or the father, to lead in this offering. How often we hear of couples today where the wife willingly wants to give an offering to the Lord but the husband does so reluctantly or even refuses to allow her, arguing that he does not trust those who are to administer it. So God does not request this then of every man, as He clearly states the offering is to come from those men “whose heart moves” them to do so.  If our heart is not right with God and prone to listening to His instructions, then God does not want our offering. He can do very well without it. But can we?  Can we do as well without being obedient to Him; without having the right attitude and a ‘moved heart’ to give? I think not.

In our text, what is that God asks of His people, and by means of inference, of us? Plainly put, He wants us to give Him all that we value ourselves, whatever things are like gold and other precious metals, like fine cloths, perfumes, and jewel stones, to us.  It may be our cars, our technology, our toys, our stocks – whatever we value, God says make them part of “a contribution for Me”.  And here’s the interesting thing. Much, if not all, of what God was asking for, had been given to the Israelites by the Egyptians when they fled Egypt. We need to be reminded that whatever we have today, we have because God enabled us to have it. And it is His first and foremost, and then ours.  It is this thinking process which enables us to qualify for having the right hearts to make an offering to God.

And as we shall see in the verses that follow, God will take our offerings, our contributions to Him, and use them for His glory.
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