Friday, February 3, 2012
Stop the Offerings
Ex. 36:4 so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed,
Ex. 36:5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do.”
Ex. 36:6 So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing;
Ex. 36:7 for what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work.
The people had become excited about building the tabernacle and Moses had called for offerings. At this time they are so inspired that they are willing to give out of generous hearts. They gave until there was simply too much coming in the offerings. Those who were constructing the tabernacle had to come to Moses and ask him to tell the people to stop. There was no need for more! The language is amazing -- that the people were "restrained" from giving any more. It sounds like they literally had to hold them back from their generosity.
When the people of God get the vision for what God is wanting to accomplish they join together with him in his mission and something amazing happens. Somehow the relationship becomes synergistic -- that is, when the work of God is combined with the enthusiastic work of man, more is accomplished than any could ever imagine! So often we look at our resources and we believe that there is not enough. But when placed into the hands of God, it becomes a sweet offering which we have seen over and over again is multiplied to more than supply the need.
We have been living in difficult days in the life of the Church, especially in regard to finances. However, possibly we need to look beyond the economy and take time to examine ourselves at a spiritual level. There are a couple of questions that need to be asked. First of all, is what we're doing God's plan? Moses and the Israelites were fulfilling God's plan in the way that he wanted the Tabernacle built. It was God's plan for how the people were to worship him. There was nothing about humanities strategic thinking which the leaders were hoping to be blessed by God in this plan. It was God's plan, through and through.
It was also God's plan that the people would participate by bringing in just what was needed for the project. I'm guessing that at first there were those who replied that there would never be enough materials to build this thing. Can you imagine -- they were on a giant camping trip. How much stuff could they have with them? And yet, somehow God took what they brought to him, even when they had little, and multiplied it for his work until there was simply too much. You can sense the enthusiasm in the people when we are told that they had to be restrained from giving more. When we we join together with God in his work, the results are beyond what we in our own minds can imagine.
I don't think that God is finished with this kind of activity in the world today. The question is whether we are willing to stop and listen to his plan, and then, whether we are able to join together with him so that his work can be multiplied to levels we would never have thought possible.
Lord, may I be patient to seek you and your face, and your plans and to through this journey together with you. Amen.