Reading with the family last night from Exodus 36, that God’s people’s hearts were stirred to bring contributions to the work the Lord had commanded – so much that the skilled workers had to go to Moses, who had to issue a command and send out a decree that the people stop giving to the cause. The people were even restrained from giving or working (performing work outside their normal means) so they could give.
2Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.3They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.4And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing,5and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.”6So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.7For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
What’s the difference? Israel was a nation who had been chosen by God, even though they were weak, puny, and pathetic (we call that grace). They had seen His glory (plagues in Egypt). They had experienced His deliverance from bondage and slavery (Passover). They had been led by Him (pillar of cloud in front of them). They had been protected by Him (pillar of fire behind them). They had seen Him defeat and destroy their former slave-master and enemy (at the Red Sea). They had experienced His provision (manna, quail, water from a rock). They had experienced rest in HIs provision (sabbath). They had received His Law (Big 10). So when it came time to build His temporary dwelling place (tabernacle), they gave, and gave and gave – and worked other jobs so they could give even more.
Then some chump in charge told them to stop, but they still wanted to give, so much so that their giving had to be restrained. There was no building fund, no giving drive or campaign – consulting companies weren’t hired to maximize donations. There were only men and women who’s hearts were stirred by the Lord and they wanted in on what He was doing.
Fast forward 1500 years to the Book of Acts we read of men and women who heard the message of Gospel of God and were pierced to their hearts. They continually had a sense of awe over what God was doing so much so that they began to sell and give their possessions, sharing them with anyone in need.
Fast forward 2000 years to the American Church.
Is God no longer stirring the hearts of men and women?
Are men and women no longer yielding to God?
Is what we’re building what God wants?
Have people experienced the salvation of the Lord?