February 13 - Volunteering for God
The building of the tabernacle was a great project that none of them had done before. The requirements were high and the quality must be excellent in order to please God. Every instruction must be adhered to and there is no room for human errors. God was very much invested into this project and His people responded with fear and trembling but at the same time with great enthusiasm. It is an honor and privilege to be in God’s project, anywhere, any time.
The people of Israel were fully participating and volunteering themselves and their resources. Let us look at how they responded to God’s call. For these people, the first indication that they were to get involved was what God had already deposited in their lives. Some of them were endowed with wisdom, knowledge and every kind of skills. They were gifted artisans and God had given them such gifting for them to serve Him and His purpose. The Lord specifically called two men, Bezalel and Aholiab. They were filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of artistic workmanship. Not everyone was given such gifts but for those who were, much was expected of them from the Lord.
The materials for the building of the tabernacle, all the articles and utensils for use inside the tabernacle and the making of the priestly garments, had all been deposited in the possession of the people. They were able to bring gold, silver, bronze, linen, yarn, goats’ hair, skin of rams, badger skins, and acacia wood to Moses for the project. As slaves in Egypt, they were not supposed to have all these expensive items. Much of these were given to them as they left Egypt when they plundered the Egyptians. Now it was the time for them to give these up for the glory of God, something they did not own in the first place.
Whatever we give to the Lord has been given to us prior so that we can give. So giving is not giving something we have but something we have received from the Lord. This is the principle of stewardship: God let us keep these good things so that one day we may give them up for His use. So it is not appropriate if we give them up grudgingly or with regret, but God loves a cheerful giver. The people of Israel gave willingly, volunteering their skills and resources. They gave joyfully to a cause much greater than their own.
Maybe it is time for you to look at what you have. God has greatly blessed you by giving you much to safe keep. These are not yours but are kept in your possession so that one day you may give them back to God. Giving is both a privilege and an obligation. If all God’s people gave cheerfully, all God’s projects would be overfunded to the point that no more is needed.
Ps 25:1-7 Exo 35:10-36:38 Matt 27:32-66 Prov 9:7-8