I will be the first to admit, I harp on the Israelites a lot. Every time I read through their wanderings in the desert, I just want to smack them all upside their heads because they keep making the same bone-headed mistakes over and over again. Then God reminds me that I’m just like them and I am able to show a little more grace to the people.
But today, as I was working on this post, I came across one of my favorite stories! I love it when that happens!
Yesterday, we talked about the craftsmen Oholiab and Bezalel who were charged with creating the Tabernacle of God. Their ability to create was unmatched, but the response of the Israelites is what I want to hone in on today.
“And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.” Exodus 36:2-7 (ESV)
Can we just take a moment to appreciate what a big deal this is: the Israelites brought more than enough. Moses called for some very expensive items to be brought by the people for the Lord’s purposes and they gave freely. They gave of their precious metals and materials, belongings that cost them a significant amount, all because a call was made. What a beautiful depiction of people following the Lord. Because of God’s generosity to us, we can be generous to others.
When someone makes a need known, are you willing to do what you can to help? Being generous to you might look like giving more than your tithe at church, buying a meal for a friend who’s struggling, or opening up your home to others in your community when they need. Being generous doesn’t mean giving $1,000,000 dollars or having a wing of a hospital named after you, but can be much smaller and more practical than that. When the entire nation gave, there was more than enough! This shows me that if we each are obedient and do our part, amazing things can happen and the gospel can be furthered. What an immense privilege we have!
My prayer is that our eyes are all opened so we can respond generously to needs when they present themselves!
What does generosity mean to you? And how do you live that out daily?
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