Day 33

Offerings to Build the Tabernacle

from the Exodus reading plan


Exodus 35:1-35, John 10:17-18, Romans 12:1

BY Lore Ferguson Wilbert

Our giving can feel empty sometimes, can’t it? Perhaps it’s because we have been wounded by frenzied sermons on giving or the pulsing belief that if we’re not giving everything, we’re disobeying the demand of a greedy God. Giving can feel like a form of karma; we cross our fingers and hope as we give that it will be given back to us in equal or greater measure. Or it can feel like checking a box, doing our duty as Christians. Or perhaps, we withhold giving to the Lord because we don’t trust Him with our finances, our security, or our portion. 

I have been to all those places. There have been years of my life when I was living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by, certain I couldn’t afford to give anything to the Lord. And then other years of my life when I was indifferent to the needs of others. But then, nearly a decade ago, when my check-the-box giving had dwindled to nothing, and my indifference had grown to an insurmountable level, God began to teach me that there was something He wanted far, far more than my money; He wanted my heart and my spirit. 

In this passage we see the detailed list of what the people of God brought to help build and adorn the tabernacle. Moses is attentive in his communication of what God desired and also what the people gave. This is saying something about God: He cares about the details of our lives, what we can give and what He created us to give. No two gifts are exactly alike. It is as if Moses is saying: your gift matters because you matter to God. He cares about the knitting of your heart and the crafting of your hands, the things you make and the livelihood He’s given you. And because we can know He cares about these things, our hearts are moved by that love and, in obedience to the Spirit inside of us, we can freely give. 

There’s nothing obligatory or forced about this kind of offering. God alone can move in our heart and prompt our spirit to bring what we have as an offering to Him (Exodus 35:21). We give because He first gave to us. It is not—as some angry preachers shout from lofted pulpits—because we owe God everything, but simply because everything we have is owned already by God. Offering all we have to the Lord is only possible because He already gave everything to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

What is in your hands today? How has God uniquely crafted you, knit you together, formed you, and made you? What stirs your heart and your affections for Him? For the Church? For your brothers and sisters? What moves your heart toward God? Give Him the gifts of your heart, your passion, your provision. That’s what He’s asking for: the gift of your delight and cheerful giving.  

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "Offerings to Build the Tabernacle"

  1. Nitz . says:

    ❤️

  2. lisa chapek says:

    ❤️

  3. ClaireB says:

    ♥️

  4. Mercy says:

    P.S. I just come back quickly to share a lovely and surprising movie night experience I had with my little ones last night. We stumbled on a movie called “Winn-Dixie” on Disney plus. It left me awestruck to my core because of the deep subliminal messages. It reminds me of the time when life used to be slower, when prayers were said in movies (now banned in some schools even), when the humble side of real people were captured in its depth and authenticity. If you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, find Winn-Dixie. I highly recommend it. Be blessed dear sisters.

  5. Mercy says:

    The blue print God provides to make His temple and intricate decoration requires expertised craftmanship. I wonder if that’s the same for buildings and structures in Heaven which one day we shall see, how magnificent and intricate they must be, on earth as in Heaven. And the Lord provides the skills, wisdom, patience necessary for the tasks at hand for weavers, builders, embroiderers, etc. to do this God ordained task( He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship- Exodus 35:31), to those that devise cunning work (Exodus 35:35). Just amazing how the Bible says all the wise hearted women did spin with their hands. Wise hearted people work for God. I pray that I would be a wise hearted woman that do things for God, while recognizing that my professional trained skill sets and personal little talents are from Him, by Him, and to be for Him. That’s a sacrifice. Another verse that caught my attention was, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice” Romans 12:1. There used to be burnt offerings back then, think of a bbq goat, hmm delicious (I love grilled goat), to give away to God. That’s a sacrifice right? But a living one, now imagine yourself, how do you feel? we are called to be sacrifices. Ouch. Sacrifice means to die, means it must hurt. A great teacher used to tell me, if you give to God some offering, and that amount doesn’t hurt you yet, it is not a sacrifice. I ponder, that’s true, as people tend to give within a comfortable margin. But to sacrifice it’s another level, to give without reservation hurts. This is even more difficult when God calls us to sacrifice (not just money), us to live but yet willing to die (die to pride, to self edifying conflicts, to persecution without retaliation, to wrong accusations and not a word, to eye rolling judgment or insensitivity of others). Lord, may we have your grace to be willing enough to say yes as living sacrifice. It is a high calling that only by your power, we might stand a chance. Apart from the Vine, we can do nothing, even to sacrifice ourselves that we might take it back again (Matthew 16:25). I hope everyone will have a nice weekend. Be blessed dear sisters.

  6. Donna Wolcott says:

    Today’s readings made me think of the hymn, Here Am I Lord”. At the end of each mission trp I’ve gone on we have sang that on our last night. It usually brings all to tears as we think about how we served the Lord. A question for me today as I think on the hymns following words,”Is it I Lord, I have heard you calling in the night”. How many times was I not listening or didn’t like the call? The yesses have been blessings. May my ears here and my lips say yes, may my work bring glory and honor to my Father.

  7. Gayle R says:

    When I try to reply to specific people it never seems to work?! I’m sure it’s me!!

  8. Gayle R says:

    Yes! For the 4th time!!

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