“Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more.”  Exodus 36:6

The Israelites had seen the miracles of God to force Pharaoh’s hand to release the slaves. Then the sea had opened to let them pass and then swallow the Egyptian army. A short time later they had grumbled, given up hope after their leader went missing on the mountain with God, and turned to follow idols made from the gold and silver God had allowed them to plunder from their former masters. Instead of receiving the final sentence they deserved, God instead offered the Israelites the opportunity to contribute to His new house of worship. The overwhelming generosity of the people is a reflection of the overwhelming generosity that God has shown them. Gold, silver, wood, fabric, and leather, came from the people like a flood. Many offered the talents that God gave them to make the items as the Designer had intended.

So much was given that Moses had to give an order to stop the flow of generosity from the people. So many times I’ve looked down on the freed slaves from Egypt but when I see this section, I am challenged to consider just what I would have done. Some responded right away with gratitude and did not hesitate to bring their contributions. They had the joy of seeing the craftsmen utilize their gifts to make a beautiful, detailed, and elaborate tent that would serve as the location where God would meet with his people. Others may not have given their contributions early but after a period of time and seeing the outpouring of gifts from others also came. I also imagine that there were some who decided too late to make a contribution to the effort.

God let my response be quick not slow and the amount be great not less when You present the opportunity. Help me respond quickly and not risk missing out on the joy of being used by You. Teach me not to look at what others are doing before doing myself. Amen

by Robert Riggs

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