Exodus 25:1-2 &8
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. … And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.”
Two things immediately strike me from Exodus 25: first, that God could’ve just spoken the tabernacle into existence but He instead gives His people a part to play in the crafting of it; and second, that He doesn’t force them to build it the way Pharaoh forced them to build storehouses in Egypt, but rather invites them to join if they desire. Friend, ponder what it means that this tabernacle is a collaborative process between God and His people, that it’s a labor of love shouldered by both parties, that a contribution is made from the Father as well as His children. How magnificent is that?! Anyone who simply desires to meet with God in the crevices of their common lives can bring some gold, or some stones, or whatever they’ve got to give, and build His embassy on earth.
How sad to think of all the people in Moses’ audience who heard this commission and answered back, “Sorry Moses, but my heart isn’t really moving me to give right now; see, I’ve been saving up for a new home in Canaan ever since we plundered the Egyptians, and I can’t really afford the expenditure.” And all the people who stood off to the side as their neighbors rushed back and forth, muttering to themselves, “Well—I’ll give something in the end if there’s still a need in the end; hopefully they’ll have it covered by then.” Whatever else these people decided to spend their treasures on rusted and decayed a generation after it was gone. But the contributions given in love, the offerings made from willing hearts, these turned into an Ark of the Covenant and a Golden Lampstand and countless ornate ceremonial artifacts that are among the greatest treasures in history.
Friend, with all our hearts, let’s bring our best contributions to the tent of meeting today, seeing that our great and mighty God has met us Here with His best contribution of all—His heart.