I believe we all want to be a part of something special, something bigger than ourselves. That desire leads some kids to gangs and some people to church. The difference in what is healthy is how it connects us to God and grows the love that flows from Christ. In today’s passage, we see a group of people who participated in something bigger than themselves with several indicators that God was in everything from the calling to the completion.
- What are you involved in that is bigger than yourself?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 36:1-7 (ESV)
36:1 “Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.”
2 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. 3 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, 4 so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, 5 and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” 6 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, 7 for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What qualities did God desire for those working on the tabernacle (vss. 1-2)?
- What did the collaboration look like between God, Moses, the workers and the rest of the community? What was the end goal?
- Why did the workers leave their work (vss. 4-5)? What stands out to you from the actions of the workers?
- Has someone ever restrained your generosity? What was that like for you?
- Take an inventory of your skills, gifts, and passions. Where are you being called to join with God and others? What does obedience and integrity look like in that setting?
RESPOND TO GOD
There is no doubt that this movement was designed by God: we see him bringing together a diversity of people and skills to create something that would connect Israel to himself. We can learn from this Godly collaboration that no matter your role within the body of believers, we all bring value and are called to participation, obedience, and integrity. And what sets this operation apart from the world is not just the generosity and direction, but the holy restraint of the workers. In these verses, generosity created an overabundance, and the restraining of generosity was an expression of integrity, love, and completeness. The restraint was not a restriction but a release to celebrate and give thanks for what God had completed through the community of believers.
- Pray that the church will collectively be a people who follow the direction of God, stay unified in him, and give generously without taking in over abundance.