When stepping up to the plate, a baseball player brings a lot more than a bat. He has a honed skill that’s taken years to develop. It’s required a dedication of time to practice and conditioning. On top of that, the batter has to harness his emotions and focus. He steps up prepared and ready to give it his all.
- What does stepping up to the plate look like for you?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 35:20-35 (ESV)
20 Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord. 23 And every one who possessed blue or purple or scarlet yarns or fine linen or goats’ hair or tanned rams’ skins or goatskins brought them. 24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver or bronze brought it as the Lord’s contribution. And every one who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work brought it. 25 And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. 26 All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair. 27 And the leaders brought onyx stones and stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastpiece, 28 and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.
30 Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What was the people’s motivation to contribute items to the building of the tabernacle (vss. 21, 29)?
- What was the special skill Bezalel and Oholiab had received (vs. 34)? Who was the source of their skills?
- Why would God consider the people’s contributions to the tabernacle a freewill offering?
- Where are you currently using your gifts and talents for the Lord? How can you step up and find opportunities to serve?
RESPOND TO GOD
Life in the wilderness was dominated by repetitive maintenance work, but now the Israelites had a special project that called for creativity. They were so generous in their giving that an inventory of resources had to be done to limit it to only what was needed for the construction. Many volunteered their special skills, and others were willing to be taught whatever additional skills were needed. There was no holding back; they gave of themselves as an offering to the Lord. God has also blessed us with possessions and skills which we can give back to him as an offering. So when the opportunities come, we can be blessed by joining in his work.
- When you hear of a work God is beginning, ask him to show you how you can contribute.
- Pray for a generosity of heart that wants to reinvest in his kingdom.