Back in Genesis 12, God called Abraham away from his family to go to a new land, promising to bless Abraham and make him a great nation (Israel) and that through this family the whole world would be blessed (through Jesus). Four hundred years later, God’s people number two million – yet they are enslaved in Egypt. So God sends Moses to deliver the Jews from slavery.
Every story in the Bible is part of the bigger story of the salvation of man. In this story, God delivers the Jews from slavery by the blood of the lamb so that they can build a tabernacle where God may dwell with them and that may worship Him.
Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” Exodus 5:1
“And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear!’” Exodus 7:16
And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Exodus 8:1
So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness…” Exodus 8:28a
God delivers you from your spiritual bondage by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, so that you can serve Him.
The reason God set His people free from slavery was to serve Him. Likewise, God delivers you from your spiritual bondage by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, so that you can serve Him. It’s not so that you can be happy (though there’s nothing wrong with being happy), but so that you can be made holy.
So God delivers His people through supernatural signs and wonders and they see God’s mighty hand intervene for them and believe. One of the reasons God does supernatural things today and answers your prayers so that you can believe in Him and trust Him.
Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses. Exodus 14:31
So now God’s nation of two million people is walking in the wilderness. They have seen all of God’s miracles, provision, deliverance, so now God calls Moses for the fulfillment of the purpose for their release: the building of a sanctuary where God can dwell with His people, that they may worship Him.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:1-8
God calls for a special “offering” from His people. An offering is different from a tithe, which is a tenth part of one’s gross income given back to God. This offering is over and above the tithe, given for a special project. God calls for this offering from him who “gives it willingly with his heart,” not from him who will give grudgingly or because he feels forced. We willingly give to God, just as we willingly pray, willingly serve, and willingly surrender our lives to Him.
By the way, did you wonder where these people—who have been enslaved for four hundred years—would get all of these riches? God told them to take these things from the Egyptians upon their release. God had His own plan for these things; in the desert, these “riches” would have no value, as there would be no place to spend them! But God gave it to them for His glory, to be used in the building of the tabernacle. Similarly today, everything God gives to you has a purpose in Him. Your body, your car, your home, your money, and your talents are all given to you for God’s purposes and His glory. Have you asked Him how He would like you to use them?
Today the Rock church is calling the body to make pledges for a special offering. These funds are to be used for the Pervasive Hope campaign for four major purposes, all so that people can have an encounter with God:
- Multi-site Development (Point Loma, North County, East County, and now we are looking to launch a site at Mater Dei High School in Chula Vista. If you live in the area, come to Mater Dei on December 19 to show your support!)
- Global Evangelism (One project here is the food kitchen that is projected to feed 1000 people per day.)
- 24/7 Online Church
- Reducing Debt (We would love to completely pay off our mortgage!)
Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do.” So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much. Exodus 36:2-7
Just as the skilled artisans were called to do their work in participation of the building of the tabernacle, God has given each of us a skill to do something for His glory. If the job you have now does not maximize the skills and giftedness God has given you, then you are not as fulfilled as you would be if you were being fully utilized. Pastor Miles prayed for everyone to be placed in a career where s/he can be used to his/her potential for God’s glory.
As this passage shows, the people are so moved to worship the Lord that they bring much more than is needed for the building of the tabernacle. Their offerings were so great that Moses restrains them from bringing any more! That is our prayer for the Pervasive Hope campaign. Imagine if God’s people are so moved to worship Him and draw others near to Him that we have to say, “That’s enough!”
Please ask God today what your role is in the Pervasive Hope campaign. How much would He ask you to pledge from now until April 2015? What can you give “willingly with your heart”?