Exodus 36:7 – For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Meditation: Have you ever found yourself wandering around in the desert with tons of gold and silver but no water? No? Me neither, but I have often found myself in a wilderness of sin only to realize that God had blessed me beyond measure.
While leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was constantly challenged by internal strife, corruption, sin, and attempts to usurp his authority. The people often seemed to recognize his appointed place of leadership only when they recognized their need for him and his relationship with God. A model of restraint and meekness, Moses was a great leader. The only thing he was more devoted to than the people was God.
What frustrated Moses was the people’s lack of recognition of God’s provision for them. Yes, God led them into the desert wilderness. Yes, God orchestrated their departure from Egypt without time to take provisions from the Egyptians. Why? Because they needed to learn to rely upon Him. Furthermore, they needed to learn to recognize the poor value of earthly treasures in comparison to God’s presence and blessing.
If we found ourselves stranded in the middle of nowhere without food and water, we would probably forego anything but providing for our survival. However, God directed Moses to lead the people to establish the priesthood and construct a mobile worship center, the Tabernacle. For this venture, Moses called for the people to turn over the wealth given by the Egyptians as they had departed. These trinkets and treasures, once of immense value among their masters, were of little practical value in the wilderness. Gold, silver and brass do not make good food. Shittim wood and fine fabrics do not make particularly good fire. Instead of holding these things for themselves, God called from them to use their blessings to worship Him.
After the collection was complete, Moses discovered that “the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it (the Tabernacle), and too much.” Jesus touched upon the notion of God’s abundant provision in the Sermon on the Mount, saying, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [earthly provisons] shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Our first priority is to Worship first. Seek Him first. Prioritize Him first. He will make something our of your nothing.
Call to Action: Examine your surroundings. Do you feel poor or lost amid life’s many challenges? Realize that God provides more than enough for us not only to survive but to thrive. Our responsibility is simple to trust Him and follow His direction. If He says turn over your gold, silver and precious treasures, then we should. Do not fall into the same trap as the rich young ruler who was grieved at the notion of giving up his wealth in service to God (Matthew 19:21-24). Give it all up to Him.