Monday, 23 February 2015

Exodus 36: Cheerful Givers

Hello friends! Welcome to our final week in the book of Exodus. Since it's Monday, we also have a new verse to memorize this week, Psalm 3:4 (see above). As I said last week, our friend Daphne McKee is sharing her thoughts with us tonight on Exodus 36, so sit back, relax and ask the Lord to speak to you!

Good evening everyone. I can’t believe it’s a week from I last did a wee ‘Guest Spot’ time goes so quickly. 

At the very beginning of Chapter 36 we can see how God gave wisdom and understanding to those He had called to do the work.

A couple of things stood out to me
-              God gives wisdom
-              God calls people to do His work

But the one thing most noticeable was that when God called them - they were willing to work.  Each one of us is qualified to do something for God - whether it is writing a blog (Mrs Murray - think this is your gift!!), working with children or helping in the kitchen we can all find something to do. The most important thing we can all do is pray.  1 Thess 5:17 tell us to ‘Pray without ceasing’.  We can pray for those involved in God’s work (when we pray for others we are less likely to be critical of them - that’s a blessing in itself). Our ministers need prayer - I often think we have no idea of the burden they carry - so we need to pray that God will give them the wisdom and strength they need each day.

When we read verses 3-7 we see that the people gave willingly to the work of God – they had gold, silver and all the materials they needed - how amazing was this when we think that when they were in Egypt they did not have enough straw to make bricks. We can see God’s hand at work here - before they even left Egypt God had put it into the hearts of the Egyptians to give the Israelites anything they asked (Exodus 12:36).  Isn’t it just great that God has promised that He will supply all our needs (Phil 4:19) whenever things are difficult? We can cling to this promise.

So God provided and the people gave willingly. We read in 2 Cor 9:7 that God loveth a cheerful  giver .  God does not want us to give grudgingly out of a misplaced sense of duty but out of a heart that is thankful for the many blessings we have.  The people had to be restrained from giving anymore. The workmen were honest and told Moses when they had enough - this made me think of our missionaries - we often hear of the needs they have - wouldn’t it be great if they were able to tell us that they had enough and didn’t need anymore!

The next few verses describe exactly how the tabernacle was to be built. I think that this would be a very interesting topic to learn what each of the items mean but I am just going to comment on the ‘veil’ that was placed between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place where God dwelt in the midst of His people. The word ‘veil’ in the Hebrew means screen/divider - this veil was hiding a Holy God from sinful man.  The High Priest after meticulous preparation and bringing a blood offering was only allowed to enter this Most Holy Place once a year.

But when Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed for us, this veil/curtain was torn from top to bottom.  Only God could have torn it as it was too high for human hands - it was 60 ft high, 20 ft wide and 4 inches thick.

As Jesus cried ‘It is finished’ the curtain was torn and the way was opened for each of us to come to God through the blood of Christ’s sacrifice.  So let us with thankful hearts be ‘cheerful givers’.

Daphne x

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