“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.”
I want to make sure we understand what’s happening here, and it’s a theme that’s all throughout Exodus chapter 35. We’re seeing the construction of the tabernacle, this place where the glory of God will dwell among his people, and this part of Exodus, specifically Exodus chapter 35, is mostly focused on contributions for the tabernacle.
When you look at Old Testament giving as a whole, you see God commanding certain offerings at different points, first fruit offerings, tithes, those sorts of things. At the same time, you also see what are called freewill offerings, and that’s what’s happening here in verse 29. These are offerings that are brought as a freewill offering to the Lord, which basically means it’s up to God’s people how much they will give, in what way they will give them. There’s a picture of just free to give as much as you desire.
And I love the phrase here. “So 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.” And I love that for that. So their heart moved them to bring these contributions. You think about the way Jesus in the New Testament talks about giving. Where your treasure is, there your what will be also? Your heart, says Matthew chapter six. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
There is a clear link, the Bible teaches us, between our hearts and our use of money, which is a pretty sobering thought actually to think about the reality that the way we spend our money is a reflection of our hearts. That’s really sobering in a materialistic culture, for sure that in our use of money we see what is most important to our hearts. So I just want to lead us to pray that God would continually mold our hearts to be more and more like Him and that God would move our hearts to give to that which matters forever, to store up treasure in heaven and not on earth.
God, we pray for this. We need Your help, particularly I think about my own life and many others like me who live in the United States or in the West or in places in the world where we have many material possessions. God, we praise You for Your good gifts and material possessions and good gifts that You’ve given us to enjoy. At the same time, oh, God, we pray that you would keep us, guard us, save us from the love of money, the love of possessions. Even the desire for riches, I Timothy six tells us, plunges us into all kinds of ruin and destruction.
So, God, we pray that You’d help us to give generously, 1 Timothy 6:17–19, to be ready to share, to give sacrificially, cheerfully, willingly, II Corinthians eight and nine. In all these ways, just as You moved in the hearts of your people in the Old Testament, you moved in the hearts of your people throughout the New Testament. As we see the church taking up offerings and building up the church, people selling lands and homes in order to help others in need, God, we pray that You would make us a giving people.
God, cause spirit of generosity and sacrificial giving to mark my life, our lives, we pray. Help us to give toward that which matters forever. God, please help us to store up treasure in heaven, not to store up treasure on earth. God, keep us from storing up treasure on earth. Help us to remember this world is not our home. We’re not living for this world. And God, help us to spend our money accordingly. Even as we pray most days on this podcast specifically for different people groups, like the Kumaoni Rajput in India, hundreds of thousands of them, no followers of Jesus.
God, we pray that You would use our money to help support the spread of the gospel there, God. Please use our resources here for the spread of Your glory in the world, not for more stuff in the world. God, we pray that You would move our hearts to give in ways that resound to Your glory and the building of Your church and the spread of the gospel and for help of those who are in need. God, may Your Spirit move our hearts to give however You call us to give. According to Your heart we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.