Tabernacle Contributions (Exodus 34-36)

Written by Nina Schmidgall | January 22, 2011 |

This week my adorable niece was in our office (I use the word “office” very broadly here – ha) and it seemed like she was upset.  When I pressed, she explained, through tears that she had not been happy with the report card she had gotten that day.  I will skip any details since that is her story and not mine…but my heart swelled with empathy as my memory flooded with memories of those exact tears, for that exact reason…pretty much at her exact age!  I also felt overwhelmed with pride in her desire to excel.  I told her that the Lord would be sure to use her commitment to excellence.  And I prayed those words for her again when I went to bed that night.

Exodus 35 speaks of contributions the Israelites made to the Tabernacle.  “Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen…” (verse 5) and on and on, listing the treasures.  Those aren’t shabby supplies!  I imagine those are the best things the people stored away in their tents and knapsacks.  They brought their handiwork too.  “Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the Lord has commanded…”(verse 10).  They brought so much that, in Exodus 36, Moses had to command them to not bring anymore! “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.”

Reading today, I was just reminded again that the Lord deserves our best…our first, our most skilled, our most treasured!  Similarly, Pastor Mark also preached about first fruits this last weekend.  These chapters in Exodus also speak with specific instructions regarding the Sabbath.  The Lord clearly knows that we can’t give our best without proper rest.  He wants our most excellent, most focused, most treasured. 

We have a family core value that “a job worth doing is worth doing well.”  Isn’t it true that a God worth honoring is worth honoring well?