“Everyone whose heart stirred him to action and everyone whose spirit was willing came . . .They came, men and women alike, all who had willing hearts . . .The Israelites brought a freewill offering to the LORD, every man and woman whose heart was willing to bring materials for all the work that the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do.” (Exodus 35:21-22, 29, New English Translation)
What things excite you? Stir you? Make you want to get involved? For some people, it’s politics. Others are passionate about the arts, a sports team, religion, or environmental issues. It may be a hobby or a cause. The things that stir us to action are as diverse as our personalities.
The above scripture setting takes place after the Lord gave Moses the design for the Tabernacle, a tent-like structure that would be their transportable place of worship. Imagine the setting. The Israelites are in a wilderness. There are no big box stores in the neighborhood to purchase supplies. There’s no lumberyard or even a friendly family-owned hardware on the corner. Whatever is needed for the Tabernacle must come from the people themselves. God wants their investment, their personal involvement, in what He plans.
“Take an offering for the LORD. Let everyone who has a willing heart bring an offering to the LORD.” (Exodus 35:5, NET)
The list of items needed for the Tabernacle and the priestly garments was long and varied. It ranged from gold and silver to linen and animal skins. They needed spices and oils for anointing and precious stones for the priest’s garment. God could have demanded the people donate these things. Instead He asked for those who had a willing heart to come. True worship is not an obligation to fulfill; it is always voluntary and from the heart.
And come they did! They brought bracelets and rings, gold jewelry, linen—and yes, even the needed goats’ hair. They brought silver, gold, and brass. There were ram skins, badger skins, wood, and onyx. And still the people came. So much—too much! Finally, Moses commanded them to stop. Don’t bring anything else.
“Moses instructed them to take his message throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let no man or woman do any more work for the offering for the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing any more.” (Exodus 36:6, NET)
Their hearts were still willing, but the need was fulfilled. God was pleased with their response.
The question I must ask myself is What stirs me about serving God? Does it excite me? Does it move me to action? Am I as passionate about God and His work as I am about other things that fill my days and take my time? Will God see a heart willing to serve Him out of devotion, a heart that will invest my time, my money, and my talents to His great cause? I pray it is so.
Prayer: Lord, stir me to action. Fill me with a passion for things eternal rather than the temporal things of this life. Ignite within me an even greater desire to see Your work move forward. I want to be a willing participant in all You want to do in my world.