When Enough is Enough
Problems. We all have them, problems big and small. Some are easy to fix, others not so much. As we end our “aha” journey through Exodus, we find the Israelites responding to God’s instructions to build a tabernacle. More importantly, they were responding to a request for anyone who was willing to bring and/or make what was needed to build it or furnish it. The phrase, anyone who was willing is repeated several times. It’s important.
I wonder how many people chose not to participate. I wonder how those who brought what they had felt. I wonder how God felt about the willingness of some and not of others. After all, the tabernacle was being constructed to hold the glory of God. It was where God would meet with His people. We don’t have the answers to those ponderables, but what we do know is those building the tabernacle had much more than what was needed.
I’ve often heard this passage used during financial campaigns. The basic premise is God has given us what is needed to do His work. Our job, if you will, is to release our time, treasures, and talents so all God desires can be accomplished. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? I focused on anyone who was willing because God loves a cheerful giver. God doesn’t want what we begrudgingly give. Why? It’s a heart thing. God loves us so much; he willingly gave His most precious gift in Jesus. Out of love for humanity, Jesus willingly gave the gift of His life. It seems natural we, as believers, would willingly give whatever we have to further the Kingdom of God.
I once worked at a shelter for the homeless. One bitterly cold night, an elderly lady brought a tattered sleeping bag asking that we give it to a certain person. I asked her why she would give up her sleeping bag. She said, “I don’t have a bed, or a couch, but I have carpet on my floor, and I can stay warm.” She continued, “Ida has to be outside all day and it’s so cold. I want her to be warm. Tell her Jesus loves her.” When I gave the sleeping bag to Ida she was overcome with emotion. It was such a precious gift from another who also had almost nothing. Isn’t that what is happening in our story? No matter how much or how little, when we do or give from a joyful heart, God’s Kingdom is fuller.
The workers said, “Tell them to stop. We have more than enough.” Such beautiful words for us to ponder today.
EXODUS 36:4-7 “The people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning…the skilled workers went to Moses and said, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’”
“Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”