And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
When the people of Israel brought their offerings for the building of the tabernacle, they were only giving back to God what He’d already given them. When they were leaving Egypt, God gave them favor in the sight of the Egyptians, who then gave to Israel all the treasure they could take with them. It was those riches that they could now choose to give back to their gracious Lord. And in our own lives, all that we have has first come from God to us, and because He has generously blessed us, we have something to offer back to Him that demonstrates our love for Him.
Giving starts in our hearts. An offering doesn’t mean as much when it’s given begrudgingly or forced out of obligation. And a willingness to give flows from a heart of love. The people of Israel had entered into a covenant with God. They had already agreed to be part of that relationship. So now they can serve and give willingly out of love to God. They do not give in an attempt to purchase God’s favor, but to build upon a relationship that has already been established.
And the people gave their offerings so that the work of God could continue. Building the tabernacle was the next step of their journey, the next task to be completed. This would be an essential part of their lives, the place to offer sacrifices and draw near to God. In the same way, we give to the work of God still today. We do that so His work can continue and His plans can go forward. He invites us to have a part in that so that many more can be drawn to Him.
So what is our attitude about giving to God? Do we do so willingly from a heart of love? Have we come to understand that all we try so hard to hold so tightly to isn’t even ours in the first place? Do we see the necessity of giving to God’s work so that more souls can be saved and become part of His church? It’s not a loss to let go of something for God’s sake. It’s not making a payment in exchange for something in return. It is, most of all, a gesture of worship, love, and obedience to a God who abundantly supplies, works on our behalf, and loved us enough to give His Son for our sakes.