Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. (Exodus 35:20, 21)
Moses had spent 40 days in close conversation with God. His experience and encounter changed him particularly in his physical appearance to the people. In the light of their forgiveness from the golden calf episode, the people were at a contrite and penitent stage in their relations with the Lord who lead them out of Egypt.
As Moses outlines what God requires of the people for the place that He still wants constructed as the place of His dwelling, the response is telling. The request is specific. These days appeals are made for money and people make regular references to how places of worship tend to be after your money. That was not the case when it came to the place god chose to dwell – it wasn’t the means to get the resources that was called for, it was the resources. As people had those resources and saw that it was going towards establishing something significant for the benefit of the community and in light of the great God who loved them, their response was significant.
The sense of the corporate response to the call to give is something to be noted carefully today. It’s not just about a command or an appeal, it’s about the context of a request made from a man whose character is sold out as the mediator pleading mercy on behalf of the people and setting the instructions God gives for their benefit.
This chapter begins the process by which this special place God chooses to dwell turns from instructions to reality. All good work starts with a good foundation of clear communication and heartfelt giving in co-operation.
For his Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden