“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.'” (Exodus 25:1-9 NIV84)
The God of the universe desires to dwell with people. Just stop there. Most religions of the world are designed to help people reach God. I find it quite interesting that the Judeo-Christian religion has as its backdrop a God who desires to be with His creation. Although we are broken and sinful, God desires to be with us, so much so that He had tabernacles and temples built where His glory could dwell. The Gospel writer, John, so wonderfully tells us how the very Word of God became flesh so that He could dwell with people and so that He might, through His death and resurrection, win salvation for us.
It is in this spirit that the people of Israel gave of their own personal possessions so that the tabernacle could be built. Did you look at the list? Where in the world did they get all those items? Come on, they’d been traveling through the desert for months now. I’ll tell you where they got all that stuff. They got it from the Egyptians as they were leaving. The Bible tells us that God made the Egyptians favorable to the Israelites and gave them goods as though they had been plundered in battle.
What about us? Well, God is still a God who desires to dwell with His people. Today, He chooses to dwell in our born-again souls. That’s right! The Spirit of God desires to dwell within our very hearts and souls. So, what gifts do we bring? May you and I honor our indwelling deity with lives of obedience rooted in our gratitude for all that He has done for us.