Sunday, August 5, 2012

Giving, and the Israelites' Donations for the Tabernacle

At church this morning, the pastor's sermon was about Jesus being the bread of life. 

The pastor quoted Albert Schweitzer, who said that we are nourished when we serve and feel as if we're a part of something larger than ourselves.  I think that service, in part, is something that can spiritually sustain us, and Jesus in John 4:34 says that his food is to do the will of his Father who sent him.  Granted, there can be burn-out from service, as we interact with people and issues and wonder if we're even making a difference.  But it's gratifying when we are provided with an opportunity to give.

I thought about this last night during my daily quiet time, which is currently in the Book of Exodus.  In Exodus 36, the Israelites contribute more than enough for the construction of the Tabernacle, to the point that they need to be told to stop donating.  The Israelites may have had a variety of motivations for their abundant giving.  Perhaps they still felt that God was mad at them on account of the Golden Calf sin and they wanted to get on God's good side.  Or maybe they realized that they had already received God's forgiveness through the intercession of Moses and they wanted to earn that forgiveness, to treat their second chance seriously, or to express gratitude to God for that forgiveness.  Or they could have simply been happy at their opportunity to give.  They could be giving people at times, for they were eager to give from their riches to construct and worship the Golden Calf.  Now, they had a chance to give to God.

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