Exodus 35:5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
God does not use coercion to get people to give to Him. He has the right to demand everything from man. He made man and He made everything that man benefits from. However, God did not make man as a robot. He did not pre-program man to act in a certain way. We know that man was made free from sin. Adam had no sin at his creation. He had a sharp mind and he had good understanding. He was created with the ability to make choices. We are not told how long Adam was in the Garden before he fell. It was not very long. No children were born in the Garden.
The verses we have today come after the nation of Israel had left Egypt. They were now in the wilderness and on their way to the land of Canaan. This journey would take much longer than needed. God would judge the people for their rebellion against Him and they would spend forty years wandering in the wilderness. All but two people of an entire generation would perish in the wilderness. During their time in the wilderness the LORD gave Moses instructions in the building of the Tabernacle. There was a need for gold and silver and brass. When the children of Israel left Egypt, the Egyptians gave them jewels and other things. The children of Israel did not grow crops or sell livestock for forty years. They did not trade with other nations. They did not have any income. Yet they had what was required for the building of the Tabernacle.
In the verses we have quoted we read in each verse that God required the children of Israel to give of a willing heart. God does not have continual building projects going on just to encourage people to give. He had one major building project which was the building of the Tabernacle. When that was completed, there was no further building taking place. There were different offerings that God commanded the nation to bring before Him, such as the trespass offering and the peace offering and the thank offering and the firstfruits. There were clear instructions given regarding those offerings. God taught the nation of Israel the importance of these offerings which were to be used when someone sinned or to remind them of God’s deliverance and His protection over them.
The nation of Israel was to be a God-fearing nation. They were to know the Lord and serve Him out of a heart of love.
We notice in verse 21 that it was those whose heart stirred them up and every one whom his spirit made him willing. Giving needs to come from a heart that is right with God and it needs to be done with a willing heart. The person needs to be listening to the Lord and allowing the Lord to stir their hearts.
Those who are spiritually dead will not respond to this call. They will need some type of gimmick to try to coerce them into giving. God does not want that. God’s work should be sustained by God’s people. God’s people need to be walking in humility and in obedience to Him. Those who are in a right relationship with the LORD will see the need and will give to the work of the LORD. The LORD’s work is not for the advancement of people. It is for the glory of God. It is for the continued proclamation of His Word in order to give people the opportunity to be saved. It is also for the teaching of those who are saved so that they can walk faithfully with the Lord.
In verse 22 and verse 28 it is again repeated that the offerings needed to be from those whose hearts made them willing to give. You will notice that there were no bricks or staves or curtains that had the names of the givers stamped or embroidered into them. When a gift is given to the LORD, it is His. The giver does not need recognition of the gift. It is enough that the person has given it to the LORD. The LORD rewards those whose heart is right with Him in many different ways. Those whose heart is right with Him are not looking to be noticed. They are humble and give in secret. The LORD knows what is going on. He does not need our names on an envelope or on a slip of paper. He knows all and He provides blessings for those who know Him and serve Him faithfully.
God opens the eyes of the saved. He fills their hearts with gratitude for what He has done for them. Giving to the Lord needs to be from the heart and it needs to be done in an orderly manner. We will see this more as we study this topic further. If your heart is not right with the LORD, don’t bother giving to His work. Giving in a grudging manner is not a blessing. Robbing God is also not a blessing. If you know Him, you will see the importance of giving to His work. You will also learn to identify what is His work and what is not. There are many scams today. Those who are saved can be protected from these things if their heart is right with the Lord.