Legacy Devotional: Day 4
The Mosaic Tabernacle: A Place of Value
“...and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.” - Exodus 35:21, NIV
Key Passage: Exodus 35:1-29
So often we can find ourselves going through the motions—doing things out of a sense of obligation or tradition—and forgetting the great truth behind the common phrase “It’s the thought that counts.” As much as an offering is about giving, the true value of it comes from the willingness of the heart.
The Mosaic Tabernacle was built by the Israelites under the direction of Moses in response to a command from God; however, we see that the Israelites gave out of the desire of their heart rather than out of compulsion. The people, through volunteering their goods and services, committed themselves to the project of building what was to be the dwelling place of God. The tabernacle was dedicated to God, purposed to honour Him and be used in His service, and the materials and skills used to set up the tabernacle went beyond decoration and furnishing and became offerings to God.
Significantly, in the establishing of the tabernacle, those who contributed all brought from what was already in their hand or in their ability. There was no need to go out and gather more, but only to bring together what they had. They gathered these things together and in presenting these offerings with a willing heart, they brought value to the tabernacle and honour to God.
As we read through Exodus 35, it is amazing to see that God’s heart was not for His people to simply go through the motions of building the tabernacle out of obedience, but His heart was for His people to do so out of their own free will. It was the willingness of their hearts that God sought and it was for their hearts that He so desired to dwell among His people. While the people acted in obedience and willingly brought what was required for the tabernacle, God valued the state of their hearts and willingly came to dwell among them. Today, it is the same for us: when our hearts are willing and open to follow the call of God, we accept the opportunity God offers us to receive more of His presence and blessing in our lives.