Equipped

Exodus 25:1-9; 31:1-6

“Equipped”

Exodus 25:1-2 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them.

The Lord’s instruction is to tell who? Tell the people, which means……………everyone.

Is this a tithe or offering? Offering!

How do we know? Because God said it is.

Our first lesson today is from us to understand what God says to us.

It says in Luke 9:35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.”

To understand God, we have to recognize who He is and listen to Him.

Then God follows up with Accept the contributions from…. who?

 All whose hearts are moved to offer them

What is the Difference Between Tithes and Offerings?

The tithe is the first 10 percent of your income that God calls you to give to your local church each month.

An offering is any money you choose to give above and beyond the tithe.

Before giving an offering we should make sure we are taking care of our own household: our children, our bills, our debt payments, our housing costs, groceries, transportation, and clothing.

It says in Romans 13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

God expects us to give Him the first of what He gives us, then pay our debts.

No matter if we are Giving a tenth to God, paying our debts or giving an offering we are to do it with the right heart.

It says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

Again, listening to the Lord: He said bring it to “ME”

This was not just any old offering, this is a special offering to the Lord.

This offering is connected with God, it is meant to be dedicated for the purpose of honoring Him.

Turn to 2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.

This is an offering that will cost you something, it may even hurt a little.

Let’s look at how God set this example for us……

Turn to Romans 3:25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished

Think about it this way, God gave us life, food, clothing, and all that other stuff.

That is the Tithe.

He gave us THE special offering in Jesus Christ

This offering is connected with God, it was meant to be dedicated for the purpose of honoring Him.

WOW! Praise God from whom all blessing flow.

Let’s read Exodus 25:39 Here is a list of sacred offerings you may accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze;4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth;5 tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood;6 olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; 7 onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chest piece. 8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. 9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.

I read these statements in my study and thought it was worth noting: “Observe that here was gold, silver, and brass, provided, but no iron; that is the military metal, and this was to be a house of peace.” And…. Everything that was provided was very rich and fine, and the best of the its kind. God, who is the best of everything, should have the best of everything.

I read some details about the chest piece in Exodus 28 that I found interesting

15 “Fashion a breast piece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. 16 It is to be square—a span[a] long and a span wide—and folded double. 17 Then mount four rows of precious stones on it.

21 There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

28 The rings of the breast piece are to be tied to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband, so that the breast piece will not swing out from the ephod. 29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breast piece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord. 30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breast piece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.

I encourage you to read Exodus chapters 26-28 that tells how everything piece of material God asked for was used.

Like everything else God does and shows us He has a specific use for it. Including us.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

These were expensive and valuable materials but also available and known to the Israelites.

God does not request something from us that would put us beyond then means He has provided.

In short, the people had or could easily get what God had asked of them.

Do you want to know how the people responded to God?

Turn to Exodus 36:3-7 Moses gave them the materials donated by the people of Israel as sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning. 4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

The people responded so generously that they had to be restrained from bringing any more gifts!

God does not expect us to give and give and give our offering to one cause over another and He set limits that will meet the needs of His plan.

God knows, better than we do, that there are many needs all around us and He wants us to be able to give to those as well

It says in Mark 14:7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.

When God calls us to give an offering to Him, He expects us to want to do so.

Exodus 31:1-6 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! 6 “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:

When I was in high school, I took two years of automotive mechanics at the Technical College.

No being a bunch of high school kids what kind of cars do you think we normally got to work on?

High dollar, expensive cars? Or beat up and used cars?

Yea, you guessed it.

But every once in a while the teacher would talk someone in to bringing us their really nice cars

And who do you think he would normally get to work on that car?

In the case in may not have been the most knowledge and skilled kids in the class.

But instead he chose the kids he knew he could trust and the ones he could teach to get the job done.

It says in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

We see in this lesson where God specifically chosen two people to lead this project.

God did not even allow Moses to choose them, He did it Himself.

Bezalel was the master craftsman and Oholiab was to be his assistant.

A little fun fact that I read: Bezalel means “In the Shadow of God.” Oholiab means “The Father is My Tent.

And Caleb was his great-grandfather of Bezalel.

These two men are going to be leading every aspect of this project;

The tabernacle with its tent and its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases

Curtains throughout the tabernacle

The tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, and their ropes;

To make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze

The atonement cover and the curtain that shields it

To cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts

The woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary—both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests.”

In summary: These men were called and gifted by God to direct the construction of the tent of meeting and its sacred furniture, and also to prepare the priests’ garments and the oil and incense required for the service.

They are the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Building committee

God told Moses that Bezalel is a master at every craft.

Think about this, you are that person out doing your job and you are good at it. Then all of a sudden you are called up to the big league where God Himself has a job for you to do.

Do you think that was by chance? I think not.  

It says in Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I think Bezalel was already working for the Lord.

Not only has God given them the skills to do the work, God gave them something else as well.

Turn to Exodus 35:34-35 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

It is one things to be a skilled person, it is something totally different to be able to teach people how to do it and be good at to please the Lord.

It says in Luke 6:40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

The questions are:

What has God equipped you with ?

What has He chosen you to do?

Are you doing it?