February 08, 2008

Why Do We Need All This?

I was reading through the book of Exodus. It's the story of the Israelites being led out of captivity in Egypt into the wilderness. At one point (Exodus 25) Moses is directed to collect contributions from the people in order to build the tabernacle. The people brought everything from gold and silver to goat hair and rams' skins.

As I read that I was reminded of what had happened several chapters back (Exodus 12:33). Just after all the plagues when Pharaoh finally agreed to let the people go, the Bible says that the Israelites asked the Egyptians for all kinds of stuff, and they gave it to them - stuff like gold and silver, animals and livestock. In fact it says that they let them have what they asked!

It sounded strange at the time, but now in Exodus 25 we can see the purpose. Where would the Israelites have come up with the materials needed to build the tabernacle if they had not taken all of these things from the Egyptians?

In our own lives God often blesses us beyond what we need or deserve. Not just with stuff, but with gifts, desires, talents and abilities. The question is am I willing to give it back to Him when He needs it to build something? (That something is His Kingdom). Am I willing to bring as my contribution whatever He has supplied to me, to be used for His glory?

These things don't really belong to me. The stuff the Israelites collected was never really their stuff, it was God's. He arranged for them to carry it out into the wilderness so that when the time came, they could put it all together and build God's house.

Are you holding on to something that you need to give back to God?

No comments: