Recently as part of my continual reading through the Bible, I once again “stumbled” upon a scripture the Holy Spirit used to grab my attention. It was in Exodus 36:2-7 where Moses instructed the people to bring an offering of materials for the construction of the Tabernacle. They were to bring items of gold, silver, bronze, jewels, linen, thread of blue, purple, and scarlet, acacia wood, and other items.
So as the people were bringing the items, the workers told Moses they had more than enough and to tell the people to stop. The scripture says, “And the people were restrained from bringing, / for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much” (Exodus 36:6-7 NKJV). Can you imagine a pastor, telling his church to stop giving because it was too much?
The Tabernacle itself was a tent (only 15 feet wide and 60 feet long) filled with a gold candlestick (menorah), an incense altar, a table of showbread, and the Ark of the Covenant. Outside in the courtyard was a bronze altar for burning the sacrifices and a bronze laver filled with water for washing. The courtyard was 75 feet wide and 150 feet long enclosed by a privacy fence of linen cloth.
How much did they bring? The scripture gives an account in Exodus 38 of just the gold, silver, and bronze. I converted the talents and shekels into today’s units and calculated it. As of Feb 16, 2019, the prices of the metals were the following: gold ($1322.70/oz. or $21,163/lb.), silver ($15.81/oz. or $253/lb.), and bronze ($1.57/pound).
Value of the Precious Metals in the Tabernacle Complex
Gold – 2,193 pounds valued at $ 46,410,459
Silver – 7,544 pounds valued at $ 1,908,632
Bronze – 5,310 pounds valued at $ 8,337
Total $ 48,327,428
The cost of $48.3 million is for only the gold, silver, and bronze in the Tabernacle. The other materials were not precisely quantified in the Bible.
God did not skimp on the cost of His Tabernacle and His people exemplified extravagant giving. By the way, the Israelites were former slaves and the property they gave was given to them by the Egyptians. God’s people basically pillaged Egypt upon their exodus.
God Gives More Than Enough
How many times do we see God giving more than enough? Just think about it. When Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000, the disciples took up twelve baskets of leftovers. When Jesus fed the 4,000, the disciples took up seven large baskets of leftovers. The Syro-Phonecian woman had a demonized daughter delivered from figuratively speaking, leftover crumbs (Mark 7:24-30). The very fact that we are able to give to others is because God gave us more than we needed.
God Gives the Best
Father God gave His Son for our redemption. Everything made in Genesis chapter one for man’s habitation was said by God to be “good” and “very good”. Jesus in Luke 11:11-13 said that even earthly fathers would never give a stone to a child asking for bread, a serpent instead of a fish, or a scorpion for an egg—so how much more our heavenly Father would give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!
Remember, if we “give” something away we do not want, it’s not much of a gift—we are merely dumping our scraps.
God Supplies From Unlikely Sources
God pillaged Egypt and repaid Israel for 400 years of slavery by commanding them to ask of their Egyptian neighbors for expensive items. God gave them favor in the sight of Egyptians (see Exodus 11:2-3).
God Gives to the Giver
We should not have an attitude of “giving to get” but God does give to the giver. Why wouldn’t He? We should never manipulate people into giving; God loves a cheerful giver. However, I also know that God blesses the giver! It is all about the correct attitude. Actually, you will need to receive from God so that you can give. Then when you give, God will give more. By the way, let’s not confuse our needs with our wants.
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. / The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:24-25 NKJV).
Simple Principles of Giving
Give your best. Give it first. Give generously. Give it regularly.
John Wesley said, “Having, gained all you can, and Secondly saved all you can, Then give all you can.”
Worry is an Insult to God
If we worry about stuff we are telling God, “I do not believe You can care for me.” We never wake in the morning and worry if we will have enough oxygen to breathe. Birds will have more than enough seeds and worms to eat. Your children will have more than enough food to eat. God makes a way for us. He gives more than enough. Lower your blood pressure, let the ulcer in your stomach shrink, dry up your tears, and let God be the God of more than enough in your life.
May the blessings of God abound in your life, more and more!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt