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And Moses gathered the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that you shall do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever does any work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitation on the sabbath day ( Exodus 35:1-3 ).
So one of the strongest parts of the tradition of the Jews today remains the Sabbath day, and as we mentioned a week ago or so that really was a neat law. It was made for man. Man wasn't made for the Sabbath; the Sabbath was made for man. This is just God's gift to you: the Sabbath day, a day in which you do nothing. A day in which you just kick back and rest. A day in which you just lie around all day long doing absolutely nothing, not even kindling a fire, just a day of total relaxation.
You would be so much healthier mentally and every way else if you would just take a day off and just cruise, just nothing; just totally relax. But we live in such a geared up society that I think I might be able to last until about eleven o'clock in the morning then I would be climbing the walls. But we need to learn to relax more. We need to learn to just kick back without feeling guilty about it. You have got one day out of seven that God just wants you to kick back and just totally relax and do nothing.
God has given it to you. It's God's gift to you. You can take it and enjoy it if you want. If you don't take it, it is not going to damn you or condemn you. That is the way they had misinterpreted the thing you see. If you dare do anything that violated that Sabbath day tradition, then they were ready to really wipe you out. But in reality it is just a gift of God for you; you would be much better off if you observed it. Not spiritually, it won't make you any more righteous than anybody else, but just physically you would be a lot better off, mentally better off.
Moses spake to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: and whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, silver, and brass ( Exodus 35:4-5 ),
So now he has commanded to take an offering but there was one requirement; you could not give to God unless you did it with a willing heart. Now Paul the apostle in the New Testament tells us that, "when we give to God that it should never be by constraint, but as every man has purposed in his own heart so let him give for God loves a cheerful" literally a hilarious "giver" ( 2 Corinthians 9:7 ).
Now God doesn't want anything from you that you grudgingly give to Him of money, time, service. It is a tragic thing that the church has developed a program in which we pressure people into taking a job in the church. And so a person under pressure thinks, "oh, I've got to do it" you know. And they say, "oh no, this is Sunday. I've got to go face those monsters again in that Sunday school class. I can't stand it", you know. And you're griping and complaining about what you are doing for God. You would be better off not to do it at all. God doesn't want any griping servants.
You have signed up for a pledge and now you're short and you think "oh no" and you write out the check and you're begrudging the check because you pledged it, better not to give it. God doesn't want your giving to be by constraint, and yet churches create constraints upon giving. They create finance committees. They have their annual drive. They will come around and get your pledge and so forth and they will give a little pressure, you know.
The important people of the church are sitting there in your front room, as you now have to determine before them how much you are going to support the church this year. And man, you don't want to look like a cheapskate because these are important people, you know. And after all, he is the superintendent of schools and this guy is a lawyer and all, so you don't want to look like a cheapskate.
And it is deliberately designed that way so that you will feel pressured to give more than you really want to. That is giving by constraint. God doesn't want it. He doesn't want you to over subscribe. He wants you to purpose in your own heart what you want to give. Any giving to God must be willing giving on your part to really be a true gift unto God. Anything else, God hates. God would rather you keep it. There is one thing I can't stand and that's someone to do something for me and then gripe and complain that they've done it. I would rather that they not do it at all.
There's one guy that invited us over for dinner and passed the roast beef around the second time and I took seconds. Then he said, "Usually a roast lasts us all week, but this one's not going to make it." Man, I had a hard time swallowing that chunk of meat. If he didn't want me to take seconds, he shouldn't have passed the plate around a second time. I could respect him much more for that than to pass it around and then complain.
So people do something for God and then go around complaining about what they have done. Give to god and then complain about what they have given. No way. It always has to be of a willing heart. You have got to purpose in your own mind what you want to give. It is none of my business what you want to give. It is something between you and God; and you and a willing heart give to God whatever you are willing and wanting to give, but never out of constraint, never out of pressure.
That is why we have made it a purpose here at Calvary Chapel never to ask anybody to do anything. So if somebody comes up and they say, "Chuck, I would really love to teach a Sunday school class. How do you go about teaching a Sunday school class around here?" I say, "You just found out." You have got to ask. We won't come around and put a Sunday school teacher's book in your hand and say, "Now we really need you to teach this class." That is something that has to come from your own heart. What you do for God has to come out of a willing heart. That's the kind that God will reward. That's the kind of service that God will reward. That's the kind of giving that God will reward.
And so, that's the requirement God put even under the law "with a willing heart let him bring it, an offering to the LORD." You are not only to bring the gold, silver, and brass, but,
Blue, and purple, and scarlet fine linen, goats' hair, rams' skins dyed red, badgers' skins, and acacia wood, oil for the lights, spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, onyx stones, stones to be set in the ephod, for the breast plate. And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; the tabernacle, his tent, his coverings, the taches, the boards, the bars, the pillars, the sockets, the ark, the staves, the mercy seat, the veil of covering, the table, and the staves, the vessels, the showbread, the candlesticks( Exodus 35:6-14 )
The furnishings, and so forth.
And so verse twenty-one,
And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him up and everyone whose spirit was 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 all the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought the bracelets, earrings, rings, and the tablets, of jewels of gold: every man that offered [offered] an offering of gold unto the LORD ( Exodus 35:21-22 ).
And so, notice the giving. It was as a person's heart was stirred. And that is always the secret of true giving, as God stirs your heart, as God lays it upon your heart. And as you're willing to give so you should give unto God, but never, never by constraint, never by pressure, never by begging. It cheapens God to beg people to support Him.
The children of Israel brought the willing offering [verse twenty-nine] to the LORD, every man and every woman, whose heart was made willing to bring for all the manner of work, which the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses. And Moses said to the children of Israel, See, the LORD has called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri; he has filled him with the spirit of God, wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, and all manner of workmanship ( Exodus 35:29-31 );
So these talents and abilities given to him by God in craftsman to devise all of these fancy works, the work of gold and silver and brass, the cutting of the stones to set them, the carving of wood.
And he put it in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab. Them that he has filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and the cunning workman, to do the embroidery, in blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen ( Exodus 35:34-35 ).
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 35". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany