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the Sabbath and Offerings to God
Very significantly this chapter commences with the reiteration of the Rest-day. Perhaps the people needed to be reminded that, amid all the din of preparation for the new Tabernacle, they were not to allow their work, however noble the object, to break in on the Sabbath-keeping of the camp. He then proceeded to enumerate the character of the gifts that were required. Those who had costly heirlooms had nothing too good; and they who could only bring the acacia wood of the desert were welcome to bring that. Women who were clever with their hands might spin the flax or weave the soft white wool of the Angora goat. A wide variety of work was offered, which reminds us of 1 Corinthians 12:4 , and following. Repeatedly he urged the word “willing-hearted,” and the Hebrew phrase signifies a heart driven by a holy purpose. Tennyson uses the phrase, “Whose heart drove him on like a goad.” There was no crack of the taskmaster’s whip. “The love of God constrained.” “O love that will not let me go!”
Free Gifts for the Tabernacle
The people departed to think over their response to Moses’ appeal, and then returned. How long had elapsed? Did Moses speak in the morning, and did they return in the cool of the evening? And what a rich profusion of gifts did they contribute! Here one of the princes brought a priceless jewel; here again were crowds of ordinary people bringing precious amulets, ear-rings, nose-rings and other jewelry, in which Orientals take great delight. Large numbers of women brought their metal mirrors, and out of them the laver was afterward constructed. These things were piled in heaps, and we are told that the Spirit drove the people to give till the artificers exclaimed that they had more than enough.
But what would the gifts have availed apart from the divinely designated artists! We, too, are called to build the Temple of God. Ask the Spirit of God to show you your place and equip you for it. Some sphere will be probably indicated by your natural aptitude; but be sure that you are filled with the Spirit of God.
Wise-hearted Workers for the Tabernacle
Exodus 35:30-2.35.35 ; Exodus 36:1-2.36.8
“What were the driving motives of this marvelous outburst of generosity? They remembered that Jehovah had brought them forth from Egypt, destroying their foes and liberating them from slavery. Again they heard the rattle of the pursuing chariots and the clash of arms! Again they thought of the march through the oozy bottom of the sea, while the walls of water stood on either side, irradiated with the glow of the cloud of fire!
With full hearts they turned to God, saying, “The best we have is thine. Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor and riches and power and blessing, for thou hast redeemed us.” Upon the heels of that thought came the remembrance of the constant provision for their daily needs. The manna had fallen; the water had gushed from the flinty rock; Amalek had fled! These were the fountains that fed the springs of generosity. But have we not similar reason? “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God , yield yourselves.” See Romans 12:1-45.12.2 .
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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Exodus 35". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent