An Offering of a Willing Heart.
Exodus 35:4-5 “And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing that the Lord commanded, saying,
Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass,”
The Tabernacle of the Lord was to be made. The very intricate pieces were to be done by those selected by God, and given the ability. (Exodus 35:30-35)
But before they could do the work, materials had to be gathered. And God did not require any to give; but it was to be an offering of a “willing heart”.
Exodus 35:21-22 “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit 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 the holy garments.
And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought bracelets, and earring, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered, offered an earring of gold unto the Lord.”
Exodus 35:29 “The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all the manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.”
This was wonderful. But the example I want to speak about is:
Exodus 38:8 “And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the looking glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation.”
These woman had given before: bracelets, and earrings, gold and silver. Yet they continued coming to the door of the Tabernacle to see what else was needed.
Back in those days, looking glasses (mirrors) were not made of glass, but of brass. Highly polished brass. It was an art to make them and they were very valuable.
(Actually it was flattering to the faces, for it gave them a shine, and did not show up every flaw.
In 1 Corinthians 13:12, it says, “For now we see through a glass (looking glass) darkly, but then face to face: for I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The apostle is saying, “Now you see yourself a little better than you are. You are not seeing clearly. You are also not seeing clearly the love God has for you, as you. But then, when you put away “childish things”, you will see yourself clearer, and God’s Amazing love for you, as you; a lot clearer, too.)
These women had gotten these looking glasses from the Egyptians [who were scrupulous about their looks], and had them stored in their treasures.
To be able to pull them out after journeying through the desert, and brush the sand out of your hair. To see how your face looks after a few years: this would have been a real treasure!
But, they saw the need for brass for the laver.
(the large basin with feet, which was filled with water. It was outside the Holy Place, in the court.
This is what the priests washed at after working at the altar with the sacrifices. They were to wash before going into the Holy Place, and eating the bread, or lighting the Lamp, or offering incense to God.)
These women saw the need, and brought something very personal, and very valuable to them. Their brazen looking glasses. Of all their treasures, these would have been something they would want to hold on to.
They came willingly and gave something which would have made them feel beautiful. So it was a matter of the heart, choosing God’s work, over their vanity.
Not such an easy choice at times.
Yet it was an offering of a willing heart from all of them; and God gave witness of their offering in His Word, as a testimony to their love.
The Lord has before Him books of all the deeds down through the centuries, of those that do something willingly, out of love to Him.
And here, He has written of these willing hearts.
(Malachi 3:16 “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.”)
Is our service to the Lord, of a willing heart?