"The LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia..." Ezra 1:1
Text: Exodus 35 : 22-24
A MIGHTY MOVING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD
The response from the children of Israel can only be explained if we speak of the mighty moving of the Spirit of God. These erstwhile sinners were now deeply moved at the thought of being able to express their gratitude to the Lord for being so gracious to them. Yes, their foolish and reckless spirits had caused them to worship a worthless golden calf. They deserved to be punished severely by the Lord. They had broken their covenant with the Lord! But their great and compassionate God had forgiven them of their sins. How should they respond to the Lord? They would yield to the mighty moving of the Spirit of God touching their hearts!
“They came, both men and women, as many as had
a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings,
rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man
who made an offering of gold to the LORD.
And every man, with whom was found blue, purple,
and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams,
and badger skins, brought them.
Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought
the Lord’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia
wood for any work of the service brought it.”
1. “As many as had a willing heart”
The children of Israel suddenly came alive to the call to give towards the Tabernacle building project. This must have been the work of the Spirit of God! Only He can touch so deeply the heart of both men and women. Where once the heart was bent on sin, it was now made deeply concerned about the Tabernacle of God.
2. “The Lord’s offering”
What was in the mind of all who responded to Moses’ challenge? Surely all must have felt that they were bringing to God what was rightly His! They were only doing that which was right. With this single thought in mind, men and women, by the thousands marched forward, bringing their love gifts to the Lord for the Tabernacle building project.
3. An amazing array of gifts
It is amazing what the children of Israel brought with them when they left Egypt! What moved them to ask for “goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins’ etc? What would they do with these things en route to the Promised Land? What would they do with them in Canaan? Would they use these things to decorate their homes? Would they set up shop to sell these items?
We may not know the answers to these questions. But we do know this fact! God, in His sovereignty foresaw everything. These very items could be used to construct and adorn the Tabernacle of Meeting. The Tabernacle would be that much more beautiful because these items would be offered to the Lord as an expression of faith and love.