"Then the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem." Ezra 1:5
Text: Exodus 35 : 25-29
OTHER FORMS OF GIVING
Basic “raw material” was brought as “the Lord’s offering”. Gold, silver and bronze, for example would have to be melted and then re-utilized. But other forms of gifts were offered.
“All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn
with their hands, and brought what they had spun…
and all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom
spun yarn of goat’s hair.”
These gifted women artisans contributed their skills besides their personal offerings!
THE EXAMPLE OF THE RULERS
The rulers were not left behind in doing their part for the Lord’s work.
“The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones
to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate,
and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil,
and for the sweet incense.”
These gifts were costly! But when the heart is deeply touched, no gift is too costly to offer as “the Lord’s offering”.
A FREEWILL OFFERING
Such was the stirring of the heart that the congregation as a whole responded as one. Nothing like this had ever been seen in Israel before!
“The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD,
all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring
material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand
of Moses had commanded to be done.”
Over and on top of all the gifts mentioned above, the children of Israel felt moved to bring “a freewill offering to the LORD”. This may be distinguished from that which Moses had commanded. They had given that which the Lord had commanded! But should they stop at “mere obedience”? Should they not attempt to do more than fulfilling basic requirement? How Moses’ heart must have been moved as he saw the response of the children of Israel. There was yet hope for this nascent nation.
ORGANIZATION OF THE BUILDING PROJECT
God had already prepared two men to look after the building project. It only remained for Moses to formally appoint Bezalel and Aholiab to oversee everything.