Exodus 25:1–2 (HCSB)
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Tell the Israelites to take an offering for Me. You are to take My offering from everyone who is willing to give.
God introduces the plan to build the tabernacle, a place where God will dwell among His people. There is so much that is remarkable about this plan.
- God created the universe, yet He invites man to take part in building the place He plans on dwelling. God is not an exclusionary God in the sense that He does not want our participation. Even though He does not need us to accomplish His plans, He invites us and wants us to join Him.
- God had been present around the Israelites, but now He plans to be in the Israelites. God was up on the mountain, He was out in front of the camp in pillars of smoke and fire: He was there in relation to the Israelites. He was able to be seen, but He was distant and separate. But now God proposes that He will dwell among the Israelites, that He will be part of them in the sense that they look inward, among themselves, rather than externally, to see the place of God’s manifest presence. What a remarkable premise, which is further expanded by the Spirit’s dwelling within us as believers today!
- God invites us to fellowship with Him, He does not force His fellowship upon us. The offering was to come from those who were willing to give. It was a conscious decision to give to God. And the end goal is fellowship with Him, His dwelling among them. Is it any different today? Are we not the recipients of a divine invitation from God to join Him? Are we not blessed with fellowship with God when we accept that invitation? And is not the opposite true: as we reject God’s invitation to join Him, do we not fall further and further from Him, further and further out from under His protection?
- The ultimate plan is God’s. God is not making things up as He goes, there is a definite plan. He might invite man to offer items to use in construction, He might allow man to build the tabernacle with their hands, but the design, the blueprint, is God’s. Were we following our own plans, we would build tabernacles to ourselves. We might not even devote and sacrifice the material to build anything, preferring instead to horde it ourselves! But God invites us daily to use the strength, ingenuity, and wisdom that He has blessed us with to build according to His plans, something that has eternal merit and brings us to life.
Lord, thank You for allowing us to come alongside You and participate in building Your plans. I pray for the sacrifice that it takes to contribute to Your plans, and the strength, intelligence, and skills to carry them out and build Your tabernacles. Amen.