Have you ever heard of a religious leader who told his people to stop giving?
Sounds bizarre doesn’t it?
This morning, in my devotions, I was reminded that one of the most famous religious leaders of all time–Moses–had to order the people of God to stop giving.
Moses was given the task of overseeing the building of the Tabernacle. At the beginning of the project he shared with the Israelites God’s command, “Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord and offering of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows ; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.” (Exodus 35:5-9).
This was a free-will offering, yet the people responded in huge way.
The response was so huge–in fact–that Moses had to command the people to stop giving. The craftsmen complained, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” So, Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” (Exodus 36:5-7)
Do you know how many people we’d be able to reach if every Church had this problem–more than enough resources to do the work of God?
The more I reflect on what I read this morning, the more frustrated I feel. I lament having to beg the people of God to give to the work of God, but I know I’m not alone.
Preachers all around this country preach boldly on giving on a regular basis in obedience to God’s leading, in submission to the clear teaching in Scripture on giving, and out of necessity: bills must be paid, work must be funded, missionaries must be supported, lost people must be reached.
I know the economy is bad, but God is still good.
He’s been so generous to us for so long.
I don’t know about you, but I’m resolving today to keep giving to God until he says, “Stop!”