Divine Principles for Giving: Giving for the Work of the Lord

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
"And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which 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, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair," etc. Exod. 35:4-64And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, 5Take 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, 6And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, (Exodus 35:4‑6).
God would have His people to enter into His own thoughts and desires for their blessing, and He permits them in His grace and mercy to bring these materials as an offering. He directs what they should bring, although everything they possessed was His own gift (see 1 Chron. 29:1414But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (1 Chronicles 29:14)), and then He would reckon it as their offering. It is ever so. Believers cannot do a single good thing of themselves. Every good work is the product of the. Spirit of God, and prepared before of God (Eph. 2:1010For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)), and yet when done, God in His grace calls it theirs, and clothes them with fine linen which is the righteousnesses of saints.
The willingness of God to receive from His people is thus proclaimed. The grace of God in this particular touched and opened their hearts; "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one 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." v. 21.
And again we read, "The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses." v. 29.
There are principles involved in these statements which are applicable to all dispensations. The Apostle enforces the same when he says, "Every man according as he.purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:77Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7); (read the whole chapter).
It is therefore of the first importance to remember that everything offered to God must proceed from hearts made willing by His Spirit, that it must be spontaneous, not the result of persuasion or of external pressure, hut from the heart. The Church of God would have been in a very different state today if this had been remembered. What has wrought more ruin than the many worldly schemes for raising money? and what more humbling than the fact that solicitations of all kinds are used to induce the Lord's people to offer their gifts? Moses was content with announcing that the Lord was willing to receive, and he left this gracious communication to produce its suited effect upon the hearts of the children of Israel. He needed not to do more; and if saints now were in the current of God's thoughts they would imitate the example of Moses, and would shun the very thought of obtaining even the 'smallest gift, except it were presented willingly and from the heart, as the effect of the working of the Spirit of God.
And let it be remarked that there was no lack; for in the next chapter we find that the wise men who wrought came to Moses and said, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much." Exod. 36:5-75And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. 6And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. 7For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. (Exodus 36:5‑7).
If the first Pentecostal days be excepted, there has probably never been seen anything answering to this even in the history of the Church. The chronic complaint now is concerning the insufficiency of means to carry on the Lord's work. But it cannot be too often recalled: first, that the Church of God is never held responsible to obtain means; second, that if the Lord gives work to do, He himself will lay it upon the hearts of His people to contribute what is necessary; third, that we are traveling off the ground of dependence, and acting according to our own thoughts, if we undertake anything for which the needful provision has not already been made; and last, that gifts procured by human means can seldom be used for blessing.