“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. And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.” Exodus 35:29-33 KJV.
“Great and expensive preparations were necessary. Precious and costly materials must be collected. But the Lord accepted only the free-will offerings. Devotion to the work of God and sacrifice from the heart were first required in preparing a place for God. And while the building of the sanctuary was going on, and the people were bringing their offerings unto Moses, and he was presenting them to the workmen, all the wise men who wrought in the work examined the gifts, and decided that the people had brought enough, and even more than they could use. And Moses 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.’
The repeated murmurings of the Israelites, and the visitations of God’s wrath because of their transgressions, are recorded in sacred history for the benefit of God’s people who should afterward live upon the earth; but more especially to prove a warning to those who should live near the close of time. Also their acts of devotion, their energy, and liberality, in bringing their free-will offerings to Moses, are recorded for the benefit of the people of God. Their example in preparing material for the tabernacle so cheerfully, is an example for all who truly love the worship of God. Those who prize the blessing of God’s sacred presence, when preparing a building that he may meet with them, should manifest greater interest and zeal in the sacred work in proportion as they value their heavenly blessings higher than their earthly comforts. They should realize that they are preparing a house for God.
Many will expend much to erect comfortable and tasty buildings for themselves; but when they would prepare a place that they may receive the presence of the high and exalted One, they manifest a wonderful indifference, and have no particular interest as to the convenience, arrangement, and workmanship. Their offerings are not given cheerfully from the heart, but arc bestowed grudgingly; and they are continually studying in what manner the sacred building can be made to cost the least, and answer the purpose as a house of worship. Some manifest more interest in building their barns, wherein to keep their cattle, than they do in building a place for the worship of God. Such value sacred privileges just in that proportion which their works show. And their prosperity and spiritual strength will be just according to their works. God will not cause his blessing to rest upon those who have so little estimate of the value of divine things. Unwilling and stinted offerings are not accepted of God. Those who manifest that earnestness to bring to the Lord acceptable offerings, of the very best they have, willingly, as the children of Israel brought their presents to Moses, will be blessed in that proportion that they have estimated the value of divine things.
It is of some consequence that a building prepared expressly for God to meet with his people, should be arranged with care—made comfortable, neat, and convenient; for it is to be dedicated to God, and presented to him, and he is to be entreated to abide in that house, and make it sacred by his holy presence. Enough should be willingly given to the Lord, to liberally accomplish the work, and then the workmen be able to say, Bring no more offerings. A house built for God never should be left in debt, for God would be dishonored. He is acquainted with every heart, and he will reward every one who freely gives back to him, when he requires, that which he has given them. If they withhold that which belongs to God, he will afflict them in their families, and cause decrease in their possessions, just according to their disposition to rob him.” EGW, SOP, Vol 1, 1870, pp. 269-272.
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