Loving Diligence

A very inspiring episode is related in the thirty-fifth chapter of Exodus. Moses put before the children of Israel the command of the Lord that an offering of gold, silver, brass, and other valuable materials, with precious stones, be brought unto him by every one who had a willing heart,—these gifts to be fashioned into a tabernacle of the Lord. In the twenty-first and twenty-second verses we read the responses thereto, set forth in the following words: "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 they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold." Fine linen and colored materials, skins and precious stones, spices, oils, and incense were also contributed in great variety, all that was given with a willing heart being made use of, until finally the craftsmen informed Moses that there was more than enough for the work. Whereupon, Moses issued a proclamation to restrain the people from further bringing.

It is very illuminating that God required an offering, not a sacrifice! That the offering be given freely or with a willing heart was the spiritual condition upon which the material gift was acceptable. The true, spiritual nature of substance was symbolized in loving diligence, and in the free offering. Free offerings involve no sacrifice. The true sense of lovingly contributing in order to meet a need, eliminates all sense of self. The sense of sacrifice is imposed by one's self, when he believes he is depriving himself in parting with his gift; and it burdens both the receiver and the giver.

November 1, 1924

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