Two things. First, God doesn’t want compelled offerings. Second, He takes his “home” seriously.
Right away, before explaining what the offerings will be used for, God clarifies that gifts should only to be collected from those whose hearts are prompted to give. (vs.2) I suppose there are two ways to look at this. We can either take a sigh of relief, believing we’re “off the hook” if giving feels inconvenient. Or…we can see it as motivation to rise to the occasion. God wants so much for us to be excited about his work….so excited that we are compelled to contribute to it. In fact, if we’re not excited about his work, then he doesn’t want us to be part of it. Harsh? Perhaps. True? Absolutely. So instead of being governed by apathy, I need to invest some time and energy, learning and praying about opportunities to invest.
The next thing I see in Exodus Twenty Four is that God is specific and elaborate about his home…the place where he meets us. (vs.22) The ark, the table, and the lampstand are designed with the purpose of being a meeting place for God and his people. They are wrapped with pure gold, inside and out – built to exact specifications. They are embellished with moldings and carvings of angels and angel wings. God could have said, “Don’t waste your time and money on me or on our relationship. Put the Testimony in a pine box.” Instead, he was extravagant. (At the risk of sounding irreverent…I love that he appreciates some good home decor!) Now here’s the thing. In the Old Testament, God resides on the Arc (Exodus 25) and in the Tabernacle (Exodus 26). Today, because of Jesus, God resides in his people. In us.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 and that you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:22
So, are my heart, body and mind a worthy ‘home’ for Him? Are they as beautiful as pure gold and embellished with things worthy of God? Does he have a place of prominence in my heart? In my body? In my mind? I want to be an extravagant and holy home for him. And so I must be deliberate about it. I must be hospitable. I must clean house. And I must invite him in and enjoy him every day.