The Power of the Freewill Offering

I know I know…its been awhile since I last posted anything of importance on this blog. I admit I have become lax on this, but with good reason….just been busy (ok not a really good reason…). Admittedly I have also been catching up on the reading(s) for the last week! (If you would like an explanation see the previous reason…)

So as I was reading today, I felt compelled to speak on the freewill offering that we find in Exodus chapter 35. God has already given instructions in a previous chapter that he would only accept the offering from those \”whose hearts compelled them\”. He had given the instructions to Moses about how the Tabernacle and all its utensils were to be designed and instructed that they be made in EXACTLY the way God had described and instructed. Chapter 35 brings us to the point where Moses is now speaking to the people about the building of the Tabernacle and asks for the offering, making the statement that only those whose heart compelled them were to give in this Freewill offering. The result was so much that Moses has to instruct the entire nation to stop giving; that they had enough and MORE than enough for building the Tabernacle and everything else that went along with it (the utensils, garments,curtains, etc.). There are two things that we can conclude about freewill offerings that I want to point out in this piece.

1. Freewill offerings are not results of twisting arms and coercing givers with the thought of blessing coming for giving.  
The people of Israel were given the opportunity to give and those who were stirred in their own hearts to give, would do so. I fully believe that God placed the challenge before the people and asked them in their hearts if they were willing to give; it was then entirely up to the people themselves if they were going to respond to Gods\’ request or not. By definition, freewill means, \”given readily; voluntary; the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one\’s own discretion.\”.   It was their decision ONLY!–There was no trickery or language used to imply a return on the investment other than building a place for GOD to dwell. This of course leads me to the next thought and that is simply this…

2. Givers invest in Vision. 
Presented with building a place for God to dwell among His people, was the vision of all visions to follow. No other god spoke, cared for, defended or even desired to be that close to the people who worshiped them. The people of Israel new of the many gods of Egypt, but never saw any of them come down and \”show out\” in the manner that Jehovah did. The opportunity to knowingly contribute to the \”homestead\” of the God who desired to dwell among His people was, in a sense, a once-in-a-lifetime chance for them. God desired it and asked for the people to give towards it. They desired to make it happen and of their own accord gave without so much as a sigh or grunt. It\’s where we get the concept of God \”loves a cheerful giver\”. The people of Israel connected with the vision of God as presented by Moses and gave not until it hurt, but until it was finished!

For the remainder of scripture, this is the precedent for freewill offerings. It was never coerced or expected, it was to flow out of the hearts response to God and the vision he presented through the teachers, priests and prophets. Of course God was only connecting with a part of humanity that was created in his image. God was the very first freewill giver! He gave His One and ONLY Son to die for us and reconcile us back to God through that death. The catch, is that God gave before there was really even a need expressed. The gift of His Son was His response to what God knew only he in his Compelled heart could give in order to bring the vision of reconciliation and re-connection to a finish! God knew before the world began that there would be a need and He gave before he ever spoke light into being or land to separate from water, and before he made man with His hands in His own image! Giving out of our freewill is just another mark in us that the creator placed in us based on Himself!


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