Summary: Giving offerings for the tabernacle in Exodus 35
I recently fished in a Cowboy Church bass tournament on a Saturday morning. I went with my friend Bubba who has a decked out fishing boat with all the gear. Bubba loaned me one of his poles along with the pole I brought. I had to poles in the water, one had a rattletrap lure the other had a plastic worm. I put both poles down for a minute and wouldn’t you know it a fish hit both lures at the same time. Both poles went into the water and I had to make a decision which pole to grab first.
I grabbed the pole with the rattletrap first, then I went to grab the pole with the plastic worm when suddenly it sped through the water and vanished. I felt sick I lost the fish that would have probably won the tournament, but I felt worse for loosing Bubba’s pole. The Christian life is like that, we have to make choices of how we live and how we give. We can’t honor one without the other. Living and giving can be a tug of war in our life, like I experienced a tug of war to decide which pole to grab. Consequently the pole I grabbed the fish got off the hook, empty catch.
If we want to show God our gratitude for what He has done for us, we need to grab the pole of giving. First, giving our lives to Christ, then giving our heart, mind, and soul for the rest of our live. Our money is just one aspect of how we give, however, in the United States we love our money and equate God’s blessings with money. The greatest blessing God ever gave man did not involve money, but His Son Jesus whom He gave as a gift, the payment of our sins, the Sacrificial Lamb.
How would you like to play tug of war with God? Who do you think would win? This is what we do everyday when we don’t honor Christ with everything we have. Is not giving your money to the Lord wrong or does it imply a deeper issue? If I give 10% does the get me out of the dog house with the Lord? What does the bible say about giving? We will answer these questions over the next couple of lessons.
The first thing when someone reads this or hears this lesson on giving money to the Lord’s work will probably be something like this “heeeeerrrreeee it comes, talking about money. I thought we were something special and didn’t need to talk about money, but heeeeerrrrrrrreeeeee we go.” This reaction is typical for those who only “tip” God or give nothing to God’s work.
The person that says to himself, “awesome, I need to hear some encouraging words about giving because I am so committed Christ,” these will always be the ones who build and not tear down God’s kingdom. I have always enjoyed sermons on tithing and giving because it encouraged me. Sharon and I, during our entire marriage, have always been committed to tithing. God doesn’t always “double our money,” there have been times where there are only two cookies left in the cookie jar.
Have you ever given to God and didn’t feel like you got a return on your investment? I have heard people say, “I gave to God but it didn’t work for me.” They didn’t give to God, they bought a spiritual lottery ticket. When we give to God, we don’t expect anything in return, we do it out of gratitude because of how He has provided for us. You can always try to sue God to get your money back.
Earlier this week, Ernie Chambers, the longest serving member of Nebraska’s state senate, filed a lawsuit naming God as the defendant. He did so, he said, in response to another lawsuit he considers frivolous, and claims he is trying to make the point that anybody can sue anybody.
In his suit, Chambers claims God has made terrorist threats against the senator and his constituents, has inspired fear and caused widespread death and destruction through such things as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Chambers said God could be sued in Douglas County, Nebraska, but God is omnipresent. The senator is asking for a permanent injunction against God, banning him from sending any more natural catastrophes.
Chambers, who does not attend morning prayers during the legislative session and is a critic of Christians, said in his suit that he had tried numerous times to contact God to serve the "Defendant" with the suit, but was unable to do so. However, Chambers said he was willing to waive personal service on the Deity since God is omniscient and therefore will know of the suit against him.