I have always been very struck by the late Alec Motyer’s remark about believers in the Old Testament – “Here are people who knew far less about God than we do and yet loved Him a great deal more.”
This came through with greater force recently when I was looking at Exodus 36:1-7. The context is that having been set free from Egypt by God through the Passover Lamb, God’s people have the opportunity to be involved in the construction of the tabernacle, which will signify the presence of the Lord in their midst.
Their response is immediate and generous. In fact, as Exodus 36: 3-5 reveals, it was too generous! They were bringing so much in their voluntary freewill offerings that it had become overwhelming. So Moses has to issue an order to God’s people to stop giving (Ex 36:6,7)!
This isn’t normally the sort of problem that most treasurers in the Church of England experience! But why was it that Moses was put in the position of needing to issue such a command? The answer must lie in the fact that the experience of salvation that these people were experiencing was so fresh and exciting that their hearts simply overflowed in generosity. They had experienced the darkness of slavery in Egypt. They had been released through the death of a lamb and they had been forgiven for their folly in worshipping a golden calf. They now viewed the prospect of God dwelling in their midst as an extraordinary privilege. So, they gave generously…and kept on giving.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were moved in the same way? Wouldn’t it be glorious for us to be so excited by all that the Lord Jesus has done for us that our treasurer also had to tell us to stop giving?! Let’s pray that we who know the Lord in a fuller way than the Old Testament saints, would demonstrate an even greater love for Christ through the evidence of our financial giving!