The offering is collected as part of the worship service because giving is an act of worship.
The church member is not paying the price of admission or paying our dues. We are offering something to God as an expression of our adoration and praise We are dedicating our wealth to God by giving back the portion God commands to be given back. Psalm 96:8 says, “Praise the Lord for the glory that belongs to him. Bring an offering and come into the courtyards of his temple.”
Bringing an offering is one of the best ways to express our devotion to God. It something you do, not just something you say. It’s the walk that backs up your walk. When we bring in our offering, God is not only glorified, but we are also blessed in the process. It’s already a blessing to participate in God’s work, but to actually receive material blessings because of our giving is truly out of God’s abundant love for us.
If you think about it, everything we have belongs to God already, and He would be well within his rights to take it back. Instead, God allows us to offer it to him as an act of worship. Imagine a father who gives his children money to buy him a birthday present. The kids are delighted to do this for this father, because they love him. When he opens the gift, he is getting back his own money’s worth. But the giving of the gift is significant for the father-child bond. It’s like that with God. It’s not about the money or where it came from—it’s about the love that the children expresses for their father.
It’s not about the money or where it came from—it’s about the love that the children expresses for their father.
God is the same with us. If He wanted to, God could have performed a miracle and simply built the tabernacle before the people’s eyes. Why did He have to instruct them through a processing of collecting an offering, and building? God wanted to build a relationship with His children. He wanted to go through this messy, teaching process so that the children can know their Father’s heart. God gave the Israelites an opportunity to contribute to its construction. Throughout the bible and human history, this is how God usually works: He gives people an opportunity to participate. Although people can never repay Him, believers can offer themselves for His service.
All of the things that the Israelites brought were things that they already received from God. They brought gold, silver, and precious gems from the plunder that God provided from the Egyptians. It was God’s grace that the Egyptians even agreed to give them these treasures.
35 They did just as Moses had directed them. They asked the Egyptians for things made out of silver and gold. They also asked them for clothes. 36 The Lord had caused the Egyptians to treat the Israelites in a kind way. So the Egyptians gave them what they asked for. The Israelites took many expensive things that belonged to the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:35-36, emphasis added by author)
Aside from this, the Israelites brought wood from trees that God caused to grow from the land. They brought cloth that came from animals God put in their flocks. There was nothing Israelites could bring that did not come from God to begin with. God is the Ultimate Cause, and they were bring in everything that God caused to existence.
The Israelites is a nation of slaves, a people without money or power. Like us, unless God gave them something to bring, they would have nothing to offer. They would be incapable of bringing in an offering. But out of the riches of his grace, he provided something for them to give. Some people withhold the offering that God already gave them the capacity to bring in. God has given us the resources to respond to His grace. Whenever we bring an offering, we are simply giving back a portion of what He has already given to us.
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