Offering, Tabernacle, Pattern
Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give… Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you (Exodus 25: 2,8,9 NIV).
There is a need to tell the people of God to bring God an offering because often the people are ignorant of what God desires to do in their midst. And God is interested in the offering that comes from those whose hearts prompt them to give.
But it is to be noted that it is God who should command the leader to tell to the people to bring an offering. This telling the people of God cannot be of man’s initiative. Because it is explicitly said that the man who is to do the telling and receiving is responsible. He is standing as God’s representative to receive the offering on God’s behalf: “You are to receive the offering FOR ME.”
But it is interesting to note that giving the offering does not finish the responsibility of those who give! God is asking them to make a dwelling place for Him. This tells us that God desires to be with His people and we should not only give our offerings but also give ourselves to God. In response to this kind of willing obedience, God responds by showing a pattern in which His work has to be done. He expects us not only to give for the work, but also to be faithful in doing the work in the way He wants it to be done. So giving without a prompting heart is unacceptable. Giving without giving oneself to God is a mockery. And not making the dwelling place according to God’s pattern defeats the purpose of the offering.