YOU MUST BE WILLING
Exodus 35:29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
After the Israelites were lead from Egypt by Moses, it is understood that they marched down beside the eastern side of the Red Sea then turned inland to the mountainous area of the peninsula and camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It was in this mount that God's law for the nation of Israel was given to Moses. Not only did this include the ten commandments, but the civil and spiritual law was given under which Israel was to conduct their entire life.
Included in this law was the requirement for Israel to build a tabernacle to be the dwelling place for God from which He would manifest Himself to His people. Every minute detail was proclaimed by God, from the materials to be used, to its size, and dimensions, its furniture, as well as the order of the religious services to be performed. The tabernacle itself was to be approximately 15 feet wide by 45 feet long and located inside a court that was to be approximately 75 feet by 150 feet. Some of the materials to be used were gold, silver, brass, wood, ram and badger skins, fine textiles including fine linen and fabrics of blue, purple and scarlet, and a vast assortment of precious gems and jewelry.
How were these items to be accumulated? Moses sent out a call to Israel saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord... (Exodus 35:4-5). In verses five through 19, we find the specific items that were requested for the building of the tabernacle. At the same time a call went out for gifted artisans to build the tabernacle, craft the furniture, etc.
The result was one of the most impressive offerings ever taken for the service of God. Gifts started coming in from every tribe and family, from both men and women (Vs 22), and the rulers (Vs27). Moses and the artisans were flooded with gifts and offerings. Chapter 36:6-7 says, And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. People had to be restrained from bringing more gifts for the work of the Lord.
The text verse of this lesson tells us why this call to give was so successful; it tells us that they had a heart and mind that was willing to give. When the call went out, Israel responded immediately. Without questioning the request, they gave willingly. To be willing to do something implies that one favorably consents to act, without objecting, is ready to volunteer without conditions, and does so gladly and cheerfully.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 8), that they should have this same willing attitude toward giving, and he used the churches of Macedonia as an example. The Macedonian churches, that included the congregations located at Phillipi, Thessalonica and Berea, had taken up an abundant contribution to be sent to relieve the suffering Christians of Jerusalem. It says in verses 2 and 3, that even though they were not rich themselves, they still gave liberally because they were willing of themselves. Verse 8 says that it is occasions such as this that Christians prove the sincerity of their love. In verses 10-12,we find Paul telling the Corinthian Christians that to plan and perform such a charitable task, they must have a willing mind.
Oh, the Godly accomplishments that can be achieved by any individual or group of people that have this attitude about a worthy project or endeavor. You are not required to be highly educated or rich. You don't have to be an accomplished leader and have a large following. What do you need? You must be willing!