• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 30, 2021

Daily Reading: Exodus 36-38

Exodus 36:7

For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

Something you will probably never hear a pastor say: "Don't bring any more offerings, we have enough, and too much." Here the people of Israel are in the wilderness with no hope of obtaining more stuff. Yet they brought so much stuff that they had enough to build the Tabernacle and all of its accoutrements. They gave to this special building project willingly, and the builders had enough to do the job and then some. At this point God must have been so real to them. They saw His miracles, heard His warnings, received His commandments, and observed Him in the cloudy pillar that stood in door of the tabernacle speaking with Moses. So real to them that they gave willingly, they gave enough and even had to be restrained from giving.

From time to time in our church we raise money for special projects. These special projects range from remodeling projects to benevolence needs. One time, years ago, we had man in our services whose father was a pastor. During the Sunday evening service we had a need of raising $3,000 to pay for an unexpected repair of some sort. I announced the need and also announced that my wife and I would give a certain amount toward the need, someone raised their hand and said they would give so much, another person raised their hand with their pledge, on and on this went for about five minutes until the $3,000 was raised so I cut it off even though there were others that had their hands up. Why continue, the need was met. I told all of those who had not pledged yet that I would get them next time.

After that, the service continued as usual. Later the man who was visiting our church said this to me: "If my dad did that at his church they would fire him!" I responded that this was not routine, I've only done that maybe two times in the 12 years that I had been their pastor. It is not something that I take advantage of, and the folks knew that. We have a budget and operate by it, but this was an urgent need. The young man still could not believe it. The biggest thing he could not believe is that I stopped the offerings once the needed amount was satisfied. This has happened a time or two since then, it is exceedingly rare. Perhaps that is why the people of our church always respond kindly to all special requests.

You may think that this story is related to make me look like the hero of the story. It's not. The heroes are the people who respond. The hero is the Lord who allows His people to have abundance from which to give. The hero of the events in Exodus was not Moses, but in this instance it was the people, and in all instances it was the Lord. The heroes of any local church are its members that do the work, pay the bills, say the prayers, and live according to the teachings of Christ. Amen to that!

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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