God has brought his people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and to the Mountain of God. He has presented his Law, proclaimed his Gospel, and outlined the ceremonial rituals required for his Old Covenant worship. The Tabernacle has been funded, designed, constructed, and staffed, and it is almost time for worship to begin.
It is at this time that a huge offering is received. One can read of this in Numbers 7:
On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers’ houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached and brought their offerings before the Lord, six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two of the chiefs, and for each one an ox. They brought them before the tabernacle. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service.” So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites …
… And the chiefs offered offerings for the dedication of the altar on the day it was anointed; and the chiefs offered their offering before the altar. And the Lord said to Moses, “They shall offer their offerings, one chief each day, for the dedication of the altar.” … This was the dedication offering for the altar on the day when it was anointed, from the chiefs of Israel: twelve silver plates, twelve silver basins, twelve golden dishes, each silver plate weighing 130 shekels and each basin 70, all the silver of the vessels 2,400 shekels according to the shekel of the sanctuary, the twelve golden dishes, full of incense, weighing 10 shekels apiece according to the shekel of the sanctuary, all the gold of the dishes being 120 shekels; all the cattle for the burnt offering twelve bulls, twelve rams, twelve male lambs a year old, with their grain offering; and twelve male goats for a sin offering; and all the cattle for the sacrifice of peace offerings twenty-four bulls, the rams sixty, the male goats sixty, the male lambs a year old sixty. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed. And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.
These offerings were to be given by Israel’s leaders. They were to give with happy, thankful, and worshipful hearts. God had taken from slavery and had granted them some measure of wealth, and they were to enjoy giving a portion of their newfound wealth back to God in grateful worship.
And what was to be done with these offerings?
Certain portions of their offerings were to be consumed in the act of worship.
Certain portions were to be used to provide for the physical needs of God’s house.
And the rest were to be given to the ministers to assist them in providing for their families.
Friends, I would like to say, “Thank you!”
Thank you for giving of your time to serve your King and expand his kingdom.
Thank you for giving of your spiritual gifts in service to God’s family.
Thank you for giving of your effort in being the church and serving as parachurch ministers.
Thank you for giving of your children as you have sent them out as missionaries to serve across the land and around the world.
Thank you for giving of your emotions as you have suffered, mourned, and supported those in dire straits.
Thank you for giving of your possessions as you sensed the Lord leading you to love another.
Thank you for giving of your comfort and ease as you evangelized and shared God’s Gospel with the lost.
And thank you for giving of your finances. Because you have shared the wealth given you by God, churches have been constructed, ministries have been funded, and ministers have been enabled to study deeper, write more, preach better, and shepherd their flocks more faithfully. And, in addition to all this, our families have been well taken care of.
You have been so generous each and every week, and for this I say, “Thank you!”