Week of Monday, February 14 – Sunday, February 20
Generosity – Man as Provider

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats' hair, tanned rams' skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” – Exodus 25:1-8 ESV

Pastor James Moore of Houston, Texas, tells a story about a young man whose wife had died, leaving him with their small son. Back home from the cemetery, they went to bed early because there was nothing else he could bear to do. As they lay there in the darkness, grief-stricken and heartbroken, the little boy broke the stillness, occasionally asking questions such as, “Why isn’t she here?” and, “When is she coming back?” Finally, the little boy said, “Daddy, if your face is toward me, I think I can go to sleep now.” In a little while, he was quiet. The father lay there in the darkness, and then in childlike faith, prayed this prayer: “O God, I don’t see how I can survive this. The future looks so miserable, but if your face is toward me, somehow I think I can make it.”

Life and its harsh realities can overwhelm the strongest of men. I personally have known the misery and the loneliness of battlefields, but I can honestly tell you that God desires to be near us even in the most difficult moments of life. I have cried out to God and I have experienced His presence and peace during the fiercest of conflicts! I have known what David testified to, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…” What God says to Israel, He says to you, “I want to dwell in your midst.”

The tabernacle was to be God’s dwelling place. He gave Moses specific instructions as to the building materials, dimensions, etc. God also made it clear that the people had a role to play in the construction of this place of worship—they were to provide the building materials and finances. We too have a role to play in contributing to God’s work. Obviously, God doesn’t live in a tent, He lives in the hearts of His people. It involves not only placing our trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, it involves our surrender to His Lordship, making Him not just resident in our heart, but president in our heart. When that happens, everything we are and have is at His disposal, including our finances.  
Notice in the text that Moses was to receive a contribution “From every man whose heart moves him.” As men, we are to set the pace and provide the example when it comes to generosity. Those in our charge need to see us giving from a grateful heart, recognizing that “every good and perfect gift” comes from God (James 1:17). This is one of many ways we can be the spiritual provider for our families.

Let’s go back to that tabernacle or tent they were to contribute toward building. It was to be the place where they met with God, as He put it: “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst” (v. 8). The apostle John writes of the Lord Jesus Christ coming into the world: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In this verse, the word “dwelt” can be translated “tabernacled,” or literally, “pitched His tent.” Think of how amazing that is, men! The very Son of God pitching His tent among us! The very God of heaven still desires to be close to us… to be close to you, and close to your family. 
As you get closer to God, you find that He is the ultimate generous Giver. The simplest statement of the Gospel begins: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” John 3:16). So model that giving spirit with your tribe. Show some generosity.
  • When you read about the example of these Hebrew slaves out in the desert, giving sacrificially to the work of God, what does that inspire you to do when it comes to giving?
  • How are you providing an example of generosity to those in your charge? What steps can you take to improve in that area?
  • The gracious and generous God of heaven desires to fill your life with His presence and use you to provide an example to those around you. Pray that His giving heart will become yours.