Free Will Offering
We discover in the scripture that God ask for a free will offering to help build the wilderness tabernacle. A world wide phenomena is taken place. People of all nations as quietly bringing there wealth to Israel to help build the next Temple.
As I was reading this week’s portion, Vayakhel; it struck me how each one of the Children of Israel had a personal stake in building a place where he promised… “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”. This would be a Tabernacle, a replica of his Holy Sanctuary in Heaven. In Exodus 35:5; ‘Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.
After he asked for their Freewill offerings, he asked for their Talent. In verse 10, “‘All who are gifted artisans among you shall come and make all that the Lord has commanded”… So the Israelites gave of their most prized possessions, their gold and silver, then they had the opportunity to give of their God given talent. What a Blessing!
In the last 3500 years, God’s people have had the opportunity to bring their God given talent, and their Freewill offerings to build his Holy Sanctuary, three times. Approximately 490 years after the building of the Tabernacle, Solomon would build a permanent sanctuary for the presence of God. Again through the direction of King Solomon, the people would get involved in one of the greatest building projects of all time. Not only were Israelites involved, but aliens who had come to live in the land where involved in the building of the Temple. Contributions came from all over the world in the form of gold, silver and bronze, and other items. Many of these raw materials weren’t found in abundance within the land of Israel, so they had to be brought in from other nations. A foreign nation such as Tyre assisted in sending their great cedar trees in building this incredible Sanctuary for God.
When the Temple was finished, 2 Chronicles 23-24 said “ and all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. Each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by year. Did you read that, “all the kings of the Earth”. Many of these King’s came not just to here the God given Wisdom of Solomon, but to see where their Freewill offerings had gone to, and what kind of God would be worth building something so incredible. It was estimated that over 1.5 to 2 billion dollars of gold was coming into Israel year by year, much of it for God’s Holy Sanctuary.
Approximately 450 years later, Israel had a chance to rebuild God’s Temple after the Babylonians had it destroyed. In Ezra 2 it says that: “Some of the heads of the fathers’ houses, when they came to the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God, to erect it in its place: According to their ability, they gave to the treasury for the work sixty-one thousand gold drachmas, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priestly garments.
So what is the message we can glean from these three events? When building the House of God, we all have a chance to be involved; to give of our treasure, and of our talent. So how about today, how can we get involved in such an event? Did you know in Ezekiel 40:4-5, the Prophet Ezekiel tells us we will have a chance to do this again?
…“And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” Now there was a wall all around the outside of the temple. In the man’s hand was a measuring rod six cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod.
Ezekiel was talking about our time. We will see for the 4th time God’s Sanctuary being built. So I asked myself this week how can I get involved, I’m not in Israel I’m thousands of miles away, what can We do. Then I remembered a couple of years ago a Gentlemen named Chaim Richman came to Houston, and did a presentation on the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple. He showed us the many articles, such as the breast plate, the priestly garments and other objects that had already been made. So I decided to go to the Temple Institute website, and saw these words: “Help Rebuild the Holy Temple – in Our Time! I clicked on the donate button and saw something that would blow me away….All the Nations, and the individuals from those nations that had been involved in giving toward the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple. Check the image below to view the worldwide membership of the Institute–
As you can see, people from over 60 nations have contributed to the rebuilding of God’s Holy Temple. What a parallel to the time of Solomon, when Israelites from the land, and their colonies, as well as God fearing Gentiles, gave so freely! What a Blessing!