1 | Moses Explains the Laws
2-3 | Sabbath
4-9 | Collection from those willing to build the tabernacle
10-19 | A call for the skilled workers to come to build the tabernacle and all its furniture and clothing for the priests
20-29 | A freewill offering of “all the men and women whose heart was moved”
30-35 | God’s gifted workmen: Bezalel & Oholiab who taught others to do the work
The beginning of the chapter (v1-3) lays the foundation for the rest of the chapter, the importance of the Lord’s commandments, especially with regard to the Sabbath. This focus on the Sabbath is centered around the Tabernacle and worship, thus the rest of the chapter covers the collection of offerings given for the construction and on the individuals who were given skills by God’s Spirit to accomplish the construction and the ability to teach others the necessary skills.
I believe the key verse is found in verse 29.
Exodus 35:29 NASB The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the LORD had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the LORD.
It is interesting that when the census was taken in Exodus 30:11-16, each person was to give a half-shekel, regardless of their financial state, poor or rich.1 Here though, each person is giving according to what they had available to them. Some gave more, others less. In the census, God shows that each person is of equal value to God, but in this freewill offering, God has blessed each person differently, so each gives as their heart is moved.
The same is still true today. We might not be required to give a half-shekel to redeem ourselves but there was one sacrifice given for all, Jesus. His sacrifice is free to all who come to Him in faith, whether rich or poor. In response, each of us offer gifts to the service of the church as our hearts are moved. Paul notes that God wants us to give cheerfully.
2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Each Sunday we are given the opportunity to give to our hearts delight. Some will give more and other less as the Lord has blessed them. Worship, which giving is a part of, is meant to be a joyous time of celebrating our relationship with God, the creator and owner of the universe and all that is in it. So when you give, give with joy.
Lord God, we know that we are all equal in Your eyes but that You have blessed each of us differently. We pray that Your Spirit will guide our hearts as we worship You and give gifts to support the ministry of the church. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 – Parsons, John J. “Special Sabbaths of the Jewish Year.” Hebrew4Christians – www.hebrew4christians.com. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
_____ “Parashat Ki Tisa – Quick Summary.” Hebrew4Christians – www.hebrew4christians.com. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
Rich, Tracey R. “Judaism 101: Special Shabbatot.” Judaism 101 – www.jewfaq.org. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.