Exodus 35, verse 21, begins the story of the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness at the peoples’ expense. It says, “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.” Verse 22, goes on, “So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every one dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord.”

This is one of the happiest and busiest scenes in the story of the Exodus. The sheer pleasure of working for the Lord and giving to the Lord brought great unity, contentment, happiness and success to the ex-slaves who were forced to do hard labor for Pharaoh. They now gave willingly, worked diligently, and served joyously of their own free will. This is not a nation of slaves, forced to give up their precious time and few possessions, but a grateful people giving without grudging to their great, loving, redeeming God.

The only thing they were “restrained” from doing, was bringing any more offerings!  Chapter 36, verses 6 and 7 record Moses command. It says, “Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, ‘Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.”

Ogilvie says, “This is a beautiful picture of how God’s people should respond to God’s call. But it is especially an inspiring picture of what the church could be if people were faithful in their stewardship.”