It was a plethora! In fact, the two lead craftsmen of the tabernacle said that they had, “more than enough for doing the work of the Lord” (Ex.36:5). What a statement to be made about God’s people. There was work to be done, there was a godly plan to be executed, and the people were right there with what was, “sufficient to do all the work, and more” (Ex. 36:5). How does that happen?
The Lord committed a charge. Through Moses, God had commanded that His work for the tabernacle be made by man and approved by God (see Ex.35:5-20). The God who could make water come from a rock surely could have made a gold vein appear in the same rock so it wouldn’t be a cost to His people. Yet, God commanded the people of His covenant to provide what was necessary for the building of the tabernacle. God commits His work to His people and the ability they have to provide that the work be done (2 Cor. 8-9). The work of God is dependent upon the generosity of His people in wanting that work to be done.
The hearts of the people were stirred. The events of Exodus 35-36 were after the golden calf debacle (Ex. 32). There the people gave for a purpose that was not glorifying to God but to their own selfishness. On this occasion, their hearts were stirred—they heard of the dwelling of God among them, they knew of the covenant represented, and they wanted to be a part of having God’s will done among them. Looking at the works we do by our giving, our hearts are stirred by the BEE of the work God has given us to do: Benevolence, Evangelism, and Edification (Gal. 6:9-10; Matt. 28:18-19; Eph. 4:11-ff).
The hearts of the people were willing. Notice how many times in Exodus 35-36, the hearts are under consideration (35:5, 21, 26, 29; 36:2). The peoples’ hearts were stirred, but that stirring led them to the action of willingness and giving. It is not enough to just feel something toward the work, it’s wholly different to commit yourself to the work. The people together did this. They didn’t count on one or two people or families, but the strength and generosity was seen in the collective of God’s people coming together and giving for His glory! How about us (2 Cor. 9:6-7)?