Chapter-a-Day Exodus 38

Des_moines_floodedGold. The total amount of gold used in construction of the Sanctuary, all of it contributed freely, weighed out at 1,900 pounds according to the Sanctuary standard. Exodus 38:24 (TM)

In 1993, most of the state of Iowa was under water from unprecedented floods. Des Moines was without water for ten days. During those long days, I spent a lot of time volunteering my time with the Red Cross relief efforts. Many families lost their homes and everything they had. Businesses were leveled. Entire communities were devastated.

The national media coverage brought in a lot of contributions from individuals and corporations. I remember tanker trucks of fresh water just appearing. The driver would just say that some town, business, church or organization had paid him to haul the water to Des Moines. No questions asked. No thanks required. I also witnessed as other groups dangled large donation checks in front of the Red Cross, agreeing to contribute only if the Governor of Iowa would accept the check in front of a public audience with all the media present. These groups weren’t contributing to people in need, they were buying some good PR.

Nineteen hundred pounds of gold were used in the making of the Tent of Meeting that the Hebrews would carry through the desert on their way to the promised land. If we were to calculate that much gold at today’s price, it works out to just over 26 million dollars worth. That’s a lot of gold. It may have been worth even more by the standards of Moses’ day because they had no paper money or coinage. It was their currency, and today’s chapter says they "contributed freely."

God is honored when we contribute freely that which is of great worth to us. Later in His Message we are told that He loves a "cheerful giver". Even more than the value of the gift itself, the attitude of our hearts as we give is vitally important. Do we give freely with no thank needed – no questions asked – no one needing to know? Or do we give with the desire of creating a little personal PR, a spiff, a little something back?

Photo of 2008 flood courtesy of the Des Moines Register.

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