The whole people of God provide materials for the building. They do that “every morning”. It is good to start the day by bringing our contributions to the construction of the house of God. With us that can happen by offering ourselves and what we have. We make ourselves available and ask the Lord if He wants to use us that day to promote His work. That can be by speaking to someone about the Lord Jesus as Savior. It can also be by going somewhere to encourage someone.
The people are so willing to give that too much is brought. We also see this attitude among the poor believers in Macedonia who are held up by Paul as an example to the Corinthians (2Cor 8:1-51Now, brethren, we [wish to] make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,2that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.3For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, [they gave] of their own accord,4begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,5and [this], not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.). It is not an order or a commandment. On the contrary. We read from these believers in Macedonia that they begged Paul to favor them to give, in their desire to share in a service performed for other saints. Service is not only ‘serving with the Word’ but also by deed.
Paul can testify of them that they have given as much as they could, yes, that they have given more than they could actually give. They came to this because giving was a favor for them. Giving is a privilege and not a duty. Anyone who sees this in this way is not dependent on his money. The Lord Jesus Himself said that you become happier in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:3535In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”). What the Macedonians gave even exceeded Paul’s expectations.
What secret lies behind such generosity? This is the secret: “They first gave themselves to the Lord” (2Cor 8:55and [this], not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.). Whoever first gives himself to the Lord in complete surrender, has no difficulty in giving away his earthly possessions. Whoever is full of the Lord trusts Him that He can provide all that is necessary, for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains” (Psa 24:11A Psalm of David.
The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
Are these examples of willingness – from Israel and the Macedonians – not embarrassing for us? By God’s grace and by His Word and Spirit we may know so much more about Who He is; by His grace we have been brought into a much more intimate relationship with Him; we are as a church most intimately connected to the Lord Jesus; we may know that the church is the dwelling place of God in the Spirit – and what do we do with this knowledge? Does it lead us to make all our time, powers and resources available to the Lord Jesus?
The call to us is: “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord” (1Cor 15:5858Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord.). The Lord Jesus says: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37-3837Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.38Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”). Someone once said that too much has to be done by too few. That is more indicative of the current situation than the one we find here with Israel. It is to be hoped that today we will follow their example.
Then comes the statement that there is no need to give more. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor 9:77Each one [must do] just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.). Giving is His nature. When we give, we act according to His nature. If He finds that enough has been given, He lets you know.
Voluntary gifts are also used for the construction of the temple. David praises the LORD that He has put this voluntariness in his heart and the heart of His people (1Chr 29:1414“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.).