December 23, 2021
21 These are the amounts of the materials used for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the covenant law, which were recorded at Moses’ command by the Levites under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. 22 (Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything the Lord commanded Moses; 23 with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan—an engraver and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.) 24 The total amount of the gold from the wave offering used for all the work on the sanctuary was 29 talents and 730 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel.
25 The silver obtained from those of the community who were counted in the census was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel— 26 one beka per person, that is, half a shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, from everyone who had crossed over to those counted, twenty years old or more, a total of 603,550 men. 27 The 100 talents of silver were used to cast the bases for the sanctuary and for the curtain—100 bases from the 100 talents, one talent for each base. 28 They used the 1,775 shekels to make the hooks for the posts, to overlay the tops of the posts, and to make their bands.
29 The bronze from the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. 30 They used it to make the bases for the entrance to the tent of meeting, the bronze altar with its bronze grating and all its utensils, 31 the bases for the surrounding courtyard and those for its entrance and all the tent pegs for the tabernacle and those for the surrounding courtyard.
The estimates on the value of the metals used in the tabernacle show a value of at least $1 Million (in today’s values). While a large number for the production of this collection of items for worship and the spaces for worship, it looks more manageable when we note the census of the people is 603,550. Or each giving about $1.65 today. Even rounding it up to a Toonie ($2cdn), it means we gave up a cup of coffee.
Yet it is the bigger reminder of who holds the resources that are needed for all of life. These people have left Egypt, where they were slaves. Not having much, mostly living in poverty, and as they are still walking in the desert between places they are able to take up an offering of this enormous value. And we can look back at the fact that they had this because the Egyptians were so eager to get them out that the people were given jewelry and other items as they went. God gave them the resources from the ones who had held them in slavery.
While we might think that people today who have more than enough resources to live on would not have great concern about money, it turns out that it is still one of the greatest concerns of most people. For some it is due to not being satisfied. Rockefeller, who was worth 1% of the US economy, was asked, “How much is enough?” He replied, “Always a little bit more.” It never seems to be enough.
But we see that there is always enough, and more to share with others. God has it all set in place, whether it is the money needed that sits in our wallets or just what we need for the day or week ahead. I think the story that should set us all in the right direction is from Connie as she went to Colombia. She met one of the children we sponsor through Compassion. While they were on a bus between places she gave him a pack of gum. As they got off the bus he started passing out pieces to others. Because he had more than enough, he had to share with others. And we all have that collective “AWW!” But as we live in our abundance, and as we see the abundance given to each other, may we remember the ones in need and share with them over these final days of the year.
Song – Breath of Heaven
O Mighty One, you have done and are doing great things for us, and holy is your name. Bless all we offer you—ourselves, our time, and our possessions — that through us your grace and favor may be made known to all the world, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
*For some examples of organizations that help others in need around the world:
World Renew (Canada)
World Renew (USA)