This post is Day 9 in a series of studies about “Gifts & Giving”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts about each verse and how you will be acting on each thought. Also, if you haven’t yet signed up to receive the notifications of new studies, you can do that today (the form is at the bottom of the page).
Gifts & Giving – Day 9
Please note that their giving was not because a charismatic leader had asked for offerings, (even though that may have been what happened). It was because God moved their hearts. They could not stop themselves from giving generously because they had sensed the presence of the Lord in the meeting.
Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
An Old Testament recording of a time when the Jewish people gave gifts to the Lord. That happened several times in the pre-Jesus era. On this occasion in Ezra’s time, the people were going to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. They were giving their time and energy, but the gifts came from others. Verse 6 above tells us that those who lived nearby gave much to help the building project.
Please note that their giving was not because a charismatic leader had asked for offerings, (even though that may have been what happened). It was because God moved their hearts. They couldn’t stop themselves from giving generously because they had sensed the presence of the Lord in the meeting.
That sort of thing still happens today in many Christian services across the world, and in Jewish synagogues too.
If we read on in the book of Ezra we find that all this happened during the time of King Cyrus (a Persian, not a jew!) and he brought out of his stores things that had been preserved from Nebuchadnezzar’s time.
Read Ezra chapter 1 to get more of the details of what had been saved from the previous temple.
Consider what you would give if you were asked to contribute to a church building project. Would it be finance or labour? Or would you not give because God doesn’t live in a building and you can worship Him anywhere?
Praise God for those who have given generously in the past so that we have churches to visit, special places to pray and meet together.
Thank God that He doesn’t need the buildings, but He is grateful for our generous hearts.