We can give to God only that which He has first given to us, for all things come from Him: “Everything comes from you,” said David in his prayer, “ and we given only what comes from your hand” (1Chron.9:14).
The tabernacle was made from the freewill offerings of the people (Exodus 25:2). Not only did God create the materials that the people brought to Him (Isaiah 66:12). The people brought so much that Moses had to tell them to stop (Exodus 36:6-7).
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor.9:7).
Several different kinds of materials were needed: precious metals (gold, silver), copper, fabrics (yarn, fine linen, and goats’ hair), wood, skins, olive oil, spices and precious stones. It was a giving that left no one out. The gold, silver, spices and precious stones came from the rich; the blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and bronze, from another class; the goats’ hair from the poor. For those who had no substance to offer, there was the giving of skill and labor. This too was varied. Woodworkers, metal workers, weavers and embroiders—all had the share in the great work. And so it is in the work of the Lord today. Whether it’s for building the tabernacle in the Old Testament, building the church in the New Testament, or building our lives and ministries today, the Holy Spirit of God must equip us and enable us to do the job.
God appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to direct the work, for without leaders there would be chaos, but He called craftsman to volunteer to assist them ( Exodus 35:10) We are born with different abilities, and at conversion, we received different gifts from the Holy Spirit, to be used for the good of the church and the glory of God (1 Corinthians 12:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16; Romans 12).
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to will and to do for his good pleasure” (Phil.2:13).
The Jews built a tent that long turned to dust, but we’re helping to build “a habitation of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22) that will glorify God eternally.
It has been estimated that 5 tons of gold, 4 tons of silver, and 3 tons of copper (bronze, brass) was used in the tabernacle. Where did all this wealth come from? For one thing , the Jews had “plundered” the Egyptians before leaving the land (Exodus 12:35-36) and no doubt there was also spoils from the victory over the Amalek (Exodus 17:8-16). God saw to it that they had everything they needed to build the tabernacle just as He had designed it.