Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. (Exodus 25:1-2)
Anyone who grew up in church or who has spent any time in church knows what an “offering” is — it’s giving of our means in order to finance the work of the ministry. However, when we look at the Hebrew scriptures, one quickly discovers that, in the Sanctuary, there were many different types of offerings and gifts besides what was to be given as tithes.
In this verse, the Hebrew term is terumah which can mean an “offering” or “portion.” It springs from the root word that means to “uplift” or something that is “lifted off and separated” — in this case to be given to the cause of the Tabernacle. The use of this word is to indicate that the components of the Tabernacle would be constructed of the possessions the people of God separated from their goods and “lifted” to a higher purpose — a purpose that would allow for the entire nation to be “lifted up.” Thus we understand that when God’s people lift up an offering unto the LORD, it has the ability to lift up the entire Body when God’s purposes are being fulfilled.
It is also important to see that, as it is with everything pertaining the the Kingdom of Heaven, God wanted only those who had a willing heart to participate in this contribution. When God has our hearts, He has our minds and, if our minds are His, our actions will support His will. So it is with contributing to the work of the ministry; willing hearts and willing hands bring God’s purposes to fruition and so, as Paul reminded us all: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Blessings and Shalom,