Sunday School Lesson – May 6, 2018, Giving From A Generous Heart
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: 1445 B.C.; probably A.D. 56 Place: Mount Sinai; Macedonia
Golden Text: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver – 2nd Corinthians 9:7).
Although we do not live under the Old Testament sacrificial system, we still are instructed to bring sacrifices to the Lord. Prominent among these is the sacrifice of our bodies then the sacrifice of our lips giving thanks to God for His goodness and mercy, thanking Him for giving His only begotten Son for us sins. Just as the Lord was pleased with the offering of animals in the Old Testament, He is pleased today by the different ways we bring praise to Him. The first lesson explores passages from the Old Testament to illustrate generosity, explain what generosity isLesson Outline: I. Generous Hearts – Exodus 35:20-21
Exodus 35:20 – And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. Moses asked people with various abilities to help with the Tabernacle. Every one of God’s people has been given special abilities. We are responsible to develop these abilities; even the ones considered “religious” and to use them for God’s glory. We can become skilled through study, by watching others, and through practice, practice makes perfect. When we work on our skills or abilities that could help our church or community, it brings glory to God and assistance for those who are in need. Moses asked the Israelites to bring gifts and offerings for the structure and furniture of the Tabernacle. Moses asked for skilled workmen to construct the Tabernacle, its furnishings and the priest’s garment. After Moses listed the materials needed to build and operate the Tabernacle, God’s dwelling place with Israel, the people went home to collect goods to donate.
Lesson Outline: II. Generous Offerings – Exodus 35:22-29
Exodus 35:21 – And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up. and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. Many people responded to Moses’ call for gifts and offerings. The people had a deep sense that what they brought was for the Lord and not just to build their place of worship. Everyone should have a willing heart to give, its not because the Lord needs its, everything on earth belongs to Him, but its to show an appreciation of our gratitude and love for the Lord. Those whose heart were stirred gave cheerfully to the Tabernacle, with great enthusiasm they gave because they knew how important their giving was to the completion of God’s house.
Exodus 35:22 – And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered and offering of gold unto the Lord. Both men and women participated in giving even in this patriarchal time. Giving toward the Tabernacle was strictly voluntary; only those whose heart stirred them were to give. God does not want us to do anything for Him grudgingly whether its our time, money, or our worship. They brought their best, gold earrings, rings, tablets everything made of gold they brought for an offering.
Exodus 35:23 – And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them. The Israelites also brought large amount of linen and animal skins for the Tabernacle. The “blue. and purple and scarlet” probably refers to the colored thread or yarn to be used in making the coverings for the Tabernacle and for the priest’ garment. They also gave silver, bronze, and wood, many of these objects were from the plunder they brought out of Egypt.
Exodus 35:24 – Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the Lord’s offering: and every man, with who was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it. The silver and bronze came from Egypt, the “shittim wood” or acacia wood was abundant in the dessert. This wood was used to make the ark of the testimony, the table of shewbread, the boards for the tabernacle, the altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense, the poles for carrying the articles of furniture, and the pillars. The bronze was used to make the laver and to overlay the altar of burnt offerings. The silver was used for the sockets on the boards.
Exodus 35:25 – And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. The women who were skilled in sewing, contributed to the preparation for the tabernacle by spinning blue, purple and scarlet yarn or thread into cloth and linen. This cloth was used for the coverings of the Tabernacle and for the veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place.
Exodus 35:26 – And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goat’s hair. Those who sewed and spun cloth made a beautifully contribution to the Tabernacle. Good workers take pride in the quality and beauty of their work. God is also concerned with the quality and beauty of what we do as well. Whether you are a corporate executive or cashier, your work should reflect the creative abilities God has given you.
Exodus 35:27 – And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. The leaders of Israel did their part by bringing onyx stones to be used in the ephod and breastplate for the priest. The two onyx stones in the ephod were engraved with the names of the tribe of Israel. The leaders also brought spices and oil for the lampstand, for the oil used to anoint the priests, and for the incense used on the altar of incense. The Tabernacle pieces were Ark of the Covenant (A golden rectangular box that contained the Ten Commandments. Place of Mercy Seat , the lid to the Ark of the Covenant that symbolized the presence of God among His people. Table Showbread, a wooden table located in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. The Bread of the Presence and various utensils were kept on this table. Bread of Presence, Twelve loaves of baked bread, one for each tribe of Israel. Symbolized the spiritual nourishment God offers His people. Lampholders and Lamps, a golden lampstand located in the Holy Place that held seven burning oil lamps. The lampstand were lighted in the Holy Place for the priest. Incense Altar, was an altar in the Holy Place in front of the veil; used for burning God’s special incense and symbolic of acceptable prayer. Anointing Oil, A special oil used to anoint the priests and all the pieces in the Tabernacle. Altar for the Burnt Offerings, bronze altar outside the Tabernacle used for the sacrifices, symbolized how sacrifice restored one’s relationship with God. Basin was a large basin outside the Tabernacle used by the priests to cleanse themselves before performing their duties. It symbolized the need for spiritual cleansing. The Israelites gave everything that was needed for the Tabernacle to operate effectively.
Exodus 35:28 – And spice, and oil for the light and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. Each person gave willing, they didn’t wait to see if someone else would give so they wouldn’t have to. Anytime there is work done for the Lord, people should have a heart to give to further the work of the ministry.
Exodus 35:29 – The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. The Israelites brought all these gifts as “willing offering unto the Lord” They gave freely and generously for the construction of the Tabernacle. They were not stingy, their generous giving was their way of giving praise to the Lord for His deliverance from Egypt and for His provision for their needs. The Lord has delivered every true Christian from “Egypt” which symbolize the secular world and daily He’s providing our needs. We should be like the Israelites give with a willing heart and generously.
Lesson Outline: III. Generous Gifts – 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8
2nd Corinthians 9:6 – But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Paul reminded the Corinthians to fulfill the committment they had already made to collect a financial gift to send to the church in Jerusalem. Paul was sending a few men ahead of him to make sure their gift was ready so it would be a real gift and not look like people had to give under pressure at the last minute. People may hesitate to give generously to God if they worry about having enough money left over to meet their own needs. Some don’t give because of what they have heard of the ministry or other ministries. When giving we shouldn’t look at it as giving to a person but to God. God gives to us for us to give to others that are in need. When it comes to the household of faith, we should have giving hearts. It takes money to run a ministry, if no one gives the ministry will fold up and that’s exactly what Satan wants for every ministry that is feeding the people of God with the Word of God. The person gives only a little will receieve only a little in return. Giving is not just monetarily, but it involves every area of our lives and being.
2nd Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purpose in heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Our attitude when we give is more important than the amount we give. We don’t have to be embarrassed if we can only give a small gift. God is concerned about how we give from the resources we have. Apostle Paul has urged the believers to set aside some money on the first day of every week to give; doing it that way, the believer has intentionally purposed to give. When we want to purchase furniture or a new dress or a pair of shoes, we intentionally set money aside to be able to purchase what we want. It should be the same purpose to give to the ministry that is feeding you spiritual food, it should be a purpose for every Christian to give to those they see that are in need.
2nd Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. If we give, God is able to give us more so that we can perform other good works. In other words, God sees to it that the generous giver will not suffer want. Instead, God generously provide for those who give so that they can continue to do so. When we think of how much God has given us in forgiving our sins and making us His children, any material thing we can give is very small indeed. It doesn’t even come close to what God has done for us and is doing for us daily. Even our thanks throughout all eternity will be in adequate, but because we praise Him by giving our bodies as a living sacrifice, praising Him with our hearts and mouths open for praise, as well as giving of our time and money is acceptable to God when we do it with a cheerful heart and a heart of gratitude.