Humility and Obedience
Today’s reading: Exodus 34-36; Matthew 23:1-22
11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
So the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. Exodus 36:6b-7
Humility and obedience. These are two qualities usually in short supply. In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees turned religion into a way to attain prestige and honor in their society. They taught truth but exempted themselves from obedience to it. They were neither humble nor obedient.
By contrast, there was a time during the period following the exodus, during which the Israelites showed a notable degree of humility and obedience. When called upon to offer materials for the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the people went all out; so much so that the receiving of offerings had to be curtailed. There was more than enough. Their obedience and humility was demonstrated in generosity.
I participated in a capital funds drive in my church. It had some of the same characteristics of the collection for the tabernacle in Exodus 36. We heard stories of how empty nest moms were taking jobs in order to give more. Someone paid off a mortgage early, freeing up money for the project. Families delayed replacing their old cars in order to contribute. The fundraising consultant was surprised when his predictions for the pledge total and the actual giving follow-through were far exceeded by the congregation. The excitement and joy in the people was palpable as they saw the building take shape and then be filled for the dedication of the beautiful new facility.
What if humility and obedience flourished in our personal lives and in our congregations? Would God not be greatly glorified and the people more completely blessed? Pray that becomes reality.