As the people of Israel make their journey out of Egypt toward the land God promised their forefathers, there’s a moment in the book of Exodus when Moses receives instruction on building the sacred space of the Tabernacle. The furnishings are to be ornate and the finishes opulent. Where will these things come from?
This is what the LORD commanded: from what you have, take an offering for the LORD… (Exodus 35:4b-5a; emphasis mine)
The people give so much precious metal, stone, fabric, and other expensive gifts that they actually have to be told to stop giving because their gifts are too much! Amazing!
But think about this for a moment: how could a group of wandering, refugee slaves be in possession of such great wealth?
The answer is found earlier in the story:
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:35-36)
Did you catch what happened?
The objects of their captivity—the marks of wealth, power, and prestige worn & used by the oppressors of the Israelite people—were fantastically redeemed. No longer objects of slavery, they were now objects of worship to the God who grants freedom.
I wonder what symbols of our own brokenness and captivity—things we carry with us which serve as painful reminders of the past—God is even now desiring to redeem…to use as demonstrations of his power to rescue and make new.
This note was originally sent to our prayer team at SLW as we lean into a new month and ministry season. We’ll be praying for many to find freedom and new life in this season. We’ll also be asking the Holy Spirit to show us where, out of what we have and what we have experienced, we can give open-handedly to Him and watch as he redeems our story. I hope you’ll join in!