All For Him

Parashat Terumah (Donation)
Shemot (Exodus) 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26-6:13

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. And this is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.”

In the above Scripture we find a very important principle that I tend to reflect upon a lot, which is that it is all about God; it is all from God but it is also all for God.

The fact is that God is the Creator of the world; everything belongs to Him and He can do with it as He desires. God entrusted us with the riches of this world and an important question that each of us ought to ask ourselves is, “For what purpose?”

While God instructed Moses to tell Israel to take a donation for Him, it was not the riches that He desired, but the heart of each person who gave. He said that each person should give as His heart leads him.

Are you about God and His Kingdom? I believe that the obvious answer is yes, but in reality, is it really all about God and His Kingdom? The talents that God entrusted to you, are they all about God? One way to find out about it is, are you quick to receive the credit for the talents that God gave you or are you giving Him the credit?

The financial means that God has entrusted to you, are they truly for Him and about Him? As we know, God loves a cheerful giver, yet in many congregations around the world there needs to be a teaching about giving to meet the budget goals. I spoke recently to a good friend from the USA who leads a congregation. We spoke about the war in Israel and the reality that the tour company that we manage as a means of supporting Hope for Israel has no income at the moment, and that one of the sad realities we have seen is how quickly people can get nasty when it comes to their money. They don’t really care about our situation and all they see is themselves. My friend told me that, “You can be a very strong believer until it comes to your pocket i.e., your money”.

In the second part of the above Scripture, we read “And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” We cannot take for granted how amazing it is that the Creator of the universe wants to dwell with us. Yet, we should not lose site that it is because of us, but rather because of Himself. We are not the center - God is.

In the Haftarah portion we read once again that God desires to dwell among us:

Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, “As for this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will fulfill My word with you which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not abandon My people Israel.”
I Kings 6:11-13

As we can see, God’s amazing desire to dwell among us humans was and is still a reality, yet, we have made it about ourselves. We have made our salvation about us, thinking that we are privileged to know the truth, instead of humbly remembering that God is the reason for our salvation. We have unintentionally made sharing the Good News with others about ourselves with the constant pressure to produce numbers or even daring to take credit from Him when we share how many salvations, immersions, and any other thing that we do in His name.

In closing, I am calling on you to search your heart today; is your life really about God and His Kingdom, or about you? Let us all echo the heart’s cry of King David for our own lives:

Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalms 51:10

Shabbat Shalom,

Check out previous blogs on this parashah!

Did you know? — Lone Soldier

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