Fundamental Baptist Institute

GOSPEL ADDRESSES ON THE TABERNACLE.

By David Little

Chapter 4

IV.    THE MATERIAL USED,  AND WHO FURNISHED IT?

AND this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and tams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,. oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate." (Ex. 25:3-7.) The gold used was a little more than one ton, four hundred pounds; the silver, four tons, four hundred pounds; the brass, about the same weight as the silver. Then there were the textile fabrics, blue, purple, scarlet, fine twined linen, and goats' hair; and rams' skins died red, and badgers' skins; and shittim wood, the amount of which we are not told. Each of these things has a spiritual significance, as we shall see in pursuing our study of the tabernacle.

Who furnished the material? "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that THEY BRING ME an offering; of every man that giveth it WILLINGLY WITH HIS HEART, ye shall take my offering." (Ex. 25:1) In these words we learn 'from whom God can or will accept anything; and surely the knowledge of this truth is of vital importance in these days, when men have so far departed from it.

Before God could or would accept any thing from them they must be of " the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL," brought into that relationship by birth, thus standing as God's recognized earthly people. Being recipients of this wonderful grace, they could, then, show their appreciation of it by giving to Him in return,-giving, not to become His, but because they were His. Recognizing their relationship to Jehovah, they could then furnish the material for His dwelling place in their midst.

Oh, dear reader, are you numbered among God's heavenly people? Have you been BORN FROM ABOVE? Listen to what the Lord says, "Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, Except a man be born from above (margin), he cannot see the kingdom of God. .. . Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again." (John iii. 3, 7.) Before God can accept any thing from you, you must be brought into this blessed relationship with Him.

You may be very respectable and exceedingly religious, yet be as ignorant of the new birth as was Nicodemus.

A person once asked me to go to see a man who was near death, saying, "You will find him a religious Pharisee," and so I did. I read to him this portion of Scripture, and tried to show' him all that Nicodemus was as a man, with all he had been doing in order to be right with Go4, and how Christ, in a few words, showed him that all his doings did not avail any thing; that he" must be born again."

The man looked at me, and, in an angry tone, asked, "What more could he do for salvation?"

"Ah"' I said, "my dear friend, that is where he made a terrible mistake. He was, and has been, doing too much. He must now stop his doing; stand still; own his helplessness, and then look, not at himself, but at an object that would impart life to him; and the blessed Lord drew his attention to a scene with which he was very familiar,-'And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life."' (John 3:14-15.)

With a sad heart I had to leave that dying man clinging to his works, like a dead man clinging, when he sank, to the last thing he could lay hold of, though it were only a straw. Oh, my dear reader, are you still entertaining the thought that you must do something to obtain life? What had the bitten Israelites to do? Look and live. Not even life for a look, but life in a look. Yes, the moment they looked at God's remedy, they got natural life; the instant you look to Christ-to Christ ALONE,-not Christ and something else,-that instant you will be made a recipient of eternal life. .0, look and live! Then, being "born from above," you will get a place among God's heavenly people; and not until then will you be allowed to give to Him.

I know there are many who will try to get you, while still unsaved, to give to various religious movements, leaving the impression on your mind that God will accept from you, and that it will be so much put to your account. Heed them not; flee, flee from their presence, and listen to what God says,-" The SACRIFICE of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. The WAY of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. . . . The THOUGHTS of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 15:8, 9, 26.) Look at those three things, the "SACRIFICE" of the wicked, his "WAYS," and his "THOUGHTS, all, all "an abomination to God;" all defiled with sin. The word of God gives no uncertain sound on this important question. In Rom. viii. 7, 8, we read," Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indee4 can be. So then they that are in the flesh CANNOT PLEASE GOD."

A large number of persons who were "in the flesh" came to Jesus one day and said to Him, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (John vi. 28, 29.) Yes, dear unsaved reader, your first work, and the only work ACCEPTABLE to God, is to cast yourself - a lost, ruined sinner - upon Christ as a Saviour, accept Him, believe on Him; and the instant you do, you will be accepted in Him and have eternal life.

God says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He, in His infinite grace and mercy, wants to take the place of giver, and He wants you to be a receiver. "The less is blessed of the better." (Heb. vii. 7.) Are you "the better," that you want God to accept something from you before you accept from Him? Oh, give Him His proper place, the place He delights to fill! Mary gave Him that place; she had the "one thing needfu4" that is, a capacity to receive; then she chose "that good part," that is, to sit at His feet as a receiver and give Him His proper place as a giver. Oh, how precious to the soul to know God as a giver!

We are told that at the time of the Reformation, when Bibles were very scarce, a little girl, passing through the printing-office where they were being printed, picked up a small piece of paper and read, "God so loved the world that He gave" . This was all, but it brought new light to her heart; it presented God as a giver. She read it over and over again; she put it in her bosom, and daily she would take it out and read it. It wrought a marvelous change in her thoughts about God, and now her life became a life of joy. Her mother noticed the wonderful change in her daughter's life, and one day asked her the cause of it. She drew out the slip of paper and handed it to her mother, saying, "There, mother, that is the cause." They came to the conclusion that it must be a portion of God's word. They procured a Bible, and after much searching discovered the verse, and were overwhelmed with joy when they read what He had given :-" For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16.) I am exceedingly anxious that you shall know God as a giver. When the prodigal came home, had he anything to offer his father that he could accept? All he had was a ruined character, a misspent life-a life of shame and sin; but with an open confession of this on his lips, coming from a broken heart and a crushed spirit, he threw himself into the outstretched arms of his father, and allowed his father to occupy the place of a giver. Here the less was blessed of the better. The best robe, the ring, the shoes, the father's bosom to nestle in, the father's home, with the fatted calf and feasting and dancing,-expressions of joy,-all, all were his the moment he took his place as a needy one who had nothing to give, and accorded his father his proper place as a giver. Was it not the delight of the father's heart to minister bountifully to that dear son? Oh yes; and it is the delight of GOD'S heart to minister to all who come to Him as needy ones. Come, then, at once as a sinner; come with your need; come as you are; come with your sins in one hand and Christ and His work in the other, and say, truthfully,

"Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee-

O, Lamb of God. I come."

and Christ says, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast. out." (John 3:37)

Here, then, is God's own people, sheltered by blood, redeemed by power, brought to Himself, now offering to Him willingly from the heart,-offering to Him out of their abundance or out of their poverty. Be it little or be it much, if it were nothing but a handful of white goats' hair, it was accepted. "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 the holy garments. 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 an offering of gold unto the Lord. 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. Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the Lord's offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it." (Ex. 35:21-24) "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The. people. bring. much more than enough for the service of the .work." (Ex. 36:5.) What. beautiful grace! not merely enough, but "much more than enough !" No fairs or festivals, no unholy, unscriptural means used to obtain it, but the blessed outflow of willing hearts their persons stripped of ornament bracelets, earrings, and jewels, all willingly given up to prepare a sanctuary for Jehovah. May the Lord grant, at the present day, more of this blessed grace unto His people!

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