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Too Many Gifts
Too Many Gifts
A journey through the wilderness!
And the most wonderful part of that journey was the pillar of cloud. No matter what happened to Moses and the Hebrew people, it was always there. When it moved, they followed it. And when it stopped - they stopped and put up their tents. It was low enough for them to see. But not low enough for them to reach. They couldn't touch it, or get up inside it to see what it was like. It was a great mystery. It looked as if nobody was EVER going to really get close to that cloud. But one day - somebody did! And that somebody was Moses!
It happened this way.
One day, they saw a great mountain in the distance. The pillar of cloud went toward the mountain. Closer, closer. And the people followed. And then the cloud got right on TOP of the mountain - and stopped. The people all stopped too, and put up their tents, and camped all around the foot of the mountain. It was Mount Sinai.
One day, after they were all settled, Moses told the people he was going up into the mountain - alone. He said good-by, and they watched him go -
climbing up, up, UP
and getting smaller
and smaller and SMALLER -
until he was just a speck. And then he was gone - swallowed up in the cloud!
Moses was gone for one day - two days - ten days - TWENTY days. What could God be saying to him in all that time? Twenty-five days - thirty days. It must be important. Thirty-five days - FORTY days. And then they saw him coming back.
It WAS important! God wanted them to build a church!
"A tent-church," said Moses. "It's to be called a Tabernacle. And God wants you to bring your gifts to build it. He told me all the things we would need. Are you willing?"
"Yes!" they shouted.
"All right," said Moses. "But God wants gifts only from people who are willing."
"We are willing!" they said, as they remembered the Red Sea and the manna and the cloud and all the things God had done for them. And they hurried to their tents to bring out their gifts.
As the days went by the workmen got to work measuring and cutting boards. And the gifts poured into the center of camp. Gold and silver and rings and bracelets and earrings and pins. And rams' skins and badgers' skins and goats' skins and goats' hair cloth and red cloth and blue cloth and purple cloth -
"Stop!"
Moses held up his hands to the people. "Stop," he said. "My workmen tell me you are bringing in so many gifts, they cannot use them all! Stop! Don't bring any more!"
And it was true. The gifts were piled so high, there were more than they needed to build their tent-church. And God knew the people loved him. Because every gift was brought by a WILLING giver!

THINK!
What would you do if you'd saved up enough money for a new kite or a new doll and then you found out that your church needed money to build some new rooms? Do you think God would expect you to give all of it? Some of it? How much? What if you gave it all because your mother asked you to, but you weren't really WILLING? What do you really think God expects?
A VERSE TO LEARN
"God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7).