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The Wonderful Church In The Wilderness
Too Many Gifts
God had done so much for Moses and the Hebrew people. And now at last God had asked them to do something for him. He had asked them to build a church. He had told Moses how he wanted it built - every single detail. And he had asked the people to bring their gifts willingly to build it. And they HAD brought their gifts WILLINGLY, and had piled them up in the center of camp. Now they were ready to get to work.
Of course it had to be a tent-church so the people could pack it up and carry it with them when they moved on. And of course Moses had to tell them just how to build it. "It's going to be a big job," said Moses. "Are you willing?"
"We are willing," they said. And then the excitement began!
The men got busy. They cut boards from acacia trees. They melted the jewelry down to big pots of gold and silver and brass. Some of them covered the boards with gold. Some of them made hooks of silver and bowls of brass. And some of them made a beautiful golden candlestick, and a table and an altar which were covered with gold.
The women got busy. They spun threads of purple and blue and red. They dyed rams' skins red.
The men got busy. They made ENORMOUS curtains - and used the threads of purple and blue and red to make beautiful designs in them.
The children got busy. Some of them carried things to the workmen. Some of them held the cloth for their mothers to sew. And some of them minded their baby brothers and sisters, so they wouldn't get in the way.
EVERYBODY was busy. And everybody was thinking, "Will God be pleased with his new Tabernacle?" They thought about it while they fastened the golden boards together. They thought about it while they hung the beautiful red and purple and blue curtains over the top. And while they put the goats' hair curtains over these to protect them. And the rams' skins over the goats' hair curtains. And the badgers' skins over all, so the rain wouldn't get in.
After the tent-church was all put together, they put the things inside - just the way God told Moses to put them.
First, in went the most special treasure of all. It was a golden box. They called it an Ark. And on the top of the Ark were two golden angels.
Then up went a very special curtain, right in front of the Ark.
And then in went the golden table and the golden altar and the golden candlestick.
And then up went the rest of the curtains. Everything was beautiful!
The whole TABERNACLE was beautiful. They stood back and looked at it. And waited. And wondered. Would God be pleased with it? And then -
The pillar of cloud that was up on top of the mountain began to move. It came down over the camp. Down, down, over the center of the camp, until -
It rested right over the top of the Tabernacle! God was pleased! God was THERE - right in his new tent-church!
And all the people knew that the Tabernacle was the most important part of the camp. It MUST be. GOD was there!

What if you had planned to play with your friends all your spare time and then you were asked to do something for your Sunday school class or your after-school Bible class or for the closing night of your Vacation Bible school, and it all came crowding in and interfering with your play. Would it be a hard decision for you to make? Do you suppose it might work out if you tried to do a little bit of each? How do you suppose you would figure it out?
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD" (Psalm 122:l).