Crystal Writes A Blog

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Stone Soup


Do you remember the children’s story called “Stone Soup”? It’s one of those stories that seems to have stuck with me from childhood forward. I’ve always believed in the idea that anything can be accomplished if only people will stop being selfish and will pull together as one. We have Scriptures that tell us that, like where Paul talks about all the members of the body being one, and we teach our kids to sing songs like “If We All Will Pull Together,” but when it comes down to it, it’s a struggle to find people who will share for the greater good.

In today’s reading from Exodus 38:1 through Exodus 39:1, we read more about the furnishings and utensils created by Bezalel and Oholiab. Yesterday, we read that the people of Israel actually gave too much, and the craftsmen had to tell them to stop bringing their offerings. Today, we actually get a breakdown of the donations and offerings the people brought in. I won’t give you the entire breakdown, but the metals given weighed in at the following amounts: Gold equaled 1930 pounds, silver equaled 6650 pounds, and bronze equaled 4680 pounds.

Now, while all of those above numbers sound like a lot of metal, (and they would be a lot of metal when it came time to carry the tabernacle from one location to another), today’s reading also does a quick census and tells us that of men 21 years old and over, there were over six-hundred-thousand. It goes on to say that the silver offering only came to about one-fifth of an ounce per person. From this we can see that when everyone comes together to give for a common cause, the needs will be more than met, and it may not even cost that much from each individual giver.

I think the thing that makes me the saddest here is that the government has gotten too involved in our giving. Their ways of forcing us to give by over-taxing to pay for things we may or may not believe in has caused people to pull even more into themselves instead of being the givers God created us to be. Even the Egyptians were giving people and sent Israel off with much of the gold they’re probably now giving. Now we’re at a point where we can’t really fight it, so at the least, I think it’s time for Christians to begin praying that our giving (no matter how compelled) will somehow be used to provide for the needs God wants taken care of. And let us pray above all else that God will be glorified in us and in our giving.

February 25, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I’ve always loved the “Stone Soup” story, but I remember the European version – not the one in the video. Still, the idea is completely biblical. In Acts 4, the early church shared all they had with each other so that none of them lacked for anything. (Oh, how far we’ve even come from THAT idea in our churches today!). This is one of the reasons Robert Witty calls me a socialist – and I keep trying to tell him I’m only a socialist as far as the ideal goes – socialism in practice (i.e., government controlled) is, sadly, pretty evil. …
    And that’s an interesting statement you made about the Egyptians being generous in their giving to the exiting Israelites. I always interpreted it differently – that it was God who moved the Egyptians to give those gifts to the Israelites (not their own generous natures)… probably so that they COULD build His tabernacle.
    Exodus 12:35-36 (NASB): “Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and gold, and clothing; and the LORD (YHWH) had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus, they plundered the Egyptians.”

    Like

    Comment by wittywritereditor | February 26, 2014 | Reply

    • Wow, Mishael, great comments! I’ve been accused if leaning toward socialism in my desires too, but it’s exactly like you–it’s an ideal situation and would be ruined if any but God Almighty were in control.

      On the Egyptians, I saw them as also being created in God’s image, so when He gave Israel favor in their eyes, they responded from that God-created part of themselves that inspired giving. With the selfishness and greed we see these days, even within church folk, it’s often hard to remember that God made everyone. How many times does His word say He grieved making them? If only those determined to reject God could grasp that they can’t be “bad” enough to make the enemy like them because their image will always remind him of The One he hates. Better to just yield to the God who loves them.

      Like

      Comment by Crystal A. Murray | February 26, 2014 | Reply


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