Building the Tabernacle
One of the great lessons on cooperation can be found in Exod. 35:1-35. From this section of scripture we take our memory verse this week, Exod. 35:29. God had given instruction to Moses for the building of the tabernacle, the two-room and courtyard tent-like structure where both corporate and private worship of God would take place. I want to mention a few of the attitudes and actions that made this a great opportunity for cooperation by the people of God.
- It was a visible, doable, understandable, measurable work. Leaders, this is an important lesson. For people to cooperate, they must be able to grasp the concept of what they are doing. They must also be able to see and measure the results. They must feel there is accomplishment. Have you noticed that in Christianity, God uses the physical to lift us to the spiritual (singing, praying, Lord’s supper).
- Notice in verses 5, 21, 26 and 29 that cooperation was only expected from the willing of heart. It is possible to have grudging and forced obedience without a willing heart, but, cooperation only comes through a willing heart. God only accepts that which is willingly given (2 Cor. 8:12; 9:7). In reality, none of us feel joyful about accomplishment that is grudgingly pulled from us.
- The people were enthused. Their heart “stirred” them up (Exod. 35:21). Enthusiasm makes the difference in every activity of life. We give a fuller measure of ourselves when we are stirred up. We have more motive to cooperate together toward a goal when we are enthused. The enthused effort of those of mediocre skill will always accomplish more than the lax effort of those with exceptional skills. Talent is nice when people are cooperating in the Lord, but enthusiasm is essential if there is to truly be accomplishment. We will work harder, longer and more carefully on a project about which we are enthused.
- We cooperate in matters that become important to us. The Lord’s church would accomplish much more if all believed service to God was important. Consider how the disciples went everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4). They cooperated with each other even when separate from each other.
Brothers and sisters, how cooperative are you? How much is your heart stirred up?