I love the story in the book of Exodus where the people of Israel are called to take up an offering so the tabernacle can be made and furnished. The people are asked to give and they give so much that they actually have to be told they have given too much and need to stop.
I never really thought about where they got the stuff to give. They had been slaves in Egypt; a very hard life. But in the 12th chapter it explains that the Egyptians had been very generous to them at their leaving. All the precious metals and materials for the construction of the tabernacle was brought out of Egypt.
I would bet upon leaving that all the wonderful things they took with them were seen as a special blessing. But I would also guess that as the trip lingered those same things became very heavy and a real chore to travel with. After a while it was time for an offering. By this time they have experienced miracles and shame; and miracles. So they give, and give more than enough.
The things from their old life were used to construct the center of worship of their new life.
I’ve been a Christian for a long time. But I remember becoming Christian and that not everything from previous disappeared. The burdens I laid down, the forgiveness I received didn’t just clear everything. I brought tendencies and memories along with me.
The talents and abilities I had previously, I still had. The failures and ethical and moral lapses seemed fresh, howbeit different. God may have forgiven, but He hadn’t removed. The condemnation was gone, but the consequences lingered. Then He used those very things to mold me and take me from the profane to the holy.
The treasures of the exodus from slavery were consecrated and made Holy, and the center of the worship was formed.
The experiences of the past made holy brings me to worship and presses me on to the future.
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