May 14, 2019

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Exodus 35

10 Comments | Listen | Print

Sabbath Regulations

Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do. Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”

Contributions for the Tabernacle

Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; goats' hair, tanned rams' skins, and goatskins;1 acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

10 “Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 12 the ark with its poles, the mercy seat, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin and its stand; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19 the finely worked garments for ministering2 in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests.”

20 Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every one who possessed blue or purple or scarlet yarns or fine linen or goats' hair or tanned rams' skins or goatskins brought them. 24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver or bronze brought it as the LORD's contribution. And every one who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work brought it. 25 And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. 26 All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats' hair. 27 And the leaders brought onyx stones and stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastpiece, 28 and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD.

Construction of the Tabernacle

30 Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.


[1] 35:7 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; also verse 23; compare 25:5
[2] 35:19 Or garments for worship; see 31:10

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Key Verse | Exodus 35:21

And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.

Bio | Mary Ottley

Journeyers, hello! My name is Mary Ottley, and I'm a Fellow in this year's Watermark Institute class. I'm serving on the Watermark Health team, and I love working at the intersection of ministry and medicine. Some other things I love: public libraries, gardening, spontaneous kitchen dance parties, and the smell of Volcano candles. Some things I don't love: staying up late, the smell of gasoline, and sitting still (working on that last one, #solitude).

Central Truth

Continue sharing your wealth of experiences to build up this House of God. We will surely benefit from one another's contributions.

Devotional | Exodus 35

Today, we're going to talk about Watermark Community Church. And we're going to talk about the tent of meeting. You may be asking yourself, "Self, how are these two related?" Well, folks,...

Today, we're going to talk about Watermark Community Church. And we're going to talk about the tent of meeting. You may be asking yourself, "Self, how are these two related?" Well, folks, let's dive in.

The tent of meeting, as we've seen in the previous chapters of Exodus, is a God-ordained place where He desires His presence to dwell. What's powerful about this place, though, is the way God uses His people to create it. In Exodus 35:22, "All who were of a willing heart" brought forth contributions to make God's dwelling place a beautiful reality. What an unbelievable gesture of unity. And I've been blown away by the way you all—the body of believers at Watermark—demonstrate similar generosity.

One thing that is so unique to our church's ministries are their member-driven nature. During my time as a Fellow, multiple ministry directors have told me that their ministries were initiated by a Watermark member coming forth and stating, "We need to be doing something for members struggling with X, Y, Z." You can fill in the blanks with abortion care, addiction recovery, etc. The list seems endless. I was moved as I read Exodus 35 and saw direct parallels between the Israelites contributing to the construction of the tabernacle and the Watermark members whose hearts stirred them to bring forth their experiences and turn them into comfort and care for other members of our body. I write today to thank you and to encourage you. Continue bringing forth your "contributions." Continue sharing your wealth of experiences to build up this House of God. We will surely benefit from one another's contributions.

At the Watermark Urgent Care clinic, we're certainly benefiting from those whose spirits moved them. Our volunteers are changing the lives of countless patients who walk through our doors. Good things do come as a result of teamwork and generosity. And praise the Lord! God's Spirit continues to dwell among us just as it did in the tent of meeting.

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. Are you contributing to the House of God, the church? If so, what are the benefits you've reaped from that contribution? If not, what is holding you back from making a contribution?

2. If you attend Watermark, what are some of the ministries that have impacted your life? Have you thanked God for those opportunities? How can you be praying for those ministries' current benefactors?

3. Is there an experience that you've had in life that God is calling you to use to contribute to our church (perhaps a person you could disciple who has a similar story)?

10 Comments available

Jay Caruso about 1 year ago

Thank you Mary this was a wonderful chapter just seeing how all these people came together as one to utilize their talents third gift through hearts that minus their source to work together for the greater good of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ thank you so very much. Connor rise up my brother come to regen and never be the same

Connor Roberts about 1 year ago

New to this. Haven’t been spending time in the word like I should. Using this to do that now:

My wife and I serve in the WM Kid’s and enjoy that. I also founded and run a Trail Life USA troop in Dallas, TX, which focuses on cultivating young boys into Godly men of character - my wife and I serve there weekly.

We became WM members in Summer 2018, but had trouble finding a Community Group. Heard good things about ReEngage, so joined and are now up to our closed group week 6.

The Kids Ministry is the main reason we switched churches and joined WM. Now all 3 of our kids have a great support structure.

I am also thinking about joining ReGen on Monday nights.

I pray that WM will accept Trail Life as a new ministry (long story but all in God’s timing).

greg jones about 1 year ago

Good morning Mary, great devotional this morning.

I’ve never had a conversation with God in a burning bush. I’ve had conversations that started out as “self how are these two things related?” That’s my holy ground, burning bush, that’s the place where if I’m still and quite I can begin to see circumstance from a outside in perspective, the perspective that is different from the experiencing perspective.

It’s easy to wonder how Israelites in the exodus story can experience God’s provision then quickly turn it into idol worship. I get it though if I consider what an internal perspective of a circumstance produces. If it causes me pain my god doesn’t desire it. If it produces pleasure my god desires it for me. That god offers no perspective outside of experience. My living God, my life beyond my life God, is the only God that can do that.

Michael Scaman about 1 year ago

God already commanded that the tabernacle be made and described it earlier in Exodus, starting with the Ark and working his description out from there

Now the tabernacle is made. It sounds like Deju Vous People bring an amazing variety of things and with great skill provided by God it is all put together (in the middle of a dessert no less)

(If you gave all your gold toward making a golden calf you might be a bit saddened at this point. Or maybe there was some other gift you could give out of a repentant and joyful heart)

Christina Chermak about 1 year ago

Man, we sure are big fans of Mary Ottley and the way she builds up the church through her gift of encouragement! Thank you Mary for leading us today to encourage one another!!

Liz Coppage about 1 year ago

Today’s Key Verse, Exodus 35:21, talks about “hearts stirred” and “spirits moved.” People of that day didn’t have the Holy Spirit within them, so God’s Spirit visited them. Back then, the Temple Building showed God – it was so beautiful and perfect. It was a place to be with God.

Now, though, true believers in Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, 24/7. When a believer focuses on Christ, his/her face shines with the Holy Spirit, showing the beauty of God. As Pastor Wagner likes to remind us: WE (the believers) are the church, not the building! SO LET’S GO, CHURCH!!

Hope Harris about 1 year ago

Great challenge in question 2: Ministries that have touched my life are Shelter, Community and Equipping. In addition Living Hope Ministries.

Taking time to pray for them this morning.

Sue Bohlin about 1 year ago

Hey JTJ Family!

Some of you have wondered the meaning of the numbers and Reply at the end of comments.

When you sign in, the page is refreshed and you are able to click on the number to register your up-vote as a “like.” You’ll see the number change immediately.

Once signed in, if you click on “Reply,” you can respond to a comment. Your post, like all new comments, will be added to the top of the list (alas, not connected to the original comment). Which is why it’s good to address your question or comment to the person by name.

Hope you find this helpful.

Sue Bohlin about 1 year ago

Thanks, Mary! Loved how you connected the dots between today’s chapter and the generosity of our church members.

Our crazy-gifted buddies Bezalel and Oholiab show up again today. It reminds me of something I believe God has been teaching me about spiritual gifts–that He gives specific, Spirit-powered giftings that don’t show up on the big 4 lists in the New Testament. I’ve started keeping a list of what I think are spiritual gifts, such as analogies and word pictures, analysis, and the ability to step into a community group mess and see what needs to be addressed. B & O were given an absolutely amazing mix of artistic gifts: skill / intelligence / knowledge / craftsmanship / devising artistic designs / working in gold and silver and bronze / cutting stones for setting / carving wood / skilled craft / teaching / engraving / designing / embroidering / weaving.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 year ago

GM Mary!!

I see God’s provision for us in those objects and desire that draw us to Him.

God gave the Israelites al the materials for the Tabernacle; mainly though the Egyptians. As He lists them I am reminded of the list of contribution for the golden calf.

He gives me a choice to give back what He has given me. I can give it to Him…or to my own idols; cars, houses, trips, clothes, shotguns etc. A line from the Anglican liturgy of offering reminds me, “All things come from thee O Lord and from thine own have we given thee.”

The challenge for me is patience. Not only do I want what I want NOW – I want what He wants for me NOW.

God puts me in His vineyard to work where He has me, (Colossians 3:23). He gives me the manna I need today, (Matthew 6:34).

View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store