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Seeds of the Kingdom

Goat Hair

by Goran Andersson

These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze......goat hair...
Exodus 25:3-4, NIV

It certainly sounds misplaced! Among all the valuables to be collected as free will offerings for the building of the tabernacle we find something of as little value as goat hair mentioned! If there was a line of people waiting to give their offerings to the Lord and some held pieces of gold in their hands, some a silver statue, others some precious stones, who would feel happy to stand there with a sack of goat hair? Probably very few.

Yet when we give to the Lord, we should give something of value, not something leftover that we no longer need. The Lord gave clear directions how the animals that were offered should be: not a misshapen animal with crooked legs, a blind eye or other misshapen parts.
How then can God be satisfied with goat hair in the offerings for the place where He was to dwell among the people of Israel? The place that was to shine of pure gold and other precious materials.

2 Corinthians 8:12 gives us a very interesting insight into how God sees things: ‘For if the willingness is here, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have’. That gives us the understanding that God does not have a price list, by which He decides if our gift is acceptable or not. God looks on the heart of the giver and He values the gift according to the giver’s heart, not according to the value of the gift. And besides, God has as much need for goat hair as for gold!

Jesus received some valuable gifts from the wise men who came to His manger in Bethlehem, but He also had need of the fish and loaves of a young boy on another occasion. Isn’t it surprising that God, Creator of heaven and earth, should ask for goat hair in the offerings and Jesus, the Son of God, should ask a boy to get Him two fish? And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, a few days before His death, He came riding on a donkey and the disciples were explicitly told to say, ‘The Lord needs it’.

God even needs the least valuable things! When you study how the tabernacle was made, you realize that it would not function without the covering made of goat’s hair. And the crowd in the wilderness would not have been fed without the boy’s fish and loaves. Obviously someone had to provide even those simple things for the bigger things to be complete and functioning. You don’t have to be ashamed of what at first glance looks like a trivial thing, to be given to the Lord. It’s all right to come with a sack of goat’s hair; the Lord needs that as much as He needs gold!

In the Kingdom of God, we’re all needed. First of all God wants you there, and when you feel prompted to contribute something, never, never feel it’s too small or too trivial! If God has laid it on your heart to give that He’s only too happy to receive it! What you give may be the very thing that makes a whole, big building stand complete! Never feel insignificant because you give the Lord something that you regard as insignificant. He certainly values it differently from us! In fact, time and time again the Bible contains stories about ordinary people who gave very ordinary things or services to the Lord and He made something extraordinary out of it! Be in that line of people! Be part of the extraordinary things God is doing!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for receiving even what I don’t value much and help me to always give to You from a heart of love and gratefulness; a heart of purity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Goran Andersson , together with his wife Roswitha, worked as missionaries in Japan from 1967 – 1985. They then pastored a church before moving to Kåfalla Herrgård, Sweden where Goran became Director. They have worked with Ellel Ministries since 2004 and are now part of the team of Ellel Ministries in Sweden.

 

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