Daily Devotionals Daily Devotionals

Giving to God’s Purposes

Yael Eckstein delivering a box of food & goods to elderly Holocaust survivor in need named Edna

Credit:©2018 IFCJ/Nir Kafri

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give.” — Exodus 25:1-2

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Terumah, which means “contributions,” from Exodus 25:1–27:19.

When my kids were small, they would sometimes ask if they could “help” me with cooking or cleaning. Now, of course I didn’t need their help and I knew that they would likely make these tasks harder for me, but I always accepted their offers anyway. I knew that they would get so much out of doing these things with me — they would learn new skills, get used to pitching in, and feel good about their accomplishments. I let them help me because I understood how much it would benefit them.

In this week’s Torah portion we read that God commanded Moses to, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering.” At first glance, this directive seems straightforward enough. However, when translated literally from the original Hebrew, the verse reads, “Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering.” The word “take” seems oddly out of place in a verse about contributing to the construction of God’s sanctuary.

Giving to God’s Purposes

The Jewish sages explain that this anomaly teaches us that when we give to God’s purposes, we aren’t really giving at all. Rather, when we give to God, we become the benefactors of our actions.

The truth is that there is nothing that we can give to God because everything is already His. As the psalmist wrote, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). However, God allows us to “help” Him because He knows how much it will benefit us.

By contributing to His purposes, we become privileged to be His partner in perfecting the world. When we give sacrificially, we improve our character and demonstrate our faith in God. And when God sees our generosity and commitment to Him, He blesses us greatly with spiritual rewards and often with material gains, as well.

One of the hardest things for people to do is give up something that they value, something like their time or their money. But when we understand that we have so much more to gain then we could ever lose, we can see giving to God for what it truly is — an opportunity to receive His abundant blessings.

Your Turn:

How might you give of your time, talents, and resources to God’s purposes today? As we learn from Genesis 12:3, bless and be blessed!

Hebrew Word of the Day

February 15, 2021

Travel

Travel — Nesiah

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Yael Eckstein, illustrating Purim lesson on Esther

A Lesson from Esther – For Such a Time as This

Yael shares a lesson from the story of Esther that is not only hopeful and inspiring, but more relevant today than ever before.

Monthly Teaching Resource

The Life of Esther, a Bible Study by IFCJ

The Life of Esther

Learn more about Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, whose courageous stand against persecution saved the lives of the Jewish people with this complimentary Bible study.

How to Help

Elderly Jewish woman in glasses sitting in her home

Give a Holy Gift for Passover

Passover is just a month away. Bring deliverance to vulnerable Jewish people during this holy season. Your special gift of $25 helps provide a lifesaving Passover food box filled with the essentials needed to celebrate this holy season with devotion. Your donation today will not only fill stomachs with special Passover foods, but it will fill spirits with hope.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.