(Editor’s Note: I have shared Bonnie’s story a couple of times publicly to encourage people as we continue to pray about helping to fund repairs to Hope’s main building complex this summer. When presenting the need as our Sunday night service, Bonnie exclaimed, involuntarily ‘Ah!’ out loud, and then told us the following tale and how the Holy Spirit was stirring her that night. It’s a great God story. Be encouraged…and ask God for your own plunder. –geno)
At Sunday night service May 1, Geno shared with us the Restoration Plan for Hope and the Biblical background in Exodus of giving from “a generous heart” that Moses gave to the Israelites for the building of the Tabernacle. No taxes. No tithes. Just giving what God put on their hearts: “an offering of the Lord: gold, and silver, and bronze…onyx stones and stones for setting…” (Ex 35: 5,9, ESV). The best part was that all the provision had already been made when they fled Egypt years before. The Israelites were told that they would have “favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry….So you shall plunder the Egyptians” (3:21-22).
Then my heart turned over a couple of times! That very morning I had taken out of my drawer yet again a small, but heavy, velvet pouch of elaborate rings of silver and gold and every type of precious stones inherited from my mother and Dan’s mother years before in 2008 and 2009, as well as other rings they had given me as gifts over many years. Ring count: 39, more than enough for all my fingers, almost 4 times over. Long ago, I had chosen my favorites to wear. This pouch was the overflow of the “plunder” of a time when women wore more elaborate, ornate jewelry than my current tastes or the current fashion. Dozens of times over these seven/eight years I have taken that pouch out, set it on my dresser, resolved finally to find the time to research and to get them to the right person to sell them. Each time they went back into the drawer. Not the right time.
Sunday night, I was certain the right time has come!
Now, I know that in today’s word, the “plunder” may come in other less literal forms than actual gold and silver and jewels, but for me, this was a crazy, cool moment that our God could also have provided years before the literal word of his Scripture for my provision in the exact for as that of the Israelites. In addition, nothing could be more pleasing and honoring to my mother, who took me to church as a child every Sunday (although I strayed far from that upbringing) or to Dan’s mother, who spoke to us night and day of the Lord, prayed for us, and when we did finally return, had in depth Bible studies and prayer for the family at her house.
The right time has come for the gold, silver, and jewels to be poured into the Tabernacle. Now I understand why I waited. Symbolically it’s only sweeter that seven years is a biblical number of completion.