Painting of figures in a conversation

Questions for Reflection and Discussion – Exodus 35 20-29 & 2 Corinthians 9 6-8

The Uniform Series texts for Sunday, May 6 are Exodus 35:20-29 and Corinthians 9:6-8; both texts focus on giving for the benefit of the larger community in some way. Here are some questions we might consider in class:

In Exodus 35:21, the donors are everyone whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were willing; people’s willingness of heart is mentioned several more times (vv 22, 26, 29). Why is the people’s willingness important? What moved the people, do we think, or can we tell from the text? (More personal:) What has moved your heart to give something in the past? How similar does that situation seem to the situation described in Exodus 35?

Several different kinds of offerings are listed specifically in verses 20-29. Why might this be? Two specific groups of people, the skilled women who spun yarn and goat’s hair, and the leaders or princes, are listed specifically. Again, why might this be? What seems to be the purpose of this text? Why do we think that?

In 2 Corinthians 9:6, Paul mentions a proverb about sowing and reaping. What does the proverb mean? What would it mean to reap sparingly, and what would it mean to reap bountifully? What is Paul suggesting the Corinthians will reap? (e.g., personal gain? good reputation? other?)

Why does God love a cheerful giver, do we think? What does being a cheerful giver have to do with a person’s relationship with God? Why?

What does Paul suggest as a motive for giving in verse 8? How does this compare to the motive for giving in verse 6 – the same, different? Why do we say that?

What parallels do we see between Exodus 35:20-29 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-8? What differences do we see? Which of those two situations seem more relevant to our own? Why is that?

Did the Israelites’ giving benefit them? How? Did the Corinthians’ giving benefit them? How? What are the implications of our answers for us? Why?

A couple of possibly related links:
“Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier”
“Science of Giving Infographic”

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