Monday, February 06, 2017

"The 20% of Those Who Do"

Exodus 36.4-7 “The Message”

“All the artisans who were at work making everything involved in constructing the Sanctuary came, one after another, to Moses, saying, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that GOD has commanded us to do!’

“So Moses sent out orders through the camp: ‘Men! Women! No more offerings for the building of the Sanctuary!’ 

“The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.”

The 80-20 rule was named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who, in 1906, noted that 80% of Italy’s income was collected by 20% of Italy’s population. The 80-20 ratio also held true for the distribution of Italy’s property. Pareto found that 20% of the population owned 80% of the country’s land.

That 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes may be demonstrated in almost every people group… families, companies, government, churches, and countries.

Apparently, the children of Israel at the time of the construction of the wilderness Tabernacle never read Pareto. There was no imbalance of distribution among the givers. Everyone contributed substantially until “enough and more than enough” was collected. 

I’ve heard it said that God’s work done in God’s way never lacks God’s provision. My experience, however, validates the Pareto Principle. I’ve heard enough cajoling, pleading, guilt-tripping, and even begging from the pulpit to question whether or not Moses’ principle of “enough and more than enough” really works in today’s church. When it comes to giving time, and talents, and treasures, Pareto’s 80-20 rule well describes the typical parish. I have yet to see a preacher order his parishioners to stop giving. Until then, I will take it on faith that followers of Jesus as a whole can act with the same cooperation, generosity, and obedience of the followers of Moses. But for now, I will hope and strive to be in the 20% of those who do. 


Anonymous said...

"Go back and forth through the camp, from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor. The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day, about three thousand of the people died."

Exodus, ch 32, vs 28.

"Peter replied, repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."

"With many other words he warned them and pleaded with them, save your selves from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their numbers that day."

Acts 2, ch 38 and 40.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

-Romans ch 6, vs 23.

How true this is. Our natural inclination is to stray, just as the Israelites did. No sooner had Moses gone up the mountain to speak with God, then the Israelites rebelled against God and fashioned a golden calf and bowed down to it.

Everyone of us is prone to worship the golden calf, prone to stray. Without Jesus we would be completely lost. We are saved becuase of his love, mercy and grace, not becuase we have or have not bowed down to the calf.

3,000 loswt/3,000 saved.


Anonymous said...



Dave's Bible Blog said...


I find it interesting that the same people who worshipped the golden calf gave so willingly for the construction of the Tabernacle. Possibly, these are those who sided against the golden calf (i.e., Levites and those who were not a part of the 3,000 slain). Maybe there was only a minority of the couple of million in the wilderness who actually participated in the calf worship thing. Makes you wonder, huh?