The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.
A lamp was kept burning before the Lord in the tabernacle. It was kept by the priests. This lamp burned olive oil that was provided by the people of Israel. Their simplest gift was this household oil. They used it for cooking, and for lamplight as well. I find it particularly meaningful that God chose to keep that same household source of light burning before Him.
The oil was given by people who could have used it in their own home, but instead dedicated it to God. It is so emblemic of their lives. One of the basics of their existence was burning before God. Olives were hand picked and then crushed by hand to turn them into household oil. This staple of life required effort and hard work to produce. The labor of the children of Israel lit the tabernacle, constantly burning in the presence of the LORD there. He chose to be blessed by their hands and their hard work. The gift of oil was the gift of the labor of their hands.
And so God wants to be worshiped in the stuff of our lives. The labor of our lives is always before Him. The oil of our day to day existence is where He wants to be known. He wants to share in it. He wants our daily labor to burn in offering before Him. He longs for the simplest stuff of our lives to give Him glory. And that is what we must give Him... not just 10%. Not the "only if I was rich" dream of signing stock options over to the church. Not just a check or an electronic withdrawal (both are just sterile and transactional unless our hearts are in the gift). Real giving comes with the olive oil poured into the lamp. What daily things will I dedicate to God for His glory?