Day 183

Standard

II Chronicles 29:3 – 31:21 (NIV)

Rachel Seavers, Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor“Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over” (31:10).

Hezekiah was only 25 years old when he became king of Judah. He was a good king and had a heart for the Lord. He desired for his people to turn from the evil ways of their ancestors. He ordered them to clean up their lives and the Temple of the Lord that had been defiled. After doing so he also ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give “the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.” The people responded immediately and “gave the firstfruits” of all that their fields had produced. The people of Israel and Judah who were living in the towns of Judah also followed suit and brought a tithe of all their herds and flocks.

These people had been through a lot over the years, but when called to give they responded immediately and they gave the best of what they had, not the leftovers or the “seconds.” Let’s apply this to our lives today! God has called us to give back to him the firstfruits of what he has given to us. Remember Leviticus 27:30, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” Now our tithes look a little different today than they did back then. I’m sure our ushers would not appreciate trying to collect a herd of cows or goats on a Sunday morning!

Trust me, when I first read the passage for today I truly did not intend to write about tithing, but after reading it a second time I could not ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting. How many of us have made excuses for not giving because our finances are tight and we are barely able to pay our bills? I get it, really I do! It’s hard to give those last few extra dollars you might have for the week; that’s why we aren’t supposed to give the last, but the first! Trust me on this one! When you give God the “firstfruits” of your income, He will provide. It might not always look like cash or be exactly what you expected, but He will give you what you need.
The people of Judah responded in obedience to King Hezekiah’s order to tithe and the Lord blessed them. They had enough to eat and plenty to spare!

You can never out-give God; I challenge you to try!

Advertisements

6 responses »

  1. True words Rachel,

    Luke 6:38 (NLT)
    Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

    So it is for giving to others, it is also for tithing. I watched my parents do it faithfully and the Lord always met our needs. I will never forget the first year my wife & I started tithing at EAC I found myself looking at the end of year annual statement in one hand and a check from an insurance company in the other hand and they were for the same exact amount. Of course this was accompanied by that feeling, you know the one, the one that unmistakably came from God, the one that floods you with emotion an stirs you to your soul. What a feeling, a reassurance that you are on the right track and doing something pleasing in God’s sight. Of course, we all know that without Him we would have nothing so how can you not give back.

  2. It took the Levites 18 days to clean up the temple and make it — and themselves — ready to serve God. This is not a picture of salvation, but it is a picture of Christian service. God accepts us for salvation just as we are; after all, a dead person can’t clean himself up. However, once we’ve become Believers, once we’ve been made alive again in Jesus, God does expect us to “clean up” before we worship and serve Him. I used to think that coming to worship was like going to the showers. Now I try to go to the showers of God’s boundless forgiveness before I come to worship.

  3. Father, thank You that You can take our meager offering, given willingly and with thanks, and do miraculous things with it. It’s not that You need it, but we need to see what is in our own hearts that holds us back from surrendering wholeheartedly. Search me & know me. Purify the dross in me. Make me a pleasing offering to You, fit for Your use. Amen.

  4. Wow, what an awesome revival time! Even a Great Awakening! How spectacular it must have been to be present and witness all this … and not just the restoration of the temple building, but the recommitment of the people themselves!

    I’m taken by the fact that this was started by a 25 year old man – and the son of wicked Ahaz at that! If we think in worldly terms, this might seem a little far fetched, but we’re talking GOD here. Whatever age we are, we should feel energized to gather people around us as Hezekiah did and tell them, “My sons, the Lord has chosen you!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s