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!