Posts Tagged ‘Give’


Numbers 31 (NLT) Then the Lord said to Moses, “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors”… They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived… But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves… “From the army’s portion, first give the Lord his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord. From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the Lord’s Tabernacle.”

Some chapters of the Bible like today’s reading make us as Christians wish they were never recorded because it seems to show God in poor light. What is God speaking to us through this horrendous bloodshed He ordered and was it recorded incorrectly? (more…)

Advertisements

Exodus 36:2-7 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

If anyone doubts God’s ability to know the hearts of His people, this passage clearly shows evidence that what God directed through Moses actually came to pass. God asked the Israelites to give specifically and they did, without ceasing, so much that Moses had to forbid them from giving anymore.

Is the purpose of today’s passage not clear and why then do we need Jesus if God the Father was all sufficient Himself? (more…)


Exodus 35:4-5,10,20-21,30-35 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze… “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded… Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments… Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

God again is revealed as the master orchestrator as He calls upon His people to serve Him with their offerings and acts of service.

The Israelites step forward and provide more than was needed along with willing hands. What a contrast as compared to the sinful people we have seen this far? Is this reflective of us today? (more…)


Genesis 26:1-4,6-7,12-17 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham… So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful”… Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Today’s chapter has a lot more than just the few verses I’ve selected and I sometimes wonder if we should draw more from it but there will be a time for that in the future. After Abraham and Sarah’s journey, we are now journeying with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.

Amazing how true the statement is that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! Isaac says to the Philistines the very same thing his father Abraham said to them that their wives were their sisters.

They were operating in fear instead of in faith and it is only by God’s grace that they were spared. We read later that Abimelech discovers the truth, is angry again, and prohibits anyone in the land from touching Rebekah.

Because Isaac does not go down to Egypt but stays in the land God promised to bless him in, he is now blessed with abundance of everything, so much so that Abimelech requests him to leave the land and Isaac then moves to the valley of Gerar and settles there.

As we read this passage, we can see the pain of lying, the fruit of obedience and the nature of God. What probably surprises us is why God permits suffering in our lives when we willingly follow Him? (more…)


Genesis14:14-16,18-24 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people… And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”

I’m wondering what took me so many years to study the Bible a little more intently as I am doing now and I regret the time I lost and the many opportunities lost with it to share God’s riches with those I am blessed to fellowship with. However, when I do consider Abram and the age at which God was using him so powerfully, I do believe that it is never too late and God continues to be in control of our lives and His will for us 🙂

Here is the tale of a bitter-sweet victory for Abram and the people of Soddom as they first lost many and were restored few along with their possessions. Abram achieves victory over the 5 kings with only his 300+ men whereas the 4 kings and their troops from Sodom and Gomorrah were no match to these same 5 kings.

Obviously God’s hand is visible in Abram’s victory and what a fitting response that this victory was marked by honoring God through the feast that followed.

The question that hung in my mind was why Melchizedek brought out bread and wine to celebrate and why did Abram refuse the gifts offered? (more…)


1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

One of the challenges early christians faced and we face today too is knowing when the end really is. Jesus did say that He would come back for us but would not say when because He wanted us to always be on alert and serve Him faithfully. We live in uncertain times with all the strife there is in this world and add to that natural disasters, life can be very short indeed. Our calling as christians is unlike any because we are called to serve and not to be served, to love even if we are not loved, to care even if no one cares for us and above all to give glory to God in everything because it is all His. Sounds like a lot of work with no gratification and no proper end in sight and so would this really appeal to anyone? (more…)


2 Corinthians9:6-8
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Last evening, a friend that I recently made in the public transit called me to share a marital challenge he was facing. On the face of it, the issue was severe and the expected result was a divorce. My friend was broken inside and did not know what needed to be done and was kind enough to call me. We spoke about the issue at length and being married myself for 12 years to a wonderful woman, I related to the challenges he was facing and by God’s grace was able to advice him. Marriages and giving do not have much in common or so we think and I hope you wonder where I am going with this?

God created woman to be a support to her man, gave her the grace to cope with the many roles she plays in support of her family, gave her the wisdom to counsel her husband without making him feel less of a man, and made her the perfect companion to a man. God also ordained for man and woman to be one after marriage and therefore to act as one and give as one. When we are able to sow in love at home into our marriages, we will reap the fruits of it in every area of our lives, especially in our walk with the Lord. This will bring out the oneness that God desires in us. We can then go out and sow and the blessing will be manifold. When we cheerfully give of ourselves as Christ gave of himself for his bride, the church, we are blessed abundantly and more importantly God is glorified. I hope your giving does not stop with finances?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.