Friday, April 3, 2009

Proverbs 3: 9 & 10

In today’s world, with the economic crisis throughout our land, these are very important verses to learn and take to heart because these are not just proverbs, but are also promises that are found over and over, throughout the whole Bible.

Proverbs 3: 9 & 10

9 Honor the LORD with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

These scriptures aren’t just talking about tithing, though that is a very important teaching that is one of the foundations of being blessed by God in our lives. Tithing, or giving to God the first tenth of everything you receive, is one of those “principles” that we talked about in Verses 5 thru 7 in the last study, in that most people would ask “How, if you are giving away money that you need because you are barely making it now, can that be a wise move?”

God’s answer:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes…

There are several reasons that God wants us to tithe, and I don’t believe this is JUST money He is talking about. Look at verse 9 in today’s study: Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase… Here, it says to honor Him with your possessions, not just your money, but ALL that you have... give Him your whole heart... If people need help and you have something that can help, let them use it or help them with it, and do it as a blessing to God, because of all that He does for you, not because you want something from Him, and He will bless you for that! The principles of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” come to mind here, also.

“Tithing” has become almost a dirty word to a lot of people because it has been so abused by SOME big churches or TV “evangelists,” but in God’s economy, it was meant to be a blessing, just as sex, food, and so many other things He has given us are supposed to be, but have been twisted into something ugly. It was meant to help us keeps our mind and heart centered on God, and to KNOW that He is the one that provides for us in ALL things. It was to keep us from getting into the mindset that WE are providing for ourselves.

It was such an important principle, that I am going to put most of chapter 3 of the book of Malachi here so you can read it for yourselves and not have anything taken out of context. Also, this is just another way of saying the same thing as the verses we are studying today. Read this and meditate on it, for it is FULL of promise and wonderful blessings!!! The first part of the chapter speaks of Christ’s return …

Malachi 3 (NKJV)

1 “… Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.
2 “ But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.
3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.

4 “ Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the LORD,
As in the days of old, as in former years.
5 And I will come near you for judgment;
I will be a swift witness against sorcerers,
Against adulterers, against perjurers,
Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
And against those who turn away an alien—
Because they do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.

6 “ For I am the LORD, I do not change; (He has always been longsuffering and merciful)
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7 Yet from the days of your fathers, you have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.
But you said, “In what way shall we return?’

Do Not Rob God
8 “ Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say, ‘ In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings!
9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me... even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts,

If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “ And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts;
12 And all nations will call you blessed,
For you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.

The People Complain Harshly

13 “ Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the LORD,
“ Yet you say, ‘ What have we spoken against You?’
14 You have said, ‘ It is useless to serve God;
What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, (These two verses sound like so many people today...)
And that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts?
15 So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up;
They even tempt God and go free.’”

A Book of Remembrance
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, (I think I want to be in this group)
And the LORD listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the LORD
And who meditate on His name.
17 “ They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts,
“ On the day that I make them My jewels. (Literally the Hebrew word means, special treasure)
And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”
18 Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.

I KNOW that I really want to be one of God’s “special treasures”… and I KNOW that I NEED His blessings, so I plan to follow His ways and not what seems “wise in my own eyes…” How about you? We will continue these verses in the next study...

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