By Alan Turner
Honour the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9, 10. NKJV)
As with all of the Proverbs of Solomon we will be blessed to take note of these verses which give attention to that which we receive, that which scripture calls increase and what we call income in our cash based society. Through this increase we may honour and bless God. In return He is able to bless us.
Biblically there is guidance for believers sharing from the natural increase in their flocks (Exodus 13:1, 2). Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.”
or from their fields, (Leviticus 23:9, 10). And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.
These offerings continue to be recorded throughout Scripture.
The idea is based upon the principle of the sacrifice of the first fruits, that we should give to God the first and the best because that is the way that we truly honour Him.
In Exodus 25 the Hebrews gave of their handiwork and of gold and precious stones for the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Whilst this may seem to be a once only event it represented their giving over a period of 40 years and it still demonstrates the honouring of God from what He has provided for us including skills and fruitful harvests.
Most of us are probably able to admit that we have resisted the idea of giving away what we have worked hard for, feeling that we would rather use it for our own pleasure and enjoyment. Scripture observes this. Where riches increase we are tempted to honour ourselves, (Deu. 8:17) My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth, and we are admonished to not set our hearts upon that gain. (Ps. 62:10) If riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
However if we follow the teaching of scripture in this regard we do so in active anticipation that He will provide more to us.
We must first understand that God created all things that were ever created. (John 1:3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. Therefore from first principles everything belongs to Him, even us.
We honour Him through obedience and by thinking, “I can give You the first and the best because I know You are able and will give much more.”
God knows how to prosper and take care of those who honour Him with the resources He has given to them. God is the master and distributor of inexhaustible resources. We must take the first step and honour Him, not only with our bodies and spirits which are his, but with our estates too, for they also are his.
How does it work?
I do not know. I don't have to understand how electricity works to benefit from electricity. I can only affirm for you that it does work. God honours the law of giving. We must show that we trust in the Lord with all of our heart in accordance with Proverbs 3:5, a scripture that we know well.
God challenges you to test this law. (Luke 6:38). Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
As Pastor Murray said yesterday. “Let our obedience to His word be a willing response to a loving father.”