Aspects of the Covenant Part 4March 4, 2020 2023-04-05 19:12
Aspects of the Covenant Part 4
Purity in Giving
In verses 35-37, there are several “firsts” mentioned. These “firsts” mean exactly what it says. The people brought the first of their fruits unto the Lord, their harvest, fruit, flocks, bread, etc. What this passage teaches us is that people brought the best of what they had. God was not an afterthought. He did not get the leftovers. God did not come “after the bills are paid for”. God and His Temple were the main priority for the community during Nehemiah’s time. People did not reserve the best for themselves, unlike most Christians do in today’s society.
Ensure that you give your best to the Lord. He has given us all that we enjoy and love. Without God, we are dust. God deserves our best because He has given us more than what we deserve in life. What does it say about our relationship with God when we give God a portion from the leftovers?
People in Nehemiah’s time would not even have the audacity to give from what was left behind. They had the fear of the Lord. They had a concept of holiness in the portions. It’s something most of us dismiss because we think, “at least I’m giving, I’m better than the next person.”
Giving our best to the Lord must not be limited to our tithes and offering. It applies to every area of our lives. Otherwise, why are we Christians? If we are servants of God, then we must devote everything to Him. We ought to make God a priority. Doing this does not put us even with what Jesus did on the cross. The bottom line is God deserves all the glory and praise we can give Him.
Practicality in Giving
The Israelites wanted to be practical. They chose a system that they could maintain in the long run. They cast the lots for the priests, the Levites, and for the people for the wood offering (Neh. 10:34). Everyone had a chance to participate. It didn’t matter if one was a priest or a government official. There was a time for each person to bring in the offering. Since the wood would constantly run out, everyone must participate to make sure there was always wood at the altar.67 There was a need in the Temple, and so the Israelites implemented a practical way to fulfill it.
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