THE JEALOUSY OF GOD IS FOR OUR GOOD

March 24, 2020

THE JEALOUSY OF GOD IS FOR OUR GOOD


God knows how things are to operate. He has a plan for our lives and for His people and His kingdom. When we humbly follow His plan all is well. But when we violate His plan we miss what is best. And God is jealous for us to follow Him explicitly. He knows that if we miss this, we miss everything that matters and lasts.

THE AI LESSON

Joshua had led the people in a glorious victory over Jericho because they had done precisely as God had instructed. One of God’s clear instructions about Jericho was that no one should take any spoils from the conquered city. This city was the first they conquered in the Promised Land. Therefore, the firstfruits belonged to God. This did not just pertain to Jericho—this was a principle that God had given for everything that anyone ever receives. The tithe, the firstfruits are to be reserved for God alone. 

They went on to the next city, Ai and suffered a terrible defeat. Joshua’s immediate response was to go to the Lord in prayer and find out what had happened … to appeal to their ultimate Leader.

6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
7 Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan!
8 “O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies?
9 “For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?”

 

God told Joshua to rise up and deal with Israel’s sin. Someone had stolen from God, taking some things from Jericho that belonged to God. They discovered that Achan had stolen some gold from Jericho. When this sin was discovered and resolved, the favor of God returned to the Israelites and they defeated their enemies with God’s help.

THE LESSON

God can see everything. When we sin against Him, we cannot hide from His gaze, as Achan tried to do. We will be uncovered before God. And Achan’s sin? Robbing God of the tithe, the firstfruits of the land, that belonged to God. Malchi would later warn us of the same sin.

7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!
10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows.

 

God is gracious and loving, but the commands He gives are for a purpose. He knows that we need to bring the firstfruits, the tithe (which means 10%), to Him and thus be reminded that everything comes from Him and belongs to Him. And this principle is still true. Jesus would remind us of this tithing principle in Matthew 23:23.

We may think this is harsh, but this command from God (bringing the tithe of all we receive into God’s storehouse) is designed as a constant reminder to keep our lives in a right posture before the One who made and has given everything to us. He is jealous for this and His jealousy is for our good.

Father, thank You for the perfection of Your jealousy. Thank You that You know what is best for me. Thank You for the privilege of bringing the firstfruits of all I have to You each week and for the reminder that You are the Creator and Giver of all and there is no other! Help me to relax my hands and give freely to You!




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