March 24, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
November 24, 2020
All of us appreciate a good accounting system, even if we are not the ones administering it. You are grateful when you go to a store, that they will only charge you what is advertised. In business, you want to know how things will be recorded and have a clear understanding of what will be done, particularly when it’s your money that is involved.
God has an accounting system and Paul, when finally enlightened, realized that it was completely opposite of what he had operated under for years.
November 20, 2020
November 18, 2020
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Do you realize what God has done for you in Christ? Notice the three uses of "bless" in the verse above. Paul blesses God because he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.