Honor the Lord with your wealth. Honor the Lord with the first fruits of all your crops. Do this and your barns will be filled to overflowing. Your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
Seems simple enough: Invest a tithe (10%) of the first income / produce you receive and you’ll never go hungry or run out of wine. Who wouldn’t jump on a plan that guaranteed such a blessed harvest?
Only my reading of the life and words of Jesus, plus my own experience, leads me to wonder if this verse, so often sited by prosperity preachers, has a deeper, more spiritual meaning. To give away 10% of your wealth may not seem like much, but in 2017, eight years after the Great Recession ended, 49 percent of all Americans still lived paycheck-to-paycheck. To give to God 10% before buying groceries or paying bills might seem like scooping buckets of water onto a sinking boat.
But could it not be that the principle of giving the “first fruits of all your crops” is key to walking with our Father.
“Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.” – Genesis 4:4
If you are Abel, give first, give large, give your best.
Give God your very life and trust that he will know best how to fill vats and barns. Remember: filled barns and vats suggests that someone must work hard to care and sort the produce. What might seem like a blessing for some is a burden for others.
We may never know how many times God directed disaster away from hour home, spared us from sickness, kept us from making a bad purchase, or turning towards a catastrophic career move. On the other side of the grave we may see how his hand guided us, but on this side, we must simply trust and obey.
Lord, I do not ask for riches. I only ask that you richly bless me with your presence, your protection, your provision, your hope, your joy, your love, your arms wrapped around me tight, pulling me close. It is enough that you keep me in your lap and close to your heart. Enough and more than I deserve. Thanks and THANKS!
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