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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Proverbs 3:9-10

Proverbs 3:9-10 (KJV) 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV) 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (CEV) 9 Honor the LORD by giving him
your money and the first part of all your crops.
10 Then you will have more grain and grapes
than you will ever need.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT) 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
Honor - כַּבֵּ֣ד (kabad or kabed, kab·bêḏ) - Verb - Piel - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3513: To be heavy, weighty, or burdensome
Brown-Driver-Brigg Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: make honourable, honour, glorify, usually with human subject, God object.

with your wealth - מֵהוֹנֶ֑ךָ (hon, mê·hō·w·ne·ḵā) - Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1952: Wealth, sufficiency
NAS Exhaustive Concordance
Word Origin: from hun
Definition: wealth, sufficiency
NASB Translates the word as: cheaply (in 1 instance), enough (in 2 instances), possession (1), riches (4), substance (1), wealth (17).

and with the firstfruits - וּ֝מֵרֵאשִׁ֗ית (reshith, ū·mê·rê·šîṯ) - Conjunctive waw, Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7225: The first, in place, time, order, rank
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: first of fruits

of all - כָּל־ (kol, kāl-) - Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

your harvest; - תְּבוּאָתֶֽךָ׃ (tebuah, tə·ḇū·’ā·ṯe·ḵā) - Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8393: Product, revenue
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: Product, revenue, figuratively gain of wisdom.

then your barns - אֲסָמֶ֣יךָ (asam, ’ă·sā·me·ḵā) - Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 618: A storehouse

will be filled - וְיִמָּלְא֣וּ (male or mala, wə·yim·mā·lə·’ū) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Nifal - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4390: To fill, be full of

with plenty - שָׂבָ֑ע (saba, śā·ḇā‘) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7647: Plenty, satiety

and your vats - יְקָבֶ֥יךָ (yeqeb, yə·qā·ḇe·ḵā) - Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3342: A trough, a wine-vat
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: wine-vat (a trough or hollow excavated in the rock for receiving the juice trodden out, sometimes also wine-press (the trough in which the grapes were trodden out).

will overflow - יִפְרֹֽצוּ׃ (parats, yip̄·rō·ṣū) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6555: To break through
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: burst open.

with new wine - וְ֝תִיר֗וֹשׁ (tirosh, wə·ṯî·rō·wōš) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8492: Must, fresh grape-juice, fermented wine
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: usually as a sign of fertility, or as valuable product.

Why does God want us to give to Him? Doesn't He have enough already? Can't He just make piles of money or mansions and leave us alone? Aren't I the poorer of the two of us? So why do I have to give to God?

These are questions I'm sure we all think at some time. First we have to go beyond flat thinking and look at the layers. Let's start by saying, it's not all about us but it is all about God. God was here first and will be here last, He is the Alpha (the A) and the Omega (the Z), the Beginning and the End. We would not be here if it weren't for Him. He is our Creator! He created us and not we ourselves. And not only did He create us, He created the environment that would sustain us, the Earth! If I was suddenly created in space, I'd die before I could take my first breath. So He carefully created a planet that would sustain us. He gave us gravity, oxygen, food, water, medicinal herbs, meat to eat, sun and rain, etc. Then He crafted us and gave us His very breath for life! And, He did not stop with just creating our environment and creating us, but He sent His Son to take our sins so that we could be saved! My eternity is secure through Jesus Christ and I have a relationship with the God of the Universe, Yah-weh! Oh my, yes I owe Him my adoration and my love!

So how do we show our love to someone? When you are in love you want to spend all your time with that person, you want to tell them how much they mean to you. You want to spend intimate time with that person where you laugh at the same jokes, giggle and cuddle, talk and hold hands. You want to learn everything about them and you want to know their opinion above all others. You want to share all you have with each other and you don't want to hold back anything! That's the way it is with our relationship with God. He wants that kind of intimate relationship and we were made for that kind of intimate relationship. God loves everything He creates, but He doesn't have that one-on-one relationship with the animals, the grass and the trees! It's why He created mankind! So when we give in and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we can have that kind of relationship with God. And out of that relationship of love, naturally flows a desire to give to God and to hear and obey Him. Not because we have to or He will whip us. But because we love Him so much we want to!

This is the foremost reason we give to God. It is based on love, trust, and obedience that flows out of our love and trust. But another reason we give is so we can experience the joys of generosity. The love of God in us flows out in generosity that helps others. God is Love and from that love, He has given everything to us and to all His created life. He never stops giving! It flows from Him in the love He expends constantly. Like the Living Water that will flow from His Throne in the new Heaven and New Earth. It is His life, His Love, His generosity to those who receive it with a grateful heart. It brings health, prosperity and provision for an eternal life and eternal relationship with Him. And He wants us to know how to give in that way, so we can experience the joy of giving and releasing.

Another reason to give, it shows to the world that we trust God to meet our needs. It is a testimony of our belief in the love relationship we have with God. We can trust Him to meet our needs therefore we don't have to hold on to every penny and scrape and scrap over money. Money is not our God therefore we can be openhanded and generous because our God is always pouring out to us.

It's not only money. We should receive with gratitude ALL God gives us: breath, life, vitality, health, money, job, family, relationships, talents, time, skills, education, home(s), material things, wisdom, spiritual blessing and growth, etc. ALL that God gives can be generously made available to Him for His use as He sees fit. Again, we can't outgive God. Whatever we give out, He pours more riches into us.

For example, do you know why I have this blog and why I write my Bible studies? Number one is because I'm learning about God and typing it all out helps cement it in my mind. Sort of a meditation with my mind and fingers. But also, so I can share what God has poured into me! As He pours spiritual nuggets of wisdom into me through His Holy Spirit, I want to share with someone else. I want to be generous with what He's given me. I have the typing skill, the time and the nuggets of wisdom so why not give it out?

Maybe you don't think you have much to give. But then you hear about a child in need and you go through your kids' clothes to give clothing to the needy child. Or you feel the desire to provide toys for a child in need at Christmas and you do. Maybe you know your sister-in-law is sick and you take her a meal. Or maybe you have health and strength, so you go make up a wood pile for your aging grandfather's wood stove. Or maybe you know of someone who is moving and needs a strong back and you go help. Maybe you can teach someone how to use a computer program that helps them on their job. When your wife is counseling someone on the phone, you make supper to free her up to do that. You give smiles to all those you meet throughout the day so it makes their day brighter. Maybe you are a natural peacemaker and you use that skill to diffuse a volatile situation. All of these are ways of giving that maybe you haven't thought about. When you did it you didn't even think about it, you just did it. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Giving is suppose to flow naturally out of the love in your heart. You don't think about it, you just do it. You don't think about getting applause, your name on a plaque, or a Thank You card. You just do it because you want to. Of course, if you are a recipient of generosity in any form, accept it with gratitude and thank the person. But a "thank you" is not why you give. Gratitude from the recipient is not why we give. We give because God has poured His love into us and we want to give. He will give back to us whether the person ever acknowledges our gift or not.

I guess what I'm saying is we give because we want to give. It should come naturally and spontaneously out of our love for God. He gives, therefore we give. And it's a blessing to give! It feels good to give! It blesses us to give! It is a joy to give and God wants us to experience that joy and feeling of release. If you've ever seen a stream dammed up, you will know what I mean. It backs up and when someone removes a rock and lets the water flow, it is a release, a first flush of water that was not meant to be dammed up.

I like to read about historical natural disasters like floods. I like to watch stories about them on TV. I don't know why. But floods are powerful. I have read about dams built with flaws that caused the dams to break under pressure. The huge rush of water that was backed up comes frothing and boiling out of the release spot. It overwhelms and knocks everything over. The raging water barrels down the valley, sweeping everything ahead of it. It causes massive destruction because people trusted the dam and built their houses, businesses, towns in the way of the water. If they had never dammed the water up in the first place, the river(s) would have flowed peacefully the way they were meant to flow, naturally. But damming it up is unnatural and when the dam breaks, the backed up water is released and until it falls back to it's natural flow. Don't try to dam up the natural flow of giving. Let it flow naturally in response to the love relationship you have with the Father.

What is tithing? Tithing is a spiritual practice. A spiritual practice, discipline or exercise are regular actions and activities we do for cultivating spiritual development. Like prayer, Bible reading, meditation, church attendance. Tithing is giving the “first fruits” to God. It is an act of faith and trust. It is an important doctrine in Christianity. Again, we do not do these things just to tick off a daily list so we can say we pleased God today. We do these things because we love God and these things help us to develop that relationship with God.

Do you have a date night with your spouse? Do you kiss your spouse before you leave for work or at night before you go to bed? Do you tell them you love them as you end your phone conversation? Do you hold their hand as you walk together? Do you open their door for them or make dinner for them? All of these are actions you practise in order to show your love for your spouse. Sometimes you do it out of habit. Sometimes you do it even though you had an argument earlier. It's a habit you've developed and it helps keep your relationship healthy. So spiritual disciplines are like that. Sometimes you don't feel like it; sometimes you do it more out of habit or duty, but it's based on the love relationship you have with God and you do it to keep your relationship with Him strong.

This is the first instance of tithing in the Bible:
Genesis 14:18-20 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

After Lot was kidnapped by raiding parties in battles, Abraham went out to rescue him. God gave Abraham victory and he was able to get Lot and his family back, as well as all the loot they had taken. On the way back, he met Melchizedek who blessed Abraham. Melchizedek (the name means King of Righteousness) was a King of Salem (early Jerusalem) and Priest of God Most High. He was revered by Abraham. Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 7 (NLT) 1 This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. 2 Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” 3 There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
4 Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. 5 Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. 6 But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. 7 And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.
8 The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. 9 In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.
11 So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron?
12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. 13 For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. 14 What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.
15 This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. 16 Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110)
18 Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. 19 For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,
“The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.
23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.

Here are some scriptures on tithing:

Deuteronomy 26:2 you are to take some of the firstfruits of all your produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for His name,

Malachi 3:7-12 (NLT) 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NIV) 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Matthew 23:23 (NLT, Jesus speaking) 23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens,g but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

  • Have you ever given because you felt like you had to? Under compulsion, pressured? Why did you give anyway?
  • Have you ever given freely and because you wanted to give? A cheerful giver, from the heart? Why did you give then?
  • Did you know how tithing started with Abraham and King/Priest Melchizedek? Did you, like me, ever read that passage and wonder where Melchizedek came from and why Abraham had responded to him like he did? Did you have an Ah-Ha moment when you learned King/Priest Melchizedek was a type of Christ (according to the Hebrews passage)? What kind of new understanding did that give you?
  • Did you think tithing was like paying club dues at a church? Learning about giving today, did it change your understanding about tithing?
  • Did you know there is a difference between tithing and offering? Tithing is the 10% you give but offerings are anything above and beyond the tithe.
  • Have you ever practised tithing, not out of compulsion, but because you wanted to?
  • Did you notice anything different about your budget and finances while you were tithing?
  • It is important for a congregation to learn about giving and tithing so a pastor has to address these issues from the pulpit in order to teach their flock. But there is a balance. Teaching and exhorting is one thing but compelling, trying to force and manipulate is another. Have you seen examples of a pastor correctly teaching about giving with good balance? Have you seen examples of a pastor who has fallen into coercion, manipulation, compulsion when they preach about giving? We must remember, pastors are human beings too. They can get off balance. But if it's a continual, escalating situation, it may need to be addressed. They could be falling into the sin of control, idolatry, greed, etc.
  • If a pastor preaches about giving, how have you felt? What has been your reaction? Get honest before the Lord (it's just between you and Him anyway), and ask Him if your reaction is what He desires? If you were angry, did you have a spiritual reason to be angry or are you trying to justify yourself for not tithing or giving? People can get pretty touchy about money, which is a good indicator of where their heart lies. If a pastor teaches about giving, somebody will inevitably get mad thinking the pastor is just trying to get more money out of their pockets. They may, or may not, be correct. The first thing to do is go to God and ask Him what He thinks about YOU! Are you being obedient; are you submissive to God (not the pastor!!!, but God); are you willing to lay all on the altar and give up anything or everything? Have you gotten to the place where you can trust God even if He asks you to sell everything and follow Him? Boy, howdy, is that hard! I'm with you there! On the other hand, are you genuinely feeling anger because the pastor went overboard and was using coercive, marketing techniques to milk more money out his flock? Fleecing his flock?
  • Do you practise giving even when you don't feel like it? Not under compulsion, but just as a spiritual exercise?
  • Have you ever thought of all the other ways of giving to God? I don't mean you did something for a gold star, a Thank You, or as a duty. But list some ways that you give from the heart that doesn't concern money. And always remember, you don't know what someone else is doing in their lives. You may think they never give, but you don't know the times they may have slipped an extra tip in for the waitress or gave a smile to a cashier or paid for their parents' medication. So keep your judgments to yourself. How can you be generous with things other than money?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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