March 9, 2009
In Genesis, God gave us a picture of what was to come. He promised Abraham that even though he was extremely old he would have children and build a nation of people from him and eventually bless the world through him. Abraham waited and got even older. He eventually did have Isaac. God then told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain and kill him in sacrifice to God.
Do you have faith to make the sacrifice He's asking of you?
Abraham was faithful. He prepared to kill Isaac. There are a couple of interesting things to note. Abraham knew that he was going to kill his son and yet he told his servants that “they” would be back. (Gen 22:5) God had told him that he was going to kill his son, but God had also told him that a great nation would come from his son. He might have thought that after he killed Isaac, God would raise him from the dead. We don’t know what he thought, but he said, “we will be back!” He had great faith in God’s promises. This great faith is why we are all blessed through Abraham. Read the rest of this entry »
March 5, 2009
In the OT, stewardship is mainly embodied in the Mosaic Law, where the tithe, or first-fruits, are set apart from the yearly increase of one’s possessions, be it of the flock, or crops in the field: “Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S; it is holy to the LORD.” (Lev 27:30) See also Deuteronomy 12.
Different ideas about what to do with their first fruits
Tithe means 10% in Hebrew. The idea is for each person to dedicate the first and best part to God. When your crops are coming out of the ground, it is scary to give the first fruits, because you don’t know how much crop will follow. When you have cattle, it is scary to give the first born because you do not know how many animals will come. God wants us to live a life of faith and trust in Him, so that He can then reward us with blessing when we show Him that faith. It takes no faith to wait until you have had a bountiful crop or many livestock born and then give some of what you have.
Some people think that this is Old Testament Law and that we have been redeemed from this and are no longer under this requirement. But Jesus directly confronted this way of thinking… Read the rest of this entry »